Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Danieal at it again

Former ACU all-America defensive back Danieal Manning played a huge role Monday night in Chicago's 20-17 overtime win over Green Bay that helped the Bears stay alive in the NFC playoff race.

Manning -- the NFL's leader in kick return average at 29.5 yards per return -- had four kick returns for an average of 29.3 yards per return. It was his 70-yard return early in the second quarter that led to a Chicago field goal, putting the Bears on the board for the first time on the night.

He had another big return in the fourth quarter that helped set up Chicago in good field position. He also had two tackles in the game, and tipped an Aaron Rodgers pass that was intercepted by Chicago defensive end Alex Brown.

All in all, a pretty good night for the former Wildcat, whose 83-yard kickoff return for a touchdown on Dec. 11 against the Saints helped the Bears win that game, 27-24, in overtime.

Manning and ACU also got some pretty good national airtime from Monday Night Football play-by-play announcer Mike Tirico, who mentioned "Abilene Christian" at least twice and also talked about how Manning's number (38) is representative of how many hours he is short of graduating from ACU.

Surprised, though, that MNF analyst Ron Jaworski didn't mention that Manning is from the same school as Wilbert Montgomery, who played with Jaworski in Philadelphia. Jaworski and Montgomery led the Eagles to the 1980 NFC title and an appearance in Super Bowl XV.

Back to Manning, he has returned 26 kickoffs this season for 763 yards (29.3 yards per return) and one touchdown, the 83-yarder against New Orleans. Defensively he has 19 tackles (15 solo) and one interception.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Thomsen staying at ACU and other notes

Those of you who have been waiting anxiously the last few days to find out whether or not the Wildcats would lose their head football coach to Northwestern State (La.) can breathe easier today. Chris Thomsen -- and the other four finalists for the job -- found out late Thursday evening that former NSU defensive coordinator and current LSU co-defensive coordinator Bradley Peveto has been named the new head coach at the school, which is a member of the Southland Conference.

Thosmen was a finalist for the job after leading ACU to an 11-1 record, Lone Star Conference championship and an appearance in the NCAA Division II quarterfinals in 2008. Coach Thomsen said late Thursday night that he's glad to be staying in Abilene and that he is looking forward to continuing the recruiting process.

* Former ACU running back Bernard Scott has signed with agent Scott Casterline of Dallas and has moved to the Metroplex to begin training and preparing for his shot at the NFL. Bernard said on Wednesday before he left for the DFW area that his agent was trying to get him into the Under Armour Senior Bowl, which will be played Jan. 24, 2009, in Mobile, Ala. The week leading up to the game is full of practices in front of owners, general managers, coaches and scouts from every team in the NFL, and leads into the NFL Combine, which is scheduled for Feb. 18-24, in Indianapolis.

Bernard will play in the Texas vs. the Nation All-Star Game, which will be played Jan. 31, at the Sun Bowl in El Paso. He was invited to play in the Cactus Bowl, but turned down the invitation.

* Former ACU wide receiver Johnny Knox will also play in the Texas vs. the Nation game. Former Texas A&M and Alabama head coach Gene Stallings -- also a former member of the ACU Board of Trustees -- will be the head coach of the Texas team, while former Miami and Oklahoma head coach and current Florida Atlantic head coach Howard Schnellenberger will coach the Nation team. The Texas vs. the Nation game will be broadcast at 2 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 31, on CBS College Sports.

* Former Wildcat offensive lineman Joseph Thompson and former receiver Jonathan Ferguson will each play for the West team in the Valero Cactus Bowl, which is set to be played Jan. 9, in Kingsville. Former Texas A&M-Kingsville and Angelo State assistant coach Freddy Jonas will be the head coach of the West team. One of his assistants will be Larry Pullin, the former head coach at Cuero, Abilene and San Antonio John Jay high schools. Pullin is a former Kingsville standout from the 1960s.

Other Lone Star Conference standouts who will be in the game on the West team will be quarterback Keith Null (West Texas A&M), running back Daniel Thomas (Angelo State), wide receiver Charly Martin (West Texas A&M), wide receiver Jareko Taylor (Texas A&M-Kingsville), offensive lineman Devin Livingston (Tarleton State), offensive lineman Dustin Finn (Central Oklahoma), offensive lineman Darron Deroyce Sheppard (Texas A&M-Commerce), linebacker Jared Brock (West Texas A&M), linebacker K.C. Asiodu (Central Oklahoma), defensive back Tremaine Wright (Tarleton State), defensive back Gerrett Burl (East Central), defensive tackle Ronald Green (Eastern New Mexico), and safety Jabir Perkins (Texas A&M-Kingsville).

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Basketball Notes and web galleries

Both basketball teams are playing well with the women taking the latest victory Wednesday night over Cameron. After a tough shooting start, Shawna Lavender's team is shooting 47 percent from the floor in the last two wins and the Wildcats have won three straight heading into Friday's game with Southwestern.

The men are on a 3-game win streak of their own under head coach Jason Copeland. The Wildcats defeated UTPB 88-83 Monday and will face Southwestern Oklahoma State Friday in Weatherford, Okla. at 8 p.m.

As always, Gerald Ewing, one of ACU's main photographers for all events, does a great job shooting photos for athletics. I compile a select few photos from his games and turn them into galleries. Check out the two latest basketball galleries below:

Men vs. Southeastern Oklahoma 12/06/08
Women vs. Incarnate Word 12/15/08

The men return home to bring in the New Year on Jan. 1 at 3 p.m. against NCAA III opponent Howard Payne.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Scott wins D2 Player of the Year with Harlon Hill Trophy

FLORENCE, Ala. – ACU running back Bernard Scott’s goal before the 2008 season was to be in northern Alabama in mid-December to pick up two trophies: a Harlon Hill as the nation’s top player and the NCAA Division II national championship trophy.

And while his and the Wildcats’ goal of winning the national championship was put to an end in the quarterfinal round by Northwest Missouri State, Scott’s goal of winning the Harlon Hill Trophy was realized Friday night when he was named the 19th winner of the award at the 23rd annual awards dinner at the Florence Convention Center.

Scott beat out a pair of record-setting quarterbacks in Central Washington’s Mike Reilly and North Alabama’s A.J. Milwee. The three finalists in 2008 made up one of the most-decorated and most talented trios of finalists in the award’s history. Scott had a 168 point margin of victory in the voting with 253 points. Reilly and Milwee tied for second with 85 apiece. The 253 points is the third-highest point total in the history of the award.

Scott is the fifth player in the award’s history to win the trophy the year after finishing as the runner-up. Former Texas A&M-Kingsville great Johnny Bailey finished as the runner-up for the first trophy in 1986 and then won the award three straight years. Emporia State running back Brian Shay finished second in 1997 before winning the award in 1998. Northern Colorado quarterback Corte McGuffey finished second to Shay in 1998 before taking home the trophy in 1999, and Grand Valley State quarterback Curt Anes finished second in 2001 before he won the award in 2002.

Scott – last year’s runner-up to two-time winner Danny Woodhead of Chadron State (Neb.) – became the first ACU player to win the award, which is the NCAA Division II version of the Heisman Trophy. Scott is only the second Lone Star Conference player to ever win the award, joining Bailey (winner from 1987-89) on the short list.

“None of the things I’ve been able to accomplish would have happened without the play of great teammates,” Scott said. “I’ve been blessed to run behind the best offensive line in Division II football the last two seasons, and I want to thank them for the job they’ve done. Our offense has been blessed to be led by a great quarterback, and we’ve had great receivers. All of those guys have done their job, and that’s allowed me to do my job.
“When I was here last year I said that my goal this year was to get back here for this ceremony and to play in the national championship game,” he continued. “Our team put together a great 2008 season, but we fell just short of our goal of playing for the national championship. Still, the things we accomplished together this season will provide lifelong memories for all of us, and a piece of this award goes to each one of my teammates.”

In just two seasons as a Wildcat, Scott rushed for 4,321 to become the school’s all-time career rushing leader. He topped the 2,000-yard mark twice, becoming the only player in LSC history to put together multiple 2,000-yard rushing seasons. His 63 rushing touchdowns are second in ACU history, and his 73 total touchdowns are second in both ACU and LSC history.

This season he rushed for 2,156 yards (second in LSC and ACU single-season history behind his 2,165 yards in 2007) and 28 touchdowns and caught 47 passes for 826 yards and another six touchdowns. He led NCAA Division II in points per game (17.0) and all-purpose yards (256.8 yards per game) and was second in rushing, averaging 179.7 yards per game.

He led ACU to an 11-1 record, the program’s first outright Lone Star Conference championship since 1973, the program’s highest-ever NCAA Division II national ranking (No. 2) and to the quarterfinal round of the playoffs. Scott averaged 8.4 yards per carry and rushed for more than 200 yards in four of the Wildcats’ final six games of the 2008 season. Scott ran for at least 100 yards in his last 17 games dating back to the 2007 season.

Scott was at his best in the big games as he helped ACU to an 8-3 record against top-25 opponents over the last two seasons. In those 11 games he rushed for 2,277 yards (207.0 per game), scored 38 rushing touchdowns and caught four touchdown passes while posting 631 receiving yards (57.4 per game).

He made his case for this year’s Harlon Hill Trophy in two games against West Texas A&M when he shredded the Buffaloes’ defense in leading the Wildcats to a pair of wins. In a 52-35 win over the Buffs in Canyon on Oct. 18, Scott rushed for 268 yards and two touchdowns and caught seven passes for 141 yards and one touchdown to set an LSC and ACU single-game record with 409 all-purpose yards.

In the Wildcats’ wild 93-68 NCAA Division II second-round playoff win over the Buffs on Nov. 22, Scott rushed for 292 yards and six touchdowns and caught three passes for 61 yards and one touchdown. His six rushing touchdowns, seven total touchdowns and 42 total points were all NCAA Division II Playoff, NCAA Division II, LSC and ACU single-game records.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Former ACU standout scores first NFL touchdown!

Danieal Manning was two yards from his first NFL touchdown on Sunday. He returned an interception against Jacksonville on the third play of the game 53 yards, but was tripped up by lineman in a cluster near the goal line. Manning beat his fists into the grass after the play was over knowing he was just a few feet from his first NFL touchdown.

Four days later, he returned the opening kickoff (pictured celebrating courtesy of CBS Sportsline.com) in a crucial game against the Saints with playoff implications. He returned the kick 83 yards for the Bears who are fighting to stay atop the NFC North Division. Manning, who had significant playing time in his first two years with the Bears at free safety, has had to adjust to a different role as the nickel back. The move gave him less playing time on the defensive end. However, with return phenom Devin Hester struggling this season in kickoff returns, Manning has stepped in and was averaging 28.0 yards per kick return this season entering Thursday night, which is good for 3rd in the NFL.

Before Thursday, the last time Manning saw the endzone in a football game was Sept. 17, 2005 at our own Shotwell Stadium when he returned a punt 57 yards for a score against Texas A&M-Commerce. The Wildcats went on to win that game 27-18. Manning played three seasons (foregoing his senior season) for ACU before the Bears drafted him as the 42nd overall pick in the 2006 NFL draft

Monday, December 8, 2008

Time for a little round ball

Wildcat fans put your football handkerchiefs away and get out your high-tops. Maybe watch Hoosiers to get you back in the mood. Possibly overshadowed by ACU's football playoff run, the men's and women's basketball teams are in full swing and will have several games over the holidays including three apiece at Moody Coliseum.

See the Women's Basketball Photo Gallery vs. Southeastern on 12/6

The women fell to Southeastern Oklahoma State 68-58 Saturday afternoon and shot just 32 percent in the loss. Monday, the first half against East Central began much like the first. However, key play from Kat Kudmueller, Kristee Davidson (pictured) and Courtney Laing sparked a second-half comeback after ACU trailed by 10 at half time. The win evened the women's record at 3-3. Head coach Shawna Lavender and the Wildcats are off until Monday at 6 p.m. when ACU plays host to Incarnate Word. Then, the women take to a 3-game road trip (12/17 at Cameron, 12/19 at SW Okla. State, 12/31 at Incarnate Word). Then, Wildcat fans will get a chance to bring in the new year by watching the Wildcats play host to Texas A&M-Commerce Jan. 3 at 2 p.m. and Texas Woman's Jan. 5 at 6 p.m.

I'm currently watching the Wildcats play an up-tempo game with East Central and Jason Copeland's Wildcats are up 44-28 as the first half winds down. The Wildcats had an impressive 86-69 win over Southeastern Oklahoma State Saturday and are looking to improve to 4-3 if ACU can keep up the score against East Central. A week from today (12/15) the Wildcats will play host to UTPB before facing Southwestern Oklahoma State Dec. 19 on the road.

On New Year's Day, Wildcat fans can see ACU renew an old rivalry against Howard Payne University at Moody Coliseum at 3 p.m. The Yellow Jackets are an NCAA Division III school from Brownwood. Then, Jan. 3 the Wildcats play host to Texas A&M-Commerce at 4 p.m.

For those of you who don't remember, each team went to the LSC semi-finals last year and are looking to make a deeper run in 2008-09

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Well, it's all over

... one of the greatest football seasons in ACU history, that is. As great as it was, I don't think you can call it the greatest season in ACU history because it didn't end with a national championship like the 1973 and 1977 seasons did.

What I think you can say is that the 2008 version of the Wildcats was probably the best team that ACU has ever fielded. That's not meant as a slight to the 1950, 1962, late 1960s, 1973, 1976, 1977, 1983, 1986, 2006 or 2007 teams, but it's rather a nod at how much the game has changed over the years.

No ACU team has ever fielded the array of talent, speed and athleticism as the 2008 Wildcats. This team posted plenty of highlights to fill our collective memory banks for years to come. Here are a few that spring to mind:

* Rallying from a 21-7 first-quarter deficit in the season-opener to deliver a 44-27 win over Northwest Missouri State that announced to the rest of the D2 football world tha the Wildcats were ready for prime time.

* A thorough domination and destruction of LSC North Division pre-season favorite Texas A&M-Commerce in the home opener. What was supposed to be an early showdown between two of the league's top quarterbacks (ACU's Billy Malone and Commerce's Terry Mayo) instead became a game that proved the Lions weren't anywhere near ready to compete with the Wildcats.

* Mike Kern's 99-yard interception return for a touchdown against Southeastern Oklahoma State.

* The flies and the stench in Portales, N.M., where ACU whipped Eastern New Mexico, 56-11.

* Oct. 18 in Canyon. Jared Brock and his "late hit." ACU jumps to a 31-7 halftime lead. Billy and Johnny Knox play pitch-and-catch in the first half against the Buffs' secondary. The Bernard Scott Show in the second half. 409 all-purpose yards on the night for Bernard in the game that stamped him as the man to beat in the Harlon Hill Award race.

* Zach Stewart stepping in for Malone when he went down with a hairline fracture in his right thum. The redshirt freshman from Abilene directed the Wildcats to a pair of wins over Tarleton State and Texas A&M-Kingsville. Against the Texans he let Bernard, the offensive line and the defense do the heavy lifting, but against the Javelinas he threw for 350 yards and three touchdowns in the win.

* The ACU defense holding Midwestern State to just 11 total yards and no points in the second half of the Wildcats' 47-17 win in the regular-season finale, a win that clinched the program's first outright LSC championship since 1973.

* 93 points. Do I have to say anything else?

* The way the Wildcats fought through their most inconsistent game of the year in the season-ending loss to Northwest Missouri State to make it a game late in the fourth quarter.

* The consistent brilliance of Bernard Scott, Billy Malone, Johnny Knox and the offensive line.

* The emergence of a new breed of playmakers on the defensive side of the ball in Aston Whiteside, Fred Thompson, Bryson Lewis, Tony Harp, Nick Jones and Craig Harris.

* The steady leadership of great seniors in Malone, Scott, Knox, Sam Collins, Joseph Thompson, Mike Kern, Matt Adams, Chris Morris, Jonathan Ferguson, Kendrick Holloway, Chancy Campbell, Eliot Allen, Chenry Lewis and Nick Fellows.

* The calming influence and overall program leadership of head coach Chris Thomsen and his staff. If you haven't had a chance to listen to Chris talk about what he wants to do with the ACU football program and where he wants to take it, I would suggest you carve a few minutes out of your schedule and ask him about it. He's passionate about ACU and what ACU football could one day become, and that passion and drive pulses through everything the players in that program do every day.

Finally, what a great thrill it's been to be able to watch virtually every snap Billy Malone has taken over the last four years, as well as almost every carry by Bernard Scott and catch by Johnny Knox. The Wildcats have enjoyed great trios in their long history, but never one as explosive or productive as this trio. Consider these mind-boggling numbers:

* Since the start of the 2007 season when the three began playing together, they have helped ACU score 1,225 offensive points and rack up 13,787 yards of total offense in the last 25 ACU games.

* Those three alone have combined to rack up 18,560 yards of offense and are responsible for a combined 193 touchdowns during their ACU careers.

Hope you enjoyed watching them, folks. Their like may never be seen again.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Blame it on the holidays ...

Sorry for the tardiness ...

Anyway, here is the weekly interview with Chris Thomsen.

Check ACU's official Game Day Central Page for weekly football notes for ACU and Northwest Missouri State.

All fans can view a video broadcast of Saturday's game between Abilene Christian and Northwest Missouri State at Noon. The audio will be provided by ACU and brought to you by Grant Boone and Chuck Statler. Here is the link for the live broadcast.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Updated NCAA Game Day Central Page

Fans check out the udpated Championship Central Web Site:


This site features the upcoming game between No. 2 Abilene Christian and No. 3 Northwest Missouri State in the NCAA DII Quarterfinals game at Shotwell Stadium Saturday (11.29.08) at noon.

Ticket information is also available on this site.


Sitting here watching the replay of the Wildcats' 93-68 win ... wait a minute, did I just write 93-68 win when talking about a FOOTBALL game??

Never in my life have I seen anything like what I saw Saturday at Shotwell Stadium. The ACU offense was not nearly unstoppable ... it was totally unstoppable, at least by West Texas A&M. ACU scored touchdowns on 13 of 15 possessions, missed one field goal and punted once. And on the punt, WT fumbled, ACU recovered for another possession and scored four plays later.

It was an absolute demolition by the Wildcats, who put up 810 yards of offense on only 56 plays, averaging 14.5 yards per play. After the game ended after what seemed like a five-hour game, I spent almost 90 minutes looking up all of the records that were broken in this game. A list of those records can be found at the end of the game story on www.acusports.com.

Let me just make a few quick points before I go to bed:

1). Without offense to any other person in the long history of ACU football, Bernard Scott is the greatest player to ever wear the Purple and White. The man is a threat to score anytime he touches the ball from anywhere on the field. The fact that he has the best offensive line in Division II football blocking for him only enhances that threat.

2). After his performance Saturday, if Bernard doesn't win the Harlon Hill Award this year, they should stop handing the thing out. No one -- and I mean NO ONE -- in the country is on his level.

3). This just in: Billy Malone ain't half bad, either. All he does is direct an offense to 810 yards and 93 points in the second round of the playoffs. Can we please finally put to rest all this junk -- mostly from WT -- about Billy not being tough? Ridiculous that it was ever brought up in the first place.

4). Keith Null and Charly Martin are absolute beasts, and we're all glad they're done at WT. Null was on-target all day, and the guy in the middle of the bullseye was Martin, who had 14 catches for 323 yards and 5 touchdowns. Unbelieve, eye-popping numbers.

5). Had a couple of pretty funny email exchanges with some SIDs from around the country after the game was over, and I'll share one of them with you. About two hours after the game ended I sent out to each D-II SID an email detailing Bernard's accomplishments on the day and asking for them to consider him their No. 1 player in the vote for the Harlon Hill Trophy.

A couple of hours later, I received this email from Tim Nott, the Associate Athletic Director / Director of Media Relations at Grand Valley State University:


The only way I was going to vote for Benard was if he ran for over 300 today. 292 won't cut it. How many pages was your front page of the stat book? We couldn't get our head coach in the post game press conference because he was to busy keeping track of your game. He walks in and announces to the media the score midway through the third quarter and said make the questions quick or I might miss four scores.


My reply was this:


I told Bernard after the game that he probably cost himself the Harlon Hill by not getting 300 yards. He was pretty incredible. I looked up after he scored with about 1 minute left to make it 72-47 and said, "Bernard now trails West Texas A&M, 47-42."


If my email inbox is any indication, the Harlon Hill Trophy will be coming home with Bernard on Dec. 14.

6). Unfortunately for the Wildcats, their defense will probably be roasted by fans on the d2football.com message board for giving up 68 points and 721 yards of offense to the Buffs. I'm pretty sure that no one on the defensive side of the ball -- from coaches to players -- is happy with their performance, but here's the thing: a win is a win is a win ...

Also take into account that the defense was on the field for almost 100 plays against the second-best offense in Division II football, and those things can happen. This is a defense that had allowed just 16 points and 290 yards per game going into the WT game and ran into one of the best passing games in Division II football at the top of its game.

One thing you can bet is this: defensive coordinator Jason Johns and his team will push hard this week to make the improvements they need to make to try and contain what will be a very, very good Northwest Missouri State team this week.

7). Make sure you take a good look at what's coming into town next Saturday because it's the program that we all aspire to become. Northwest Missouri has made three straight national championship games, and the Bearcats didn't get there by not being very good on offense, spectacular defensively and solid in the kicking game. ACU will have to play its best game of the year -- again -- to beat the Bearcats.

8). Enjoy the holiday week and the time with your families. But then get to Shotwell on Saturday at noon and help the Wildcats get a win against the Bearcats. Bring your family and friends. Heck, even invite a few strangers.

After all, there's no telling what you're going to see on any given Saturday.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

No Live Blog today

We are spread a little thin today, so check live stats for updates. Link is below ...

Follow the Live Stats for updates

Also check on the ACU Insider for a free link to today's audio and video feed.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Notes and Thomsen Interview

Be sure and get your game notes on ACU'S OFFICIAL NCAA PLAYOFFS WEB SITE.

Here is an interview with head coach Chris Thomsen on the upcoming game (12:14)

Notes from around the Wildcat Den

• JumpTV is having technical difficulties and you may have noticed that ACUSports.com has been down here and there. If difficulties continue, check the blog for your official releases and news
• ACU's men will look to defend their national title in the NCAA Division II cross country meet in Slippery Rock, Pa. Saturday. The men's team is ranked No. 2 in the nation behind Adams State. The women didn't qualify as a team but Winrose Karunde and Loice Cheboi will compete individually representing ACU. Click here for the weekly cross country notes.
• The men's basketball team got off to a 1-0 start with a 99-58 victory over Hillsdale Free Will Baptist. Dejan Sencanski highlighted the game with 21 points on 8 of 9 shooting, 3 of 4 from beyond the 3-point arc, and 2 of 2 from the free-throw line. He also had six boards and two steals, which garnered the senior forward with LSC Player of the Week Honors. The Wildcats play Dallas Baptist Thursday and Huston-Tillotson Saturday. Jason Copeland could get his 40th career victory Thursday or Saturday with a win over either DBU or HTU.
• The women's basketball team is 1-1 with a win over Southern Indiana last week and a loss to St. Edward's. Both games were played in Austin at St. Edward's Tip-Off Tournament. The Wildcats will get a chance at revenge against St. Edward's Saturday at Moody Coliseum at 6 p.m. Audrey Maxwell-Lively is averaging 15 points and nine rebounds through two games.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Buy your ACU vs. WT NCAA Playoff Tickets Online

If you don't want to come by the ACU athletics office to buy your playoff tickets, you can stay within the comforts of your own home. Click here to go to the online ticketing site where you can print your tickets out online and order with a credit card.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Thanks for nothing, NCAA

The NCAA has decided for the fourth time in the last three years that the ACU Wildcats just aren't good enough for an invitation to their post-season party.

The volleyball team is the latest Wildcat athletic program to get left out when it comes time for NCAA post-season play, joining a 47-win baseball team in 2007, an 18-win women's basketball team last spring and last year's 20-win men's basketball team.

If you're a Wildcat fan, it's been an extremely frustrating run of bad luck for some teams who were more-than-deserving of NCAA post-season bids. The ACU volleyball team won 12 straight matches to reach the LSC Post-Season Tournament championshp match where they lost an epic five-set match against West Texas A&M.

But it wasn't enough to offset what was probably a better strength of schedule by Nebraska-Omaha, which took the final at-large bid.

What's worse is that an average Texas-Permian Basin team reached the tournament as the No. 8 seed after it earned the Heartland Conference's automatic bid with a win in the tournament championship. If Wildcat fans want something to be angry about, this is it: the eight teams in the Heartland Conference combined for a pathetic 101-146 record (.409 winning percentage), including a 23-63 record against teams from the LSC and Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association (MIAA), the other two conferences in the South Central Region.

UTPB will draw the No. 1 seed in the tournament, Emporia State, in a first-round match later this week in Emporia, Kan. Call me stunned if the Lady Falcons are on the floor longer than 60 minutes.

Nice job, NCAA.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

WT wins 2008 LSC Title

A hard fought match ended with a 15-11 win in set five for the Lady Buffs - The Wildcats led 8-5, but the Lady Buffs went on a 10-3 run to end the match.

Great season Wildcats, and ACU will wait to hear from the regional rankings early next week!

ACU WT tied up in set five!!

After trailing 5-3, the Wildcats stormed back with four-straight points to lead 7-5 before Graystone called a timeout ... then WT battled back to tie the score at 10 all before Campbell called her timeout ... LSC Championship is looming ...

We're going GAME 5!!!!!!

The Wildcats tied the match at two sets apiece with a tough 25-22 win in set four ... Great job by ACU to rally after two-straight losses in sets two and three ... A win over WT in Canyon would be the first time that they have ever lost a conference title game at home.

Hutt leads with 15 kills; Johnson and Prinsen have 12 apiece on the other side, but Prinsen the defending LSC player of the Year is hitting just .075 for the match

Holding on

In set four, the Wildcats are hanging on by a thread with a 20-18 lead. The Wildcats have built a four-point lead on two different occasions, but WT continues to fight back. Coach Martin just called a timeout and Jennie Hutt responded with a kill to put ACU up 21-18.

Wildcats fighting in set four

Tony Graystone calle another timeout for the Lady Buffs after ACU jumps out to a 13-9 lead in set four. WT has been very responsive after timeouts, so it will be interesting to see how they respond.

ACU falls behind 2-1

The comeback wasn't enough, the Lady Buffs ended up winning set three 25-21. The Wildcats were back to positive hitting numbers at .146, however, WT was impressive again at .286. Johnson and Prinsen have 11 kills apiece for WT and Hutt has 12 with a .304 hitting percentage for the Wildcats.

ACU looked competitive again in set three, which could bode well for them as they try to force a fifth, and deciding set.

'Cats Clawing back

Don't you love sports puns?

Down by as much as eight, solid team work has put ACU back in the third set as the Wildcats trail 21-19 in a fierce comeback led by Jennie Hutt and Jordan Schilling. Let's see if they have what it takes to go up 2-1.

another surge by WT

With the score tied at seven, WTAMU scored six of the next seven points before ACU called a timeout down 13-8 in set three. The Wildcats will need to keep the match close from here on out to have a chance at the end of this set.

Knot it at 1-1

The Lady Buffs take set two in dominating fashion with a 25-10 win to even the match at one set apiece.

The Wildcats hit a negative -.143 while the Buffs hit .344.

ACU managed just four kills in set two; WT's Laura Prinsen and Natalie Johnson lead the team with seven kills apiece.

The teams have elected not to take the 10-minute intermission between sets two and three - that decision, implemented this season, is a decision made by the home team. I guess the Lady Buffs will look to keep the Wildcats on the ropes in set three.

WT jumps out in set two

After a 6-6 tie, the Lady Buffs have scored six straight and lead 12-6. The intensity combined with the large crowd at "The Box" in Canyon is making for a great college atmosphere as West Texas A&M crowds always tend to create.

Service Error leads to Wildcat set

The ACU Wildcats are up one set to none after a 25-23 win over the Lady Buffs. However, ACU should expect a tough one in set two. After a quick start, the Lady Buffs fought back and were point=for-point with ACU the remainder of the set. The Wildcats will need to hang tough.

Jennie Hutt already has six kills, and Hines has four total blocks. The Wildcats hit .220 and the Lady Buffs hit .171 in the first set.

Down to the wire in set one

Graystone called his second timeout for WT, ACU broke a 21-all tie to go up 23-21; Jordan Schilling to serve, we'll see if the Wildcats can hang on ...

Buffs battle back

Lindsey Campbell called her first timeout after WT outscored ACU 11-6 since going down 10-4. WIth the score 16-15, it's a brand new match as the teams battle for the first set...

WT needs a T.O.

Coach Graystone called a timeout after ACU jumps out to an early 10-4 lead in set one. Shawna Hines has had her hands on three total blocks, and the Lady Buffs are on their heels early, let's see if the momentum continues ...

LSC Volleyball championship has regional implications

The Wildcats were No. 9 in the South Central Region poll Monday before the LSC Tournament started. With wins over Angelo State and Tarleton State, it could mean that no matter what happens in tonight's championship match with West Texas A&M, that the Wildcats could be headed for the regional tournament next week.

Midwestern State was ranked ahead of the Wildcats at No. 8, however, the Mustangs fell to Texas Woman's in the quarterfinals match Thursday. Nebraska-Omaha sneaked in some how with a 16-14 record. Stranger things, have happened, but ACU could very well leapfrog both teams in next week's polls to make the tourney for the first time since 2005.

Yet another way to get in: Win the conference tournament, which the Wildcat women will look to do tonight against the No. 3 team in the nation.

The last time the two teams played in the regular season, West Texas A&M won 3-0 in Abilene Sept. 27.

The Lady Buffs have lost just 10 conference games since 1999, however, four were to ACU. The Wildcats will look for their first conference title since 2005.

Once again, former all-Americans Lindsey Martin and Amanda 'Slate' Farrell are taking on coaching duties for head coach Kellen Mock who was advised by her doctor to stay home in preparation for the birth of her first child.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Galleries Galore, Volleyball team advances in LSC Tourney

I was way behind on galleries, so I've tried to make up for it. But first, the Wildcat volleyball, ranked No. 9 in the South Central Region, defeated Angelo State in the LSC Quarterfinals Round Thursday in Canyon. They'll take on the winner of Tarleton State and Commerce Friday at 5 p.m. It was ACU's 11th consecutive victory, and the Wildcats are without head coach Kellen Mock this weekend as Mock is home on bed rest in preparation for the birth of her first child. Assistant Coach Lindsey Campbell took over the duties Thursday and helped the Wildcats avenge an Oct. 9 loss to the Rambelles.

Also ...

Shawna Hines was named the LSC Defensive Player of the Year; Ijeoma Moronu and Jordan Schilling were second team all-LSC selections, and Amy Wilson and Jennie Hutt were honorable mention. Hines was also a first-team selection and was named to the all-Academic team. Seven others were named to the LSC Comissioner's Honor Roll
• The football team is enjoying a bye week and awaiting the winner of the Central Washington and West Texas A&M game Saturday. Tickets are on sale, and will be available online by the weekend (details to come later).
Bernard Scott and Matt Adams were LSC Players of the Week in the final week of the regular season last week. Scott had 201 yards and a touchdown while Adams kicked four field goals which tied a single-game ACU record that he and four other kickers hold. He's the only ACU kicker to ever kick four field goals in a game twice.

Here's the weekly podcast with head football coach Chris Thomsen

On to the Galleries:

Women's Soccer
- vs. Midwestern State 10.05.08
- vs. West Texas A&M 10.31.08
- vs. Eastern New Mexico 11.02.08

- vs. Angelo State (LSC Quarterfinals) 11.12.08
- vs. Southwestern Oklahoma State 10.23.08
- vs. Dallas Baptist 10.28.08

- vs. East Central 10.04.08
- vs. Angelo State 10.1.08
- vs. West Texas A&M 10.18.08
- vs. Texas A&M-Kingsville 11.01.08

Saturday, November 8, 2008

I'm off ...

I'm off to the women's basketball game, but with 1:26, it appears they are going to kneel out the clock, congratulations Wildcats!

Adams ties his own record

Adams' 30-yard field goal puts ACU up 47-17 and that was his fourth field goal of the game. That ties a school record that he Eben Nelson, Mark Turner, and Dennis Brown have all set when they kicked four field goals in a game. Adams is the only player in school history to kick four field goals in a game twice.

Coach Thomsen just got the GATORADE BATH!

ACU will go on to win its third LSC title in school history. The last time, they shared the '77 title and the '73 team won it out-right. Both the '73 and '77 teams went on to win national titles ... maybe ....

Malone out, Scott out, Stewart and Campbell in

Malone took a few snaps in the fourth. It's a crazy day when your QB misses two games to a thumb injury, comes back has an 'off' day and still tosses four touchdown passes and throws for 262 yards (19 of 32).

Scott reached the 200-yard mark for the third time this season with 27 carries and 201 yards with a touchdown.

Zach Stewart is leading a drive in MSU territory right now

Anderson puts ACU up 44-17

Malone's fourth touchdown pass was to Justin Anderson. That was Anderson's second catch on the year, and he scored from 10 yards out.

Wildcats up 44-17 early in the fourth quarter

Pour it on

Malone hits Kendrick Holloway for a four-yard score, Adams' PAT is good.

11 plays 64 yards

Wildcats 37 Mustangs 17

An outright LSC Championship is just minutes away!!!!!!!!!!

Audio/Video back up

JumpTV called and told us the audio/video is up again for the Wildcat insiders on ACUsports.com

The game's close ... give it to MJ ... I mean Bernard

Scott has that "take over" ability that we all used to see in players like Michael Jordan. Up just six points, ACU's first drive started from its own 5-yard line. Scott had four caries for 67 yards including a 14-yard scamper into the endzone. With and Adams PAT, the score is 30-17 with 8:05 left in the third.

39 quarters of football have been played this year at ACU. The Wildcats have scored in 38. The only quarter we didn't score was the fourth quarter of the Angelo State game at home when we won 52-7.

By the way ACU's M.J. - Scott has 179 yards on the ground so far ...

ACUSports.com is down, Wildcats up at half

For those of you used to getting your stats, and video/audio from the ACU Wildcat Insider. Our web site is down. The whole site is kept on the servers for JumpTV, the company that produces ACU's official athletics web site.

Since this morning at the volleyball, I had trouble posting information. So please be patient, and take it easy on our ACU administrators, as it is out of their control :)

Wildcats recovered the muffed kickoff return right before the first half ended. The Wildcat offense tried to get a few yards quickly with seven seconds left and hoped to leave one second on the clock for Adams to knock through another field goal, however, they were unable to do so.

ACU 23 Midwestern 17 Half

Fellows rescues defense

Nick Fellows returned an interception from the ACU 20 yardline into MSU territory to the Mustang 37-yard line. Malone completes a pass to Morris at the 20-yard line, Malone spikes it, then incomplete pass to Morris ... On third down Malone avoids a sack and chunks it towards the endzone, but the pass fell incomplete.

Adams' third field goal attempt from 37 yards is good and the Wildcats go up 23-17 with 0:09 left in the half.

A tale of two Gates

Edmund Gates dropped a pass that would've put ACU in the redzone. However, a couple of plays later he made up for it making a leaping catch in the endzone from 31 yards out to give Malone his second touchdown pass and gave the Wildcats their first lead of the day at 20-17.

Maybe ACU can get a quick 3-and-out and drive down and get at least three to build more momentum headed into the locker room.

MSU kicker strikes back

Lee Scott knocks in a 44-yard field goal for the Mustangs to put MSU up 17-13 with 5:38 to go in the first half.

I'll tell you this, after last week's game in Kingsville, I could tell the guys were a little beat up. That 42-17 score was deceiving in a way because the Javelinas really put it to us. If the Wildcats can muster up a win here, they'll welcome the bye week to heal up in preparation for an NCAA Playoff run.

ACU needs to respond with a touchdown here.

CPU emergency

Tea was spilled on the stats computer. So, I ran to ACU to get another laptop for Lance. Sorry for the delays.

Billy is rusty, but is still 8 of 14 for 134 yards, a touchdown and an interception.

Matt Adams just kicked his second field goal of the contest from 21 yards out, however, the Wildcats trail 14-13 with 7:28 left in the second quarter.

Touchdown Mustangs

Tyron Morrison caught a 10-yard TD pass from Zack Eskridge and the PAT was good.

Midwestern 7 ACU 0 (12:06 1Q)

It is the first time since Aug. 30's win over NW Missouri State that the Wildcats have given up points in their opening defensive drive. It is also only the third time this year that ACU has trailed in a football game.


Billy Malone had Johnny Knox wide open down the sideline in ACU's first possession, however, Antoine Cumby intercepted Malone's first pass since the WTAMU game and returned deep into ACU territory.

The Wildcats are trying to keep MSU off the board, but the Mustangs are threatening in the red zone.

22 seniors

P.A. Announcer Jason West just announced the 22 seniors that will be playing their final regular season home game. Although, it's almost certain that we will be hosting at least one playoff game if not more.

Whatever happens the rest of the season, many of these players including Matt Adams (PK), Sam Collins (C), Joseph Thompson (RG), Bernard Scott (RB), Billy Malone (QB), and Johnny Knox (WR), can be given some credit to a great turnaround in ACU's football program. After terrible times in the 90's and mediocre times in the 2000s. The last three years have established ACU as a regional and national power.

Guess who's back?

Back again ... Billy's back, tell a friend.

Malone starts in ACU's pursuit of a perfect regular season. Midwestern State comes to town to try and rain on the parade of a chance at 10-0. The last team to accomplish the feat at ACU was the 1950 squad, which was the only team in the nation regardless of division to finish undefeated.

Several members of that 1950 squad will serve as honorary team captains at today's game. Last year, ACU's come-from-behind win in Wichita Falls over the Mustangs sealed the deal for the Wildcats to make the Playoffs for the second-straight year.

ACU was down 38-21 in the third quarter, but a fierce rally capped by Bernard Scott's 5-yard run with a minute left helped the Wildcats go over the top. Midwestern did drive and threatened but the final play of the game was incomplete pass in the endzone.

On to other Wildcat news:

• ACU's men's cross country team won the South Central Region title while the women placed ninth. The Wildcats will head to the NCAA Division II National Meet in two weeks in Slippery Rock, Penn.
• Several soccer players were named to the all-LSC women's soccer team Thursday after falling in the opening round of the conference tournament. However, ACU posted its first winning season and made the tournament for the first time in only the program's second year of existence
• The volleyball team won its 10th straight game this morning over East Central. That is the longest winning streak of the season and brings ACU's record to 24-8 on the season. The rest of today's action will determine the Wildcats' seeding in next week's LSC Volleyball Tournament, however, it is likely that ACU will go to Canyon as the No. 3 seed
• Tonight's ACU fans can get their first taste of Wildcats women's basketball as they play an exhibition contest against NAIA Lubbock Christian at 7 p.m. at Moody Coliseum

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Watch LSC Soccer Tournament games online; Thomsen Podcast; Notes

The Lone Star Conference is sponsoring live audio and video coverage of the 2008 Women's Soccer Conference Tournament in Canyon this weekend. Fans can tune in for free at http://www.lonestarconference.tv or by following along at the Tournament Web Site.

• Volleyball has won eight-straight matches with a win over St. Edward's last night. Shawna Hines was also named the LSC South Division Defensive Player of the Week

ACU Football Coach Chris Thomsen discusses Kingsville and the upcoming game with Midwestern State (9:14)

Week 10 Football Notes
Week 10 Soccer Notes

Monday, November 3, 2008

Soccer and Volleyball making moves

There has been a lot of football talk lately. I just wanted to update you on a couple of other fall sports. The volleyball team has won seven-straight matches and the Wildcats head into their final three matches before the LSC Tournament in two weeks. Three wins to close out the season could see ACU surpassing its previous season high of consecutive wins with 10. If you remember, the Wildcats started out at 9-0 ... good luck!

The soccer team made the LSC postseason tournament
in just its second year. This is a huge accomplishment and a great tag-team effort between head coach Casey Wilson and Thomas Pertuit to make that happen and continue the excellence of ACU Athletics. The Wildcats square off against Central Oklahoma in the opening round Friday at 2:30 p.m. in Canyon.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Halftime update

The Wildcats fell behind 10-7 early in the second quarter, but responded to that deficit with a six-play, 64-yard drive that took 2:23 off the clock and was capped with a 9-yard touchdown pass from Zach Stewart to Chris Morris. After the Wildcat defense forced a punt, the Wildcats responded with their longest drive of the season, an 11-play, 95-yard touchdown drive that took 3:22 off the clock.

On that drive, Stewart completed a huge fourth-and-three pass to Kendrick Holloway down to the Kingsville 31-yard line, and then he threw a beautiful ball to Johnny Knox from 31 yards out to make it 21-10 at the half. Knox caught the ball and barely got his right foot down in the back of the end zone to give the Wildcats their largest lead of the night.

The Wildcats' deficit, by the way, marked the first time they had trailed in a game this season since the 10:20 mark of the third quarter in the season-opening game at Northwest Missouri State. That covered an amazing stretch of about 466 minutes of game time.

Stewart, by the way, is 14 of 21 for 192 yards and two scores, while Bernard Scott has 14 carries for 89 yards and one touchdown. See if ACU head coach Chris Thomsen and offensive coordinator Ken Collums don't turn the game over to Mr. Scott in the second half and let him wear down the Javelina defense, which has given up 302 yards of offense to ACU in the first half.

Game time approaching

We're here in Kingsville for a key Lone Star Conference South Division game against the Javelinas of Texas A&M-Kingsville. Just about 45 minutes from kickoff and a few notes for you to think about as game time approaches:

* Redshirt freshman Zach Stewart will be the starter at quarterback again tonight as the Wildcats continue to rest senior Billy Malone and his injured right hand. Last week in his first collegiate start, Stewart completed 21 of 27 passes for almost 200 yards and two touchdowns. Malone, though, is suited up and is going through pre-game drills and could play if needed.

* Malone became a father for the second time Friday at 8:04 p.m. when his wife, Ashlee, gave birth to their second daughter, Cris Ashlyn Malone. She checked in at 7 lbs., 5 oz. and 21 inches long. Mom, baby and big sister Cydnie are all doing fine. Dad is doing well, too, and will be doing much better in about four hours if the Wildcats can win their fifth straight against the Javelinas.

* Internet rumors have had Bernard Scott with a high ankle sprain for the last three weeks. Let's put those rumors to rest right now. He's going through pre-game drills and looks fine.

* Another key player who is out tonight for the Wildcats is junior safety Tony Harp, who suffered a concussion in the fourth quarter of last week's win over Tarleton State. Harp hasn't been symptom-free for five days, and was ruled out of tonight's game. Redshirt freshman Richard Havins will get the start for Harp tonight against the Javelinas.

* There's already been one upset in the Super Region Four top-10 today where Missouri Western upset No. 7 Central Missouri, 42-41, essentially eliminating the Mules from contention for an NCAA Division II playoff berth. An ACU win tonight would almost certainly clinch the No. 1 seed in the playoffs for the Wildcats, leaving Tarleton State, Nebraska-Omaha and West Texas A&M to battle it out for two spots next week in the season-ending weekend.

* This just in: it's a long way to Kingsville.

* This also just in: Bernard Scott could be the deciding factor tonight.

Don't forget to vote on Tuesday.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

8-0 for first time in 58 years

Wildcats beat Tarleton State without Billy Malone. But Batman didn't need his Robin tonight, Bernard Scott gained 259 yards on the ground and 32 in the air along with three rushing touchdowns to help the Wildcats keep their hopes for an undefeated regular season, and LSC title, and a third-straight trip to the NCAA Division II Playoffs alive.

Zach Stewart did a solid job of filling in for Malone who may go down as the greatest quarterback in LSC history. Malone suffered an injury in the fourth quarter of the win against West Texas A&M last week.

Stewart was 21 of 27 with one pick, 197 yards and two touchdown tosses (the first two of his career).

Wildcats head to Kingsville Saturday to try and keep the train moving. Kingsville defeated Tarleton State a few weeks ago.

See you next week.

Make em Pay

Vantrise Studavant sacked Grantham causing a fumble which Aston Whiteside recovered at the TSU 30-yard line. Scott took the next play on a counter from right to left and scored a 30-yard touchdown to put the Wildcats up 30-10. Cameron Epple blocked Adams' PAT.

Wildcats 30 Texans 10 (3:03, 3Q)

Pound the Rock

ACU ran the ball all 7 plays of a 52-yard drive eating 3:28 off the clock. Bernard had five carries for 40 yards and capped it with a 4-yard score. He has 188 yards on the ground and 32 yards through the air. That was Scott's 15th rushing touchdown of the season and the Wildcats are up 24-10 with 4:41 left in the third quarter.

Adams puts ACU on board in second half

Bernard Scott's 41-yard run keyed a drive that helped Matt Adams and the Wildcats get on the board first in the second half with a 30-yard field goal to make the score 17-10 with 8:09 left in the third.

Tarleton's drive stalled with a punt to start the third before the Wildcats drove and settled for a field goal when wide-open Johhny Knox was under thrown in the endzone.

On the ensuing kickoff, Eric Edwards forced Travis Evans to fumble and ACU recovered and is driving again.

Bad Penalty leads to TSU touchdown

It was third and long - Tony Harp hit a TSU receiver after the ball had passed him in an inevitable incompletion. However, pass interference was the call. If anything, it was a personal foul for a late hit.

But even still, after the penalty, the Texans marched down and scored on a 12-yard touchdown pass to Devin Guinn from Grantham.

Wildcats 14 Texans 10 Halftime

45-yard field goal

Garrett Lindholm knocked in a 45-yard field goal for the first points of the board for the Texans. Tarleton is trying to drive and score from its own 4-yard line.

22-yard TD run for Scott

Wildcats 14 Texans 0

Stewart's clicking, Scott's clicking and with the exception of letting TSU have a couple of solid runs, the ACU defense is showing its superiority.

I know there is a lot of football left to play today, but it's hard to ignore, that even with our star quarterback not on the field, the Wildcats may be on a completely different level than everyone in the conference. Week after week, teams think that they will have a chance to give ACU a challenge, but the Wildcats have responded in dominating fashion with each opponent.

Let's see if they can keep this level of play up the rest of today and the rest of the season.

stewart's on fire, looking to close another drive

After the touchdown ACU and Tarleton are exchanging possessions. Two punts by Tarleton and another fumble for ACU's Johnny Knox. For those who might have thought it would be Stewart that might struggle, the redshirt freshman completed his first 11 passes and should have had 12 straight except for a dropped pass.

Bernard Scott has eight carries for 71 yards in this first quarter. It must be laundry day at Shotwell because there have been eight penalties combined so far in the first 14 minutes of the contest.

Wildcats are driving on Tarleton's 21-yard line after Stewart surpassed the 100-yard mark in the first quarter with his second pass to Emery Dudensing.

First quarter comes to an end.

He did what .?!?

Alex Harbison picked off a Scott Grantham pass, however, Bernard Scott fumbled three plays later for the first time in his ACU career giving the ball back to TSU at the Wildcat 39-yard line.

No Billy No Botha, Stewart to Holloway for a TD

Stewart's first offensive drive as a collegiate starter was successful. He completed all five passes to four different receivers for 39 yards and found Kendrick Holloway in the endzone for a 3-yard score.

Matt Adams' PAT good

Wildcats 7 Tarleton 0 (10:43, 1Q)

Let's see what this Tarleton running game is all about ...

starting under center ...

Zach Stewart. Many had probably heard the rumors, but Billy Malone suffered an undisclosed injury in the fourth quarter of the WT game and won't start today against the Texans. However, he could be available to play and warmed up before the game zipping balls around the field like normal.

We'll see where the road takes us today as a win today helps keep the undefeated streak alive and keeps the Wildcats chances for its first Lone Star Conference title since 2002.

They honored the 1973 national championship football team, the 1984 track and field team as well as the four individuals who were inducted into the ACU Atheletics Hall of Fame last night.

Jerry Dyes, Linda Evans, Michelle King and former Wildcat quarterback Rex Lamberti were inducted last night.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Video Highlights from ACU v WT; Notes and Audio Blogs

Brandon Tripp of the ACU Optimist traveled to Canyon and provided some video highlights and reporting from the Wildcats' big win over WTAMU Saturday. Check out the YouTube video below:


Week 8 Football Notes
Week 8 Women's Soccer Notes
Cross Country Notes

Audio Blog:

Chris Thomsen recaps WT and previews Tarleton State

I'm a little behind on galleries if you haven't noticed, Once this week is over, I should be able to put a few more up. Thanks for checking back with us so often, if you haven't noticed, we've passed the 10,000 visits mark!!!! You're welcome to let us know what you think of the blog so far, and if there's anything else you'd like to see, the email for this blog is acusports@gmail.com.

Little tidbits:
• Bernard Scott was LSC South Division Offensive Player of the week and National DII Player of the Week
• Jennie Hutt was LSC South Division Offensive Player of the Week for volleyball
• Crissy Lawson was LSC Goal Keeper of the Week for soccer

Keep it up Wildcats, what a fall!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Game time is almost here ...

There's not a bigger game in NCAA Division II football this weekend than the one that kicks off in about 40 minutes.

#3 ACU at #4 West Texas A&M from Kimbrough Stadium in Canyon.

All the talking has stopped and shortly we're going to find out which team has the best squad (at least for this week) in the Lone Star Conference.

Can the Buffs fight off the Wildcats and put themselves on track for a fourth straight conference championship?

Has ACU's defensive improvement given it the strength it needs to finally push past the Buffs and the rest of the league and win its first conference football championship since 1977?

Can the Wildcats do anything to stop the the Buffs' offense?

How will the Buffs cope with the firm of Scott, Malone, Knox and Gates?

The west stands (home side) are almost full and the east side is filling up with folks still streaming in and traffic backed up on I-27 coming into the stadium.

Should be a lot of fun. Make sure you tune in to KYYW 1470 AM for the play-by-play, or on TV in Abilene on KTAB. Game can also be seen and heard on www.acusports.com.


Friday, October 17, 2008

Wildcat soccer knocks off second-place UCO Bronchos; Women's Basketball Podcasts

The ACU Wildcats defense had another stout effort and handed Central Oklahoma only its second LSC loss of the season with a 1-0 victory Friday afternoon at the ACU Soccer Field.

Read the Release

Catch up with head women's basketball coach Shawna Lavender as she talks about the first day of practice and runs through the entire Wildcat roster.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Notes from around the Wildcat Den

Lots of things to cover. What an incredibly busy week here on the hill! There are two home soccer matches this weekend, both basketball teams began 'official' practice today, cross country, golf finished their fall season, tennis, and volleyball are all active ... and oh yeah, possibly the best two teams in NCAA Division II are squaring off in Canyon as the No. 3-ranked Wildcats will face the No. 4-ranked West Texas A&M Buffaloes in front of an anticipated crowd of more than 20,000 fans.

First, I know that Lance has already posted an official release, but go to ESPN.com, click on the College football tab and on the bottom right-hand corner of the page there is a mug shot of Bruce Feldman promoting his blog. The title tonight is "The return of Billy Don Malone."

Don't let the middle name confuse you, it's our boy. I would give you the link, but I want you to do a little work to get to it.

Secondly, ACU is chartering two buses to Canyon Saturday morning for ACU fans to go to the game. All Wildcat fans have to do is pay for the ticket to the game and their own food. In response to West Texas A&M's "Maroon Out" campaign for Saturday's game, the ACU Athletic department is encouraging Wildcat fans to wear purple to show our own unified support of the team.

I would hope that there will be a concerted effort for fans to show up for one of the biggest games in the school's football history, however, if you aren't unable to make it, luckily you can show your support by viewing the game on local TV on KTAB (Channel 10 for SuddenLink; Channel 32 for rabbit ears)

I won't talk much about the hype of the football game, you can get an insight of that by:

Reading the game notes, &
Listening to a podcast with head coach Chris Thomsen (10:10)

Although most of the fall sports are smack in the middle of their regular seasons, it is always an exciting time on Oct. 15 when the basketball teams take the floor officially. Both head coach Jason Copeland and Shawna Lavender were at ACU's Athletics Media Luncheon this afternoon talking about the upcoming season.

The Wildcat men are picked to finish third in the LSC South after their first LSC postseason appearance in a decade last season. The Wildcat women are picked to finish second in the LSC South after finishing with an 11-3 mark in league play and an LSC Tournament win in the quarterfinals.

Below are pictures of both Copeland and Lavender in action today in the first official practice of the 2008-09 season.

You'll get a chance to hear a podcast from both Lavender and Copeland at some point this week, so check back on the blog to hear from them. Lavender's would have been available today, however, we had technical difficulties and lost the interview.

I had a chance to catch up with head soccer coach Casey Wilson today. Here are his comments on the upcoming weekend in which the team plays host to two conference matches. The Wildcats need to finish in the top six in the LSC to make the postseason in only the program's second year of existence.

The Wildcats are currently 1-2-1 in conference play and are standing seventh. ACU plays Central Oklahoma Friday at 4 p.m.; the Bronchos are 3-1 in league play and are second in the LSC behind WTAMU. Sunday, Southwestern comes to town at 2 p.m. and are 0-4 in conference play.

Read this week's soccer preview

Head coach Kellen Mock and the volleyball team will try and get back on the winning track after dropping its only match last week to Angelo State. The Rambelles basically dominated the Wildcats despite ACU winning the first set; ASU took the final three sets.

Read this week's volleyball preview

The tennis team will be sending three players to compete for individual ITA Championships in Mobile, Ala. this weekend.

Read the ITA National Championship Preview

The men's golf team wrapped up its non-traditional fall season by finishing fourth at the Territory Classic in Oklahoma.

Read about the team's final fall tournament

That'll do it for this week's "Around the Wildcat Den" Check back for audio blogs with the basketball team, and we hope to see you in Canyon!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Combined Blog Post from ACU FB game vs. Angelo State

Wildcats move to 6-0
Like much of us thought - ASU's defense, though more stout than other LSC teams in the league hadn't faced the offensive firepower of the Wildcats.

Knox's record-setting night and Malone's 5TD passes were the highlight.

Next up, is the biggest game of the season as the Wildcats head to Canyon to face No. 4-ranked West Texas A&M.


Wildcats 51 ASU 7

Knox sets school record, ties LSC record and another school record
Knox caught his fourth touchdown pass of the night on a drag rout and scored from 29 yards out.

The senior has six receptions for 232 yards and four touchdowns.

The 232 yards passes REggie McGowan's 1985 mark of 228 yards on nine catches. McGowan accomplished that feat against Stephen F. Austin.

Scooter Phillips also had a record-breaking game in 1985 against Northern Colorado when he caught four touchdown passes. The LSC record is four touchdown passes caught, Knox did it for the ninth time in conference history. And .... he did it in three quarters - the big three (Malone, Knox, Scott) are likely done for the night.

Adams' PAT was good, Wildcats 51 Rams 7

The Rams are driving as the buzzer sounded for the end of the third quarter.
Posted by Kyle Robarts at 9:05 PM 0 comments

80-yard return squandered by Rams
Matt Adams drug down Garrett Tidwell after an 80-yard kickoff return.

However, Aston Whiteside blocked Dylan Wiggs' first career field goal attempt from 30 yards out.

A few plays later, Malone got his 20th touchdown pass to Johhny Knox from 47 yards out. Knox did most of the work on the play reversing field for his third score of the game. It also gave him 203 yards, which is a career high. Previously he had 183 yards a high against WTAMU in 2007. Knox also scored three touchdowns against Mesa State in the NCAA Playoffs.

Malone is now over the 10,500 yard mark passing for his career.

Adams' PAT was blocked, making it just the second extra point missed in 2008.

Wildcats 44 Rams 7

Five-Straight Weeks with a defensive touchdown
Quarterback Will Mezger threw a pass of the hands of Jeremy Hill, the ball popped up in the air and Quinton Wilson took it back for a 56-yard inteception return. It was Quinton Wilson's first interception of the 2008 season.

Adams' PAT is good.

This makes the fifth-straight games for the No. 3 Wildcats to have a defensive score. The season-opener against Northwest Missouri State was the only game we didn't have a defensive score.

The marks 42 points this season for the 2008 defense after the 2007 defensive unit didn't score.

Wildcats 38 Rams 7

First Half Numbers
Malone; 9-16-1, 222 yards, 3 TD
Scott; 17-55, 1 TD
Knox; 4-156, 2 TD

Team Offense:

ACU 33-277
ASU 29-111

Scoring Summary

1st - 13:49 - ACU - Knox 59 yd pass from Malone (Adams Kick) 7-0
02:24 - ACU - Knox 60 yd pass from Malone (Adams Kick) 14-0
2nd - 09:30 - ACU - Scott 1 yd run (Adams Kick) 21-0
09:12 - ASU - Daniel Thomas 87 yd run (Wiggs Kick) 21-7
08:05 - ACU - Adams 39 yd field goal - 24-7
00:45 - ACU - Holloway 5 yd pass from Malone (Adams Kick) 31-7

Reminiscent of Super Bowl 27
Willis Hogan got an interception for the Wildcats and appeared to be taking it to the house, however, Sam Tindol smacked it out from behind at the 11-yard line and the ball went out of the endzone for an ASU touchback. However, Hogan wasn't showboating like Lett did when Bebe knocked it out of his hands, Tindol just simply knocked it out as Hogan attempted to score.

No damage done, the Rams couldn't muster up and offensive drive thanks to a tackle for loss and a sack. After a punt, the Wildcats are driving from the ASU 6-yard line.

Billy Malone found Kendrick Holloway in the endzone for his third touchdown of the night for his 19th of the season.

Adams' PAT is good and the Wildcats lead 30-7 with 45 seconds remaining in the half.

Adams knocks one through
Matt Adams hit a 39-yard field goal to put the Wildcats up 24-7.

This season he's 38-39 on extra points and 5-6 on field goals to give the senior kicker 53 points on the season.

ACU gave up a 87-yard touchdown run to Daniel Thomas; after Wiggs' extra-point the score is ACU 21, ASU 7.

Before Thomas' run, the longest play that the Wildcat defense had allowed was 32 yards.

ACU's Kendrick Holloway fields the kickoff at the 45-yard line and returned it for 28 yards with 9:05 left in the second quarter.

ACU 14 plays 173 yards
ASU 13 plays 3 yards

ASU held Eastern New Mexico to 172 yards for the entire game last week, however, the Wildcats exceeded that in the first quarter.

Drew Cufee got his first pick of the season off ASU backup quarterback Michael Cochran. He had a nice return of 21 yards after breaking a tackle.

The Wildcats are threatening again in their first trip to the redzone. Malone just over threw a wide open Knox, which could have been the duo's third hook up of the game.

Scott just ran the ball to the 2-yard line, had a facemask call, so it's first and goal from the 1-yard line.

Rams stuff Scott on the 1-yard line to bring up second down. ASU answers again as the Wildcats no-huddle with the same play but the Rams are tough again. Third and 1, but this one didn't matter, Scott wouldn't be denied his 11 rushing touchdown of the season.

Adams' PAT is good

Wildcats 21 Rams 0

Malone to Knox, revisited
Billy Don hit Knox on a comeback route at about the ASU 35-yard line, Knox then had open field, got a great block from Tyjuan Manning and scampered in for a 60-yard score. That gives Knox four touchdowns on the year, and three receptions for 135 yards and two scores with still 2:24 remaining in the first quarter.

Adams PAT good

Wildcats 14 Rams 0

Punt, Punt, Pick
Dylan Wiggs punted for ASU and it was downed at the 1-yard line. ACU went three-and-out and punted to the 36 yard line; the Wildcat defense then forced the Rams to turn the ball over on downs.

However, on the second play of the drive, ASU's Ian Ritchie picked off an attempted screen pass from Malone to Scott, which the Wildcats ran several times last week against ECU. ACU went four wide and sent the receivers deep; last week Scott had 173 yards receiving often thanks to the screen play. However, the Rams' coaching staff did its homework.

Kobey Lewis just made his first play at Shotwell Stadium with a carry for five yards. Lewis was a standout running back for Abilene High School, went to Texas Tech for two seasons where he was the starter in 2007 for head coach Mike Leach.

The Wildcats just forced another punt after the interception, but it was another solid special teams effort for Wiggs and the ASU Rams downed the ball at the ACU 3-yard line.
Posted by Kyle Robarts at 7:16 PM 0 comments

Three plays, 17th touchdown pass for Malone
'Cats got the kickoff, one rush by Bernard, one pass from Malone to Morris, then a 59-yard strike from Billy to Johnny Knox who burned the Ram secondary - beautiful throw into that 17 MPH wind I was talking about earlier. Adams PAT good.

Wildcats 7 Rams 0 (1st Quarter 13:49)

Pre-Game Football Thoughts
I've noticed it seems that the wind hasn't been blowing at all in Abilene except for on game days for ACU football. It hasn't seemed to affect them as the Wildcats have outscored their two opponents at home (A&M-Commerce, East Central) 111-21 in two games. However, I think it would be nice to know what our air attack would be capable of with just a light wind.

A lot of talk has been made about the Angelo State defense thus far. THey are reanked second in total defense in the LSC behind us, however, I'm having trouble assuming that this will be a tougher game than the weeks before this season. Only because, Other than Texas State (NCAA Division I-AA) Angelo's opponents this year, when not playing the Rams haven't tallied an offensive total higher than 380 yards in a game. This leads me to believe, that though their LSC ranking is high on the defensive end, I don't believe that they've faced the caliber of opponents so far that they're about to see tonight.

In fact I can almost guarantee it, we average 540 yards per game, 54 points a game which equals a point for every 10 yards of offense (Thanks Lance).

The Big Purple is playing Grandioso right now with 12 minutes left on the scoreboard.

Remember to email Grant at Chuck if you have any questions or comments while listening to the radio broadcats. Remember, if you're at home, you can tune to KRBC TV (NBC Affiliate, Channel 5 with SuddenLink and Channel 9 with Rabbit Ears). If you want to listen to Grant and Chuck, tune in to 1440 AM KYYW.

Friday, October 10, 2008

You Tube of Danieal

If you look at this clip, it's several highlights of Danieal Manning's top plays at ACU. If you go to the 1:04 mark of the video, it is the play I mentioned in the blog two days ago.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Combined Blog Post from ACU vs. ASU VB match

Wildcats fall to 2-3 in LSC play

They finished strong all night and the Rambelles walk away with a 3-1 victory over ACU after the Wildcats took the first set.

Abilene Christian falls to 14-7 overall and 2-3 in the LSC. The loss snaps a 10-match win streak that the Wildcats had over the Rambelles.

I'll post the game story shortly and combine the blogs into one.

Backs against the wall

Trailing 20-13 in the fourth set, Mock has taken a timeout to try and rally the Wildcats to force a fifth and deciding set. Since getting within three points at 13-10, the Rambelles have outscored ACU 10-3.

Libero swap

After starting in a 6-1 hole, Mock subbed in freshman Kelsie Edwards for Amy Wilson at the libero spot. The adjustment has seemed to pay off so far as the wildcats are on a 9-6 run trailing 13-10.

Angelo takes set three

After knotting the score at 15, the Rambelles outscored ACU 10-4 to close the third set and take a 2-1 lead in the match. The Wildcats are now in danger of losing to ASU for the first time since Oct. 1, 2002.

ACU managed to hit .000 in the third set with 10 kills and 10 errors on 30 attacks. The Rambelles, however, hit .240. It was a close set until the end, the score was tied nine times with four lead changes early, however, the Rembelles are showing their stamina at the end of sets and putting ACU away.

ASU's Alaina Sivells had five kills on eight attacks in the third set and leads all players with 10. Duncan has nine and ACU's Hutt has nine.

Golden sat the third set with seven kills and Curry came in, however, the junior had no kills and two errors on six attacks. Golden is on the floor in the fourth set.

As I finish this post, Angelo State is up 6-1 in the fourth set.

Cats in trouble in set three

Mock has just taken another timeout, the lead has changed and tied several times this set, but ASU just scored three straight points to break a 15-15 tie. Angelo appears to have the ability to finish strong tonight.

Sometimes being right is no fun

The momentum did carry over into set two as the Rambelles evened the match with a 25-21 win in set two. The lead changed twice in the match after ACU took the early lead; The Wildcats went up 16-15, however, ASU countered by outscoring the Wildcats 10-5 in the final 15 points of the set.

While the NCAA reduced the the point total of each set to 25 rather than 30, they did find a way to extend matches by having a 10-minute intermission after set two in conference matches. If you didn't have the intermission, often times a three-set match could be over in under an hour.

Wildcat freshmen Hutt and Golden have seven kills apiece and ASU's Duncan leads the match with a .400 hitting percentage and seven kills. Angelo hit .314 in the second set, leaving ACU with a narrow edge in that category through both sets at .176 to the Rambelles' .160.

Kellen's turn ...

Coach Mock called a timeout as Angelo took their first lead of the match at 12-11. The Rambelles' Kimber Duncan had an impressive kill that bounced off the head of one of ACU's players, which fired up the ASU student section that is showing great support in both numbers and vocally.

Youth movement

Six players are on the floor right now, three freshman, two sophomores and a junior. Whatever the outcome of 2008, ACU has a lot to look forward to as these players continue to play together and develop a chemistry.

Thanks to more notes from ASU's Ronn, I now know that Angelo has won only match this season after falling in the first set. As I finish this post, ACU leads set two 4-2.

'Cats win set one but ...

The momentum could be shifting ... The Wildcats were up 23-11 before the Rambelles stormed back to score 10 of the final 12 points of the set. After a quick start, we could be in for a much tougher second set.

Angelo only hit .025 in the first set, but the Wildcats did all they could to help with five serve receiving errors. ACU wasn't exactly at its best offensively hitting .167 but Golden and Hutt had five and three kills respectively.

First timeout, Wildcats' underclassmen off to hot start

Angelo called a timeout after Britni Golden knocked in her third kill of the set to put ACU up 14-6. Golden got her first LSC start of her career (and as I was typing put down her fourth kill) tonight and she has responded in place of Erin Curry. Freshman Jennie Hutt has a pair of kills and Shawna Hines has been in on three blocks already.

It's been a long time since I've been to the Junell Center in San Angelo. I'd forgotten how nice the place is. The $20 million dollar complex seats 6,500 and features a 9 X 12 video board.

Tonight's match features two Lone Star Conference teams with 2-2 records. ACU has won 10-straight over the Rambelles and ASU hasn't beaten ACU since the 2002 season when head coach Kellen Mock was a sophomore for the Wildcats. Thanks to Ronn, Angelo's assistant SID, I now know that as a player and a coach Mock is 11-2 all-time against the Rambelles.

Talking with a lot of the players and Mock before the match - the Wildcats are excited about the opportunity to put a win on the board, but also this weekend will be the first weekend they've had off since the long journey of the season began Aug. 15.

Updates throughout the match to come ...

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Memories of No. 11

I can't think about an ACU football game against Angelo State without thinking about the Wildcats' unbelievable comeback victory over the Rams in 2004. That year, Danieal Manning completely altered the offensive and special teams schemes of Wildcat opponents all year.

Punters would rarely punt to him, quarterbacks wouldn't consider throwing to his side of the field and ground attacks usually went to the side opposite of the all-American safety. It didn't stop him from making plays.

ACU was down 25-15 with six minutes to play at Shotwell Oct. 10, 2004. Manning had already returned a punt for a touchdown in the first half prompting the Rams punt the ball out of bounds every time after. However, on a fourth down with six minutes remaining, head coach Gary Gaines stuck Dawon Gentry and Manning deep to return.

Gentry fielded the punt and appeared the he would run a reverse to Manning to get the spectacular returner the ball, however, he faked the pitch and proceeded to scamper in for a 73-yard score. Then on the ensuing possession, the Rams tried to run out the clock. However, on a 3rd-and-one Manning stripped the ball from ASU's running back, scooped the ball up and scored his second touchdown of the day to seal a 29-25 victory over the Rams.

One of the many spectacular performances from the current Chicago Bear. Manning had early success with the Bears and started in the Super Bowl in 2006 at free safety for Chicago in their loss to Indianapolis. He split time at corner and free safety last season, and this season he's Chicago's nickel back and second team kick returner.

A week ago he sacked future hall-of-famer Donovan McNabb on Sunday night football (pictured). I found this article interesting (Chicago Tribune), especially since he expressed his faith in an interview about his reduced role with the team.

Here is one of his quotes:

"My faith, my hard work, and just trying to be the ballplayer that I am, I let that all take care of itself," Manning said. "God's always going to make a way for me, regardless. I just have to keep putting the work in."

When watching Manning at ACU, he seemed to be a man among boys playing on the field. To me he made more impact than any Wildcat I've seen since I've moved here in 1990. I've seen a lot of football games since then. With the 2008 Wildcats in action, it could be aruged that any number of these No. 3-ranked ACU players make that kind of impact. Namely Bernard Scott, Billy Malone, and Johnny Knox. I think for me its hard to make the comparison because the 2008 team makes it seem so easy. I was away from ACU during the 2006 and 2007 seasons working at McMurry - I kept up with the Wildcats through reading and saw several times where Scott came up huge, but didn't witness it personally.

On the other hand, Manning and Gaines' Wildcats were often in a struggle just to win ball games, and Manning seemed to make huge plays when the spotlight was on.

I'm sure that I'll see those opportunities in the future for the "Big Three" in the coming weeks when the competition will undoubtedly get tougher (Angelo, Tarleton, Kingsville, Midwestern, WTAMU).

This week's game notes - Thomsen audio blog

Interview with head football coach Chris Thomsen previewing Angelo State and reviewing the East Central Game (10:32)

Week 6 Football Notes
Week 7 Volleyball Notes
Week 6 Women's Soccer Notes

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

This and that about ACU football ...

Most of you have probably seen the first regional rankings for football, the one that has ACU planted at No. 2 behind No. 1 West Texas A&M in the Super Region Four rankings.

The first thing that hits me is this: Why in the world would the NCAA change the names of the regions from Northeast, Southeast, Southwest and Northwest to Super Region One, Super Region Two, Super Region Three and Super Region Four? Stupid if anybody's asking, and they're not.

But wasn't it easy to keep up with the regions by the name of the country they were in. Trying to other regions now will be a little bit tougher. This is a little bit reminiscent of the NCAA going to the "pod system" a few years ago for the NCAA Tournament and re-naming each bracket by the city where that region's final would be played.

The second thing that hits me is that ACU is in good shape in the first poll. Of course head coach Chris Thomsen and the Wildcats like to be No. 1 in the region, but realistically they're in much better shape in the poll than in either of the two prevoious seaons in which they ended up making the playoffs.

In 2006 the Wildcats were ranked No. 5 in the first regional poll of the season, and last year they were ranked No. 8 in the first regional poll.

West Texas A&M probably out-pointed the Wildcats because they have three wins over teams that not only have winning records (Mesa State, Texas A&M-Kingsville and Midwestern State), but that are all ranked in the top eight in regional polls. Midwestern State (4-1) is ranked No. 6 in Super Region Four, while Kingsville is 4-2 and ranked eighth in the region. Mesa State, meanwhile, is 4-2 and ranked No. 8 in Super Region Three.

The Wildcats, meanwhile, have only one win over a team with a winning record, although that one win was over a Northwest Missouri State that is ranked No. 3 in Super Region Four behind WTAM and ACU. The Bearcats have been on a serious roll since the season-opening loss to ACU and last week beat Pitt State, 35-10, in their annual game at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City.

ACU has the toughest closing stretch of any team in the region, however, with games against Angelo State (Oct. 11), at West Texas A&M (Oct. 18), vs. Tarleton State (Oct. 25), a huge game at Kingsville (Nov. 1) and the regular-season finale against what could be a Midwestern State desparate for a win to get into the playoffs on Nov. 8.

A lot of things can happen between now and Nov. 9 when the playoff pairings are announced, but it comes down to this for the Wildcats: they probably can't afford more than two losses in their last five games in order to reach the playoffs, and even that might be one too many. On the flip side, if the Wildcats can win out they'll earn the region's No. 1 seed and play at home until at least the semifinals where they would face the winner of the extremely tough Super Region Two, which features Delta State, Valdosta State and North Alabama.

But like I said, there's a ton of football -- against great opponents and in some tough environments -- to look too far down the road. Right now everyone outside the program is talking about next week's showdown with West Texas A&M, but I know head coach Chris Thomsen and his team are focused on Angelo State and only on Angelo State.

* The Wildcats' next two games will be broadcast locally, thanks to ACU's partnership with KRBC/KTAB-TV.

This Saturday, ACU will host Angelo State at 7 p.m. at Shotwell Stadium, and that game will be broadcast live on KRBC-TV with Al Pickett doing the play-by-play and KSAN-TV sports director Randy Ward doing the color commentary.

Then the Wildcats' Oct. 18 showdown against West Texas A&M will be broadcast live on KTAB-TV at 6 p.m. Details about production and commentators for that game will be released at a later date.

The last time ACU was on local televsion was last Nov. 17 when the Wildcats blew out Mesa State (Colo.), 56-12, in the first round of the NCAA Division II playoffs at Shotwell Stadium.

* The ACU athletics department has announced that Saturday night's game against Angelo State at Shotwell Stadium will be part of the department's "Dollar Night" promotion.

ACU, ranked No. 4 in the nation and No. 2 in the region, is 5-0 overall, 4-0 in the Lone Star Conference and 1-0 in the LSC South Division. Angelo State, meanwhile, is 3-3 overall, 3-1 in the LSC and 1-1 in the LSC South. Kickoff at Shotwell Stadium is set for 7 p.m.

ACU director of athletics Jared Mosley announced Monday afternoon that all fans who attend the Wylie-Brownwood game at Wylie or the Cooper-Hereford game on Friday at Shotwell Stadium or the Abilene High-Weatherford game on Saturday afternoon can return to Shotwell Stadium on Saturday night and gain admission to the ACU-Angelo game for $1 as long as they still have their ticket stub from the high school game they attended. All Wylie and Abilene school district, Hendrick Medical Center and Abilene Regional Medical Center employees with proper identification will also be admitted into the ACU game for $1.

* In case you missed it, Texas A&M-Kingsville knocked off Tarleton State, 27-16, Saturday night in Stephenville. The Javelinas have been road warriors this season with all four of their wins coming on the road. Because of Hurricane Ike's predicted landfall near Corpus Christi (which is some 40 miles from Kingsville), the Javelinas lost a home game this year.

Don't sleep on the Javelinas. Second-year head coach Bo Atterberry has a playmaker at quarterback in Billy "The Kid" Garza, while running back Billy Martin had a big game against the Texans. Linebacker Mike Martinez leads a salty defense that could have the Javelinas primed to make a playoff run after a few down years in south Texas.

Regardless of what happens in Canyon on Oct. 18 between ACU and West Texas A&M, the Wildcats' Nov. 1 game at Kingsville will be huge. The Javelinas could be trying to earn a playoff spot, and with West Texas A&M and Tarleton State the two weeks before, the Wildcats could either be playing for a conference championship ... or to keep their season alive.

* Remember to check out this week's ACU football notes when they're posted Wednesday afternoon. Did a little bit of digging through the drive charts for both the ACU offense and defense this season and came up with some pretty interesting numbers for both.

* Just a reminder to those of you who haven't yet taken the opportunity to see the Wildcats play in person: you've only got three guaranteed home games left to see the best team this program has produced in years strut their stuff. It could be years before Abilene sees the likes of Billy Malone, Bernard Scott, Johnny Knox and Edmund Gates on the field at the same time and performing at such a high level.