ACU (5-3, 2-0) is set to face the Tarleton Texans (5-3, 2-1) at 7 p.m. on Saturday at Memorial Stadium in Stephenville. A Wildcats win would be the first time since 2018 the team has acquired six wins.
Last week, ACU fell short to North Dakota with a final score of 34-31. Quarterback Maverick McIvor, sophomore from San Angelo, finished with a performance of 239 passing yards, three touchdowns and two interceptions. Wide receiver Tristan Golightly, sophomore from Mesquite, finished with five receptions for 82 yards and a touchdown.
“We knew going into the football game that it was going to be a game that you have to go win.” Head coach Keith Patterson said. “They’re not going to be a team that makes mistakes. They’re disciplined. They’re everything that we aspire to be as a football program. So we knew it was going to be a hard game just like it played out, and just like we shared with our team yesterday is that it really boiled down to about four plays.”
Tarleton currently holds a record of 5-3 after a 40-21 homecoming loss against Sam Houston. The Texans currently have a 3-1 record at home and currently sit third in the WAC. Wide receiver Darius Cooper, sophomore from St. Louis, is coming off of a big game with nine receptions for 191 yards and two touchdowns.
“We look forward to a great matchup,” Patterson said. “It’s great for the Big Country. You got two really good football teams playing a contest on Saturday, and we’re excited about it. It’s a conference match up, so our kids are very excited to get back into conference play and continue to try to build momentum.”
Along with ACU being undefeated in conference play, the Wildcats are currently leading the WAC with these statistics –
- Total Offensive Plays – 91 vs. Western New Mexico
- Rushing Attempts – 53 vs. Western New Mexico
- Yards Per Rush – 8.1 at North Dakota
Even with their past performances, Patterson said he feels like the team will continue to get better over their last three games.
“I keep saying this, our better days are in front of us as a team,” Patterson said. “I mean you, I think you saw a glimpse again of what we can become. Very proud of Maverick and the progress that he’s making and we have to continue to get the ball in the hands of our playmakers.”
As ACU currently sits first in the WAC, they look to hold their perfect 2-0 record by beating Tarleton Saturday. This would improve their WAC record to 3-0, strengthening to win a conference championship and try to earn an FCS tournament bid.
“We’ve got three quality opponents coming up.” Patterson said. “We’ve got to make sure that we stay hungry to improve. Our kids are excited, they understand we’re in control of our own destiny. We just have to make sure that we stay focused and locked in and continue to work hard to go out each and every day and win the day.”
The Wildcats and Texans kick off at 7 p.m. on Saturday at Memorial Stadium in Stephenville and will be broadcast live on ESPN+.