The only things warmer than Memorial Stadium in Stephenville, Texas, tonight are the smoker pits at the Hard Eight Barbeque. And hopefully, the Wildcats.
One hundred degree temperatures are still the norm as the hottest summer on record in Texas continues for ACU's first game of the 2011 season, a rematch of ACU and one of its chief rivals, Tarleton State University.
ACU handed a 65-3 beatdown to the Texans last fall in Shotwell Stadium, but the last time the Wildcats were in Stephenville (2009), they lost a bitter 13-6 game on a late long TD pass.
Junior quarterback Mitchell Gale was just a freshman then, and learning the ropes of leading a college football offense. He enters this game as one of the best quarterbacks in the nation, after a 2010 season that saw him become a finalist for the Harlon Hill Trophy, the NCAA Division II version of the Heisman Trophy. Throwing 38 touchdowns and only three interceptions in a 11-1 season will do that for you.
Tape your ankles and let's see what 2011 has in store for another promising Wildcat club, ranked either No. 3 or No. 4 in the nation, depending on which preseason poll you favor.