Two weeks ago SMU took Baylor’s best shot in their season opener, and were able to hang with them for a good portion of the game. This weekend the Mustangs look to give TCU similar problems, but the Horned Frogs have plans to put the Mustangs away early on their way to winning their fourth straight Iron Skillet.
DATE & TIME: Friday, September 19th @ 5:00 PM CST
WHERE: Amon G. Carter Stadium (Dallas, Texas)
FORECAST: Mostly Cloudy, Wind 6-8 mph, Game Temp 87°F
BETTING LINE: Baylor -37.5 (O/U 66.5)
SMU fans have to be pleased with the first two games of the Chad Morris era as they travel across the Metroplex to Amon G. Carter stadium to face TCU for their first game away from home this season. In their opening game SMU gave Baylor fits in the first half before Baylor’s talent and depth won out. In their second game that was marred by turnovers from both teams, SMU was able to pull away from North Texas with three touchdowns in the fourth quarter. In order to keep their program headed in the right direction the Mustangs will need a good showing in this game so they can pull in more highly sought after DFW recruits that they battle TCU for on a regular basis.
SMU Players To Watch
Matt Davis – Davis has opened the season as the Mustangs most potent weapon on offense leading the team in passing with 337 yards and rushing with 240 yards. He’s also contributed six touchdowns with four coming through the air and two on the ground. Davis should manage to give the TCU defense fits with his arm as well as his legs, perhaps he’ll provide the blue print for breaking down Gary Patterson’s defense.
Darrion Richardson – The leading DB on the Mustangs is also the teams leading tackler with 10 solo tackles and two assists. He has also contributed an interception, and a tackle for loss. It’s safe to say that SMU will need Richardson to lead their secondary to a great game if they’re going to stop TCU’s potent offense.
Courtland Sutton – The Mustangs receptions and receiving yardage leader will need to help QB Matt Davis to stretch the field against the Horned Frogs. Sutton has eight receptions for 147 yards and three touchdowns so far this season. His biggest score came on SMU’s first play of the season as he burned Baylor’s secondary for a 46 yard TD. The Mustangs will need more plays like his first TD of the season to stick with TCU
SMU’S KEYS TO THE GAME
Contain Boykin – The Mustangs need to do their best impersonation of the Minnesota defense who made Boykins opening game miserable by harassing him and keeping him contained for most of the game. If SMU’s defensive front seven can keep the TCU QB guessing it’ll help their secondary out greatly, Boykin is a good QB and he’s going to make plays as it’s almost impossible to keep him quiet for an entire game the key is containing the damage he does.
Turnovers – In their first two games SMU has turned the ball over 5 times. If the Mustangs turn the ball over 2 or 3 times against TCU the game will get out hand quickly. When teams are an overwhelming underdog they simply cannot afford to make mistakes that lead to turnovers. Protecting the ball the will be one the best ways to increase the chances of a win.
Spread the Ball Around – SMU QB Matt Davis has completed 33 passes to 11 different receivers. By spreading the wealth among his receivers Davis will ensure that TCU’s defense can’t key in on one player and stop the Mustang attack. On Saturday Davis will have to utilize every weapon at his disposal to keep the Mustangs scoring as often as possible.
WHAT SMU FANS WANT TO SEE
Realistically Mustang fans should want to see progress against their crosstown foes. In the last three games against TCU the Mustangs have given up 128 points while scoring 33 points. Keeping the outcome of this game in doubt into the fourth quarter constitutes progress for the Mustangs who are still a couple of years away from having the talent needed to compete against TCU.
TCU HORNED FROGS
The Horned Frogs escaped from Minnesota with a closer than expected 23-17 season opening victory. In their second game against Stephen F. Austin Horned Frog fans got to see the team that they expected in the opener. TCU’s offense was ruthlessly efficient scoring 35 points in each half on the way to a 70-7 beat down of the visiting Lumberjacks. With Big 12 play on the horizon the Horned Frogs need to stay focused on keeping the Iron Skillet because SMU is capable of turning this into a classic trap game.
TCU PLAYERS TO WATCH
Trevone Boykin – After the season opener there were quite a few people questioning Boykins status as a Heisman candidate. It’s safe to say that those questions were answered with his performance against Stephen F. Austin. Boykin has thrown five touchdowns to go along with 531 yards passing so far this season and he should keep up that pace against SMU.
Aaron Green – Through two games green has 24 carries for 108 yards and two touchdowns. In the season opener Green rushed for 88 yards against a good Minnesota defense, last weekend he had five carries for 20 yards before being pulled due to the blowout. Green will be in line to receive a heavier workload against SMU as the score shouldn’t get out of hand as early as it did against Stephen F. Austin.
Aaron Curry – The Nebraska transfer has helped to lead a depleted TCU defensive line with 10 tackles, a sack and a QB hurry. The TCU defensive line is going to have their work cut out for them this weekend as they face Matt Davis who is capable of causing big problems with his legs. Curry should help the defense to contain Davis and eliminate SMU’s ability to move the ball.
TCU’S KEYS TO THE GAME
Hit Them Quickly – TCU needs to score quickly and keep the Mustangs out the end zone to put this game out of reach as quickly as possible. The Horned Frogs have the talent on both sides of the ball to get the Mustangs down and keep them down for the whole game and that is exactly what they need to do.
Stay Healthy – The TCU defense is already thin in places and they have bigger games down the road so they need to come out of this game with everyone intact. Part of keeping everyone healthy means executing the first key to the game and hitting SMU quickly and often so starters can be pulled as soon as possible.
Shut Down Matt Davis – Matt Davis drives the SMU offense and does a fantastic of it. The Horned Frogs have to give Davis fits and keep him from feeling comfortable to make his throws and contain his scrambling in order to stop the SMU offense.
WHAT TCU FANS WANT TO SEE
The Frogs’ faithful want to see a complete and total domination on both sides of the ball for the entire game. Every TCU fan wants to see Trevone Boykin and most of the key starters walking around the sideline during most of the third and fourth quarter without their shoulder pads on because the game is well in hand. This game should be a good warm up and allow the coaches to make final tweaks with a trip to Texas Tech coming up next week.
SMU hangs around for a bit with their defense struggling to contain Trevone Boykin. If this one is close past the midway point in the third quarter it’ll be a shock to everyone. SMU simply doesn’t have the ponies to run with a top five team and it’ll show in this game.