MSU got on the scoreboard with 10:16 remaining when PK Jose Martinez kicked a 41-yard field goal.
ACU increased its lead to 14-3 when Gale found a wide-open WR Edmund Gates in the end zone for an 11-yard TD pass with 1:49 left, and Lineberry kicked his second PAT of the game.
The Mustangs tacked on another score as time expired in the first half when Martinez kicked his second field goal, this time a 31-yarder to cut the ACU lead to 14-6.
After a half of play, ACU also maintained leads over MSU in first downs (162 to 121), total offense (234 to 192), passing (162 t0 121), rushing (72-71) and possession time (18:07 to 11:53). Gale completed 17 of 22 passes for 162 yards and two TDs. RB Daryl Richardson was the Wildcats' leading rusher with 41 yards on 7 carries, and Gates had six catches for 65 yards and a TD.