ACU Football Prep


The Bearkats have fully recovered from a rough start to the season and are back on track with a 3-2 record.

They also boast a 3-1 conference record, which puts them 3rd in the conference.

After handily downing Incarnate Word 59-7, The Bearkats look to continue their winning ways against a team that is struggling but won’t go down without a fight in the ACU Wildcats.

SHSU had no trouble against the UIW Cardinals totaling 596 yards on offense and only allowing 177 on defense. That is the least yardage allowed by the Bearkat defense this season.

The defense also only allowed an average of less than three yards a play.

Along with three interceptions and a sack, this is the best defensive performance the Bearkats have put together all season.

“I’m really proud of the defense,” Keeler said. “They played really well tonight. They filled their lanes, they didn’t allow the big plays, and they looked good.”

One of the three interceptions was returned 60 yards by freshman linebacker Collins Okatcha for a touchdown.

“I didn’t even know I’d caught it to be honest,” Collins said. “I deflected it off of the quarterback’s helmet and I looked down and it was in my hands. I saw my teammates running down the field blocking, so I got behind them and got in the end zone.”

The Bearkat defense needs to look to continue this trend against an ACU team with a feast or famine offense.

When the wildcat offense is on, Parker McKenzie, De’Andre Brown and Jonathan Epps can beat anybody.

“McKenzie is athletic,” Keeler said. “He is a much better runner than you might think. He will lull you to sleep, and then bust a big one on you with his legs.”

McKenzie will be looking to get his offense back on track after a 44-28 loss against Lamar last weekend.

The Bearkat offense also played very well, scoring 8 times last weekend.

The offense got the run game going early and never stopped with both Remus Bulmer and Cory Avery totaling over 90 yards on the ground.

Add in great runs from a host of other Bearkats and you have the 293 yard ground performance from the team.

“We have a unique running back group,” Avery said. “Everybody works hard every day, and brings something special to the group.”

If the running backs can do that again, Coach Keeler will be very pleased.

“We have to get the run game going,” Keeler said. “It is a huge part of the offense. It sets up the deep ball, and takes the pressure off of our quarterbacks.”

The run game certainly set up the deep ball against UIW with three Bearkat touchdowns coming from over 30 yards out.

“Yeah we worked on those long balls,” Keeler said. “Coach Longo took all the receivers out with the jug machine, and they practiced those long balls last week.”

Those are both things the Bearkat offense should look to continue against an ACU defense that gave up 521 yards last weekend.

“We have to be careful,” Keeler said. “They are a very good team at home, and it is an environment our guys need to be careful of. It is a high school stadium, and it will be the quietest stadium we’ve played in all year.”

The key to the game is the line of scrimmage.

If the Bearkats’ lines can dominate the Wildcats offensive and defensive lines, the Bearkats will win the game.

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