Freshman LB Chris Jones recovered a fumble by Tarleton on the opening kickoff return, giving the Wildcats the ball on the Texan 18-yard line. Four plays later, sophomore PK Morgan Lineberry kicked a 38-yard field goal at 13:20 to give ACU the opening lead, 3-0.
On TSU's next possession, the Texans moved the ball down the field with uncharacteristic ease on the Wildcats, advancing as far as the ACU 2-yard line on a pass interference penalty, but the Wildcat defense held, forcing fourth down. Kevin Washington made two critical stops on the defensive stand, including a sack. Tarleton PK Jerry Owens kicked a 29-yard field goal to knot the score at 3-3 with 7:17 left.
ACU junior DE Aston Whiteside tipped a pass from TSU QB Nick Stephens in the Texan backfield, and returned the interception 58 yards for a TD. Lineberry's PAT made the score 10-3 with 1:52 left.