Saturday, November 14, 2009

Lessons Learned: ACU vs. MSU (Playoffs)

  • Left for dead in the second half, ACU resurrected its offense late in this game – something it couldn't do last week – to prevail over Midwestern State, 24-21.
  • Redshirt freshman QB Mitchell Gale's confidence has to be soaring after throwing two late TD passes when the Wildcats' season looked to be nearing an end. The ACU offense was going nowhere until he hit Edmund Gates in the left corner of the end zone for a 16-yard TD pass and the lead with 1:47 left in Q3, and then found Kendrick Johnson on a pretty 41-yard catch and run TD pass play with 13:42 left in the final quarter.
  • Freshman placekicker Morgan Lineberry had a flawless afternoon, with 3 PATs and a 25-yard field goal with just under 10 minutes left that ended up providing the point differential in the win for ACU.
  • Can't blame MSU QB and national passing efficiency leader Zack Eskridge if he doesn't want to see ACU's defense again any time soon. The Wildcats sacked him eight more times today, bringing their 2-game total to 13. Eskridge hurt ACU with his savvy downfield running, but he couldn't escape the ferocious pass rush of ACU's linemen and linebackers. Kevin Washington had a monster game: 13 tackles (8 solo) and 2 sacks. DL Marvin Jones was dominant with 2 sacks and 6 tackles, as well.
  • There was a fine turnout of a couple thousand purple-shirted ACU fans. And a big thanks is due the Big Purple Band, which didn't march but provided a great lift to the Wildcats from their perch high in the Memorial Stadium stands.
  • Up next: a rematch in the Show-Me State with perennial national power Northwest Missouri State in a second-round playoff game next Saturday (tentatively at noon) in Maryville, Mo. NWMo has not lost a home game since the Wildcats rallied to beat them 44-27 in the 2008 season opener. This will be the second time this season ACU has played the Bearcats, having beat them in the season opener in Shotwell Stadium, 19-14.

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