#1 Abilene Christian (8-0) at #3 Texas A&M-Kingsville (6-2)
How many teams can take on the #16 team in the nation without their All-American, record setting quarterback and win by a 37-17 margin? That's exactly what Abilene Christian did last week as they hosted Tarleton State. The defense limited the Tarleton rushing attack to just 75 yds (vs. 205 coming into the game), and kept the Texans from mounting consitent drives (both TSU touchdowns came after ACU turnovers inside the ACU 30). During one stretch in the third quarter and ACU ahead just 14-10, the Wildcat defense limited the Texans to just 9 plays in four possessions for negative yardage and stretched the lead to 31-10. The offense obviously wasn't as smooth as usual, but if 37 points is going to be your season low in scoring, you're still doing pretty good. Zach Stewart made is first collegiate start and was an effective 21-27 for 197 yds and 2 TDs. Bernard Scott took up the slack, carrying the ball 27 times for 259 yds and 3 TDs. He now has 1,378 yds rushing and 595 yds receiving (a 246.6 avg. for all-purpose yds, more than 100 yds per game more than LSC #2 Travis Evans) and has scored a combined 21 TDs.
TAMK Game Notes
At the other end of the spectrum, Texas A&M Kingsville struggled mightily at ENMU and nearly fell victim to the Blackwater Draw mystique. The Javelinas turned the ball over to the Greyhounds on their own 11 on a bad snap to the punter (just 2 minutes into the game), fumbled the ball on their own 8, and had a pass picked off, setting ENMU up inside the TAMK 20. But the mojo worked their way too, as Jabir Perkins returned another kickoff for a TD and picked off a pass and returned it to the ENMU 8, and Mardrick Johnson blocked a FG that would have tied the game. Any way that you look at it, it was an ugly win. Billy Garza set a team record for completed passes for a single game (28) and had 318 yds and 3 TDs passing. Jareko Taylor had 12 receptions (tied team record) for 158 yds and 2 TDs.
The Big Question for this game is whether or not Billy Malone will play. If he does, ACU is a big favorite - the team is just too cohesive and explosive with him at the helm. If he doesn't, ACU is still the favorite, but it puts more pressure on Bernard Scott. He proved last week that he can handle that additional burden. For the Javelinas to havea chance, they must cut down on the turnovers and play mistake-free ball - the level of the last two weeks just won't cut it. It's just too much to ask - ACU wins 42-24