With 2:21 left before the half, QB Mitchell Gale found TE Ben Gibbs over the middle, and the sophomore from Abilene rumbled 36 yards for a TD. Lineberry's PAT increased ACU's lead to 24-3.
A 31-yard field goal from Lineberry made the score 27-3 with 40 seconds left in the half.
Defensively, junior DT Donald Moore had two sacks, and senior LB Kevin Washington led the Wildcats with 10 tackles and one sack. Junior DB Darien Williams had six tackles. DE Aston Whiteside was making offensive life miserable for the Texans, and although he only had two tackles, his big interception return for a TD in the first quarter was a game-changer for ACU.
Gale was 13 of 23 for 212 yards in the half, and one TD. Senior WR Edmund Gates caught four passes for a team-leading 78 yards, 52 of them on a sterling play in the second quarter that helped set up ACU's second TD. Cantu-Harkless led ACU's rushers with six carries for 22 yards.
ACU led TSU in total yards, 239-148, but the Texans had the edge in first downs, 12-11. TSU allowed 27 yards on the ground to ACU (on seven rushing attempts), while ACU limited the Texans to 44. Time of possession went to TSU (20:10) over the Wildcats (9:50).