LAMAR (2-3, 0-1) TO ABILENE CHRISTIAN (3-3, 0-2
3:00 PM SATURDAY * WILDCAT STADIUM * 102.7 KHXS-FM / ESPN-PLUS
What is happening on the game: This is Abilene Christian’s first official game in the Western Athletic Conference, although the Wildcats beat Lamar 56-0 on September 25 at Beaumont. It was a non-conference game, and it wasn’t part of the WAC / ASUN Challenge either. It’s a game of both WAC and Challenge, and the Wildcats can hardly afford another loss if they are to stay in the playoff race. ACU is 8-13 against the Cards. The Wildcats ended a six-game losing streak in the series with the previous victory. It’s the return of ACU.
Last week: Sam Houston State, number one, the defending national champions, defeated Lamar 41-7 in a Challenge game in Huntsville. Eastern Kentucky handed ACU their second straight loss, 30-15, in a Challenge game in Richmond, Ky.
Lamar Scouting: The Cards optional offense has scored three touchdowns in the last three games combined – two in a 17-10 overtime win over northern Colorado. The Cards have only managed 294 total yards in the last two games – 136 in a 56-0 loss to ACU and 158 to Sam Houston. What about this hasty attack? A total of 123 total yards (98 against ACU and 23 against Sam Houston). Lamar has also recorded five turnovers in his last two games.
Wildcats update: The ACU received two 15-yard penalties – one after the kickoff at the start of each half – and lost four timeouts because the team wore gray uniforms in the game on the road to the last week. Road teams must wear white uniforms in NCAA play, while home teams wear dark uniforms – unless the NCAA has previously authorized it. The ACU, which has worn the uniforms on the road before, believed it was allowed with Eastern Kentucky and officials working the game. It wasn’t.
What the Wildcats must do to win: The offense needs to be more consistent. The Wildcats have scored three touchdowns in the last six quarters. Defensively, the ACU must contain the run and force the cards out of their comfort zone and throw the ball. The defense feasted on turnovers in the last game – getting three turnovers and returning two for touchdowns (25-yard interception return from Ryan Stapp and 25-yard fumble return from Koy Richardson).
Joey D. Richards’ prediction: ACU 38, Lamar 10
Joey D. Richards covers Abilene High Schools and Colleges, Big Country Schools, and other local sports. Follow him on Twitter at ARN_Joey. If you enjoy local news, you can support local journalists with a digital subscription to ReporterNews.com.