Saturday, October 17, 2009

Lessons Learned: ACU vs. WTA&M

  • For the second straight week, Homecoming proves an inhospitable occasion for a nationally ranked LSC team playing at, well, home. Last week it was Angelo State, whose party was spoiled by the Wildcats. This week, West Texas A&M played the boorish guest, deflating ACU here in Shotwell before a crowd of 12,875. What's more, to Wildcat fans, the Buffs have become October's version of Jason Voorhees, the fictional hockey goalie mask-wearing bad guy from the Friday the 13th slasher film series who stalks folks around Halloween time. WT has now spoiled ACU's Homecoming on its last three regular-season trips to Abilene. Can the LSC please schedule someone else for a change?
  • For the second straight week, the nation's No. 1-ranked team tumbles. Last week, it was Grand Valley State, which hadn't lost a conference game in five years. This week, it was ACU. The University of North Alabama probably moves to No. 1 this week, and if head coach Terry Bowden's team is paying attention, it will play its opponent next week with a wary eye.
  • WT found a way for its passing game to become a ball-control offense, which is a good thing because the Buffs couldn't solve ACU's rush defense. WT ran 19 times for 25 yards.
  • Mitchell Gale struggled at QB for ACU (14 of 25 for 112 yards), but several dropped passes by his receivers didn't help matters. For all its speed at the WR position, the Wildcat had no downfield passing game, a credit to WT's defense.
  • If ACU wins out in its final three regular-season games, it should have a place in the national playoffs. But it has to take care of business during the two road games (Tarleton and Midwestern State) and one home game (Texas A&M-Kingsville) remaining.
  • The LSC South Division champion could have 1 or even 2 losses by the time November ends; the top teams are that close. 
  • How far ACU tumbles in the regional rankings is the big question right now. Grand Valley State did a free-fall to No. 9 in its region after losing last week to an unranked opponent. ACU plays in the nation's toughest region; eight of the top 10 teams in Super Regional 4 entered this weekend in the nation's top 20 … 4 of them in the top 10.

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