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Friday Night NCAA: TCU at SMU

TCU at SMU: Preview courtesy of POINT TRAIN

For 364 days of the year, the Dallas-Fort Worth area is for the most part very friendly when it comes to college football. The one day it is not is the day the football teams of Texas Christian University and Southern Methodist University meet on the field and battle for the Iron Skillet. This year’s edition comes to us from Gerald J. Ford Stadium in Dallas on Friday, September 7th.

The start of the season for TCU and SMU could not have been more different. TCU opened the season last Saturday by absolutely shellacking Southern 55-7. Horned Frogs quarterback Shawn Robinson lead the way by scoring five touchdowns (three in the air, two on the ground) in the first half while also throwing for 182 yards on 24 attempts. SMU kicked off Saturday night against the Mean Green of North Texas at Apogee Stadium. The Mustangs didn’t look great as they came out of Denton with their tails between their legs in a loss 46-23. Quarterback Ben Hicks completed 12/24 passes and finished with a quarterback rating of 1.3. SMU running backs had a big night combining for a grand total of 4 yards on the ground on 19 carries. Defensively the Mustangs gave up 444 yards and three touchdowns on fifty attempts to North Texas starting quarterback Mason Fine.

A far from ideal debut for new Mustangs head coach Sonny Dykes.

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Sonny Dykes looks to end the six-game losing streak to the Horned Frogs this Friday night. To do so he’ll need significantly better play from his secondary. The Mustangs return four starters in the secondary, yet are statistically the second worst FBS school against the pass. One silver lining SMU can look at is that they only allowed 68 yards on the ground last weekend to North Texas. Stopping the run game from TCU as well as stopping Shawn Robinson’s ability to make plays with his feet will be a tall task, but if done well can have the potential to flip the script in the direction of the Mustangs.

Gary Patterson looks to improve upon his team’s current six game winning streak over the Mustangs Friday night in Dallas. TCU fans should feel pretty good about its chances having absolutely walloped Southern last week. To be successful against SMU Friday night the Frogs need to A.) continue to balance out the attack offensively and B.) not look too far ahead to their game against Ohio State on the 15th.

In reference to point “A”: In TCU’s win over Southern they were incredibly balanced yardage wise as they threw for 264 yards and rushed for 235. If the Horned Frogs can continue to keep such an attack going this Friday in Dallas and keep the Mustangs defense on their toes and their heels at the same time they will be very successful.

In regards to “B”: The Horned Frogs have a massive game next Saturday at AT&T Stadium against the Ohio State Buckeyes, but it won’t mean nearly as much if TCU falters this week. A rivalry game such as the battle for the Iron Skillet doesn’t necessarily fit the criteria for a trap game, however, it definitely is. TCU is the favorite, there’s no secret there, however SMU can play and if TCU isn’t focused and ready to play this can and will be a lot closer than people think.

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Point Train is 4-2 so far this college football season winning in last week’s biggest pick with a 5-unit winner on Cincinnati’s upset over UCLA! This week’s first 6-unit Top Play is lined up as the Non-Conference Game of the Year for Saturday! Point Train also started the NFL season 1-0 with a Thursday night ‘under’ play on Philadelphia’s 18-12 win over the Falcons.