Small College Preview: SHSU vs. ACU, TLU vs. UMHB highlights action-packed weekend

Texas Lutheran Football (Photo by Russell Wilburn)

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GAME: Sam Houston State (5-4, 4-2) at Abilene Christian (5-4, 4-3)

WHEN: Saturday at 3 p.m. at Anthony Field at Wildcat Stadium in Abilene, Texas. The game will be broadcast on ESPN+.

WHY IT MATTERS: While the FCS playoffs do not begin for another four weeks, every conference game for both of these teams is a playoff game. Both teams are coming off a bye week which came at a good time for the Kats.

“We’ve had five starting quarterbacks and all five have been injured and we lost both of our starting cornerbacks in our last game,” SHSU head coach K.C. Keeler.

ACU presents a challenge for the Kats defense with both Luke Anthony and Sema’J Davis playing quarterback in a system that works for the Wildcats.

“I’m really big on recruiting unselfish guys that are humble and hungry,” ACU head coach Adam Dorrell said. “To do it you have to have two kids that aren’t worried about their statistics and Luke and Sema’J both are super unselfish kids.”

“They play a wildcat with a great athlete that makes you commit an extra guy in the box, and he can throw the ball,” Keeler said. “They are as well-coached of an offensive line as there is in the country and they give you some headaches.”

The Wildcats will need to pay attention to where Nathan Stewart lines up for the Kats.

“You have to know where he is on the field,” Dorrell said. “He’s so dynamic whether he’s running reverses, fly sweeps, screens or just taking off down the field on a fly route.”

INSIDE THE STATS: SHSU coach believes this is the best defense he has ever coached, and the advanced stats back up his claim as the Bearkats are only allowing 0.236 Points Per Play and forcing an incredible 18.5 yards per point.

“The challenge is their defense. Their defense is really good and they’re very athletic on their defensive line,” Dorrell said. “They don’t have to blitz to get pressure and they’re able to play a lot of bump man coverage so that’s a big challenge for us.”

COMPUTER PREDICTION: Sam Houston State 29, Abilene Christian 28

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