Texas Christian at Southern Methodist

The Sports Xchange

September 05, 2018 at 7:46 pm.

GAME SNAPSHOT
KICKOFF: Friday, 8 p.m. ET
SITE: Gerald J. Ford Stadium, Dallas
TV: ESPN2
SERIES: TCU leads 50-40-7, including 56-36 in 2017
RANKINGS: TCU No. 16

PLAYERS TO WATCH
Horned Frogs

–RB Darius Anderson is by far TCU’s most explosive and dependable playmaker. A would-be 1,000-yard rusher if not for a season-ending foot injury suffered against Oklahoma in Norman last season, Anderson will be leaned on heavily to move the chains if the passing game fails or offensive line falters. He had 40 yards and a touchdown on eight carries in the season opener.

–QB Shawn Robinson began the season with a bang, throwing touchdowns to three different receivers and running for two more scores while playing only the first half in Saturday’s win. Robinson became the first TCU quarterback to win his first two starts since Marcus Jackson in 2008 with wins over San Diego State and Colorado State.

–LB Ty Summers has been Mr. Production for TCU, needing just 68 tackles to become the all-time tackling leader in the Gary Patterson era. He played quarterback in high school, so he has position flexibility, too, playing linebacker and defensive end. Summers ran a 4.55 40-yard dash in the spring and has recorded a 36-inch vertical. He had five stops, two of them tackles for a loss, and sack in week one.

Mustangs

–QB Ben Hicks threw two touchdown passes last week at North Texas and has now accounted for 57 total TDs, tied for the most ever at SMU. He is seventh among FBS active leaders in career passing TDs (54) and ninth in career passing yards (6,751). Hicks set the SMU single-season (33) and career (52) passing touchdown records in 2017, registering 276 completions for 3,569 yards.

–WR James Proche is the Mustangs leading returning receiver from last season. He began the 2018 season with two catches for 77 yards, including a 59-yard touchdown.

–CB Jordan Wyatt ranks atop SMU’s career lists with five defensive return touchdowns and four career interception return touchdowns. He finished last season with 288 career interception return yards, also the most for a Mustang, and became just the sixth player in FBS history to record an interception return and fumble recovery for touchdowns in the same game week one against Stephen F. Austin.

KEYS
TO THE GAME

No. 16 TCU heads east to Dallas this week to battle longtime rival SMU in the Battle of the Iron Skillet on Saturday at Ford Stadium, but Horned Frogs coach Gary Patterson is having to work to keep his players focus on the task at hand rather than looking on the horizon.

After battling the Mustangs, TCU (1-0) will square off against Ohio State at AT&T Stadium in Arlington before beginning Big 12 play at Texas on Sept. 22.

The Horned Frogs swamped FCS opponent Southern University 55-7 at home in their season opener as sophomore quarterback Shawn Robinson threw for three touchdowns to three different receivers and ran for two additional scores in just the second start of his career.

Freshman Derius Davis, who was named Big 12 Newcomer of the Week, caught a 12-yard TD from Robinson and later returned a punt 73 yards for a score as TCU won its 17th consecutive home opener as Patterson started his 18th full season.

“We did what we needed to do,” Patterson said after the win over Southern. “We only played 50-something plays of defense, so we’re not as banged up in getting ready for a Friday ballgame (against SMU).”

“We have an SMU team that is going to be better. They know a lot about us, so we need to get ready to play.”

SMU (0-1), a member of the Atlantic Athletic Conference, got shellacked 46-23 by fellow Metroplex rival North Texas in its season opener, surrendering 539 total yards of offense and the game’s first 36 points.

Ben Hicks, the Mustangs’ record-setting quarterback, managed 252 yards in the loss, with most of those — and SMU’s three scores — coming in the fourth quarter when North Texas emptied the bench. SMU also only possessed the ball for only 15:47 in coach Sonny Dykes’ regular-season debut with the Ponies.

“I was disappointed in the way we played, and obviously any time you don’t play well you’re disappointed in the way you coached,” Dykes said. “We didn’t do a very good job getting them prepared and I have to own it.”

Braeden West led the Mustangs with a rushing and receiving touchdown while James Proche hauled in a touchdown of his own against North Texas. Hicks also tied SMU’s all-time touchdowns mark (54 pass, three rush) with a pair, bringing his career total to 57.

Rodney Clemons tied his career high with 11 tackles, and graduate transfer Patrick Nelson added 10 tackles, three for losses, and 1.5 sacks in his first game as a Mustang.

“I saw enough from our defense tonight to think that those guys have a chance to be pretty good,” Dykes said. “We gave up 460 yards passing but they were on the field (close to) 100 plays. I think we played good defense until we got fatigued and started missing some tackles in the second half.”

The Horned Frogs hold a 50-40-7 edge over SMU in a series that began with a 43-0 TCU win in Fort Worth in 1915. TCU has won 10 of the past 11 games with the Mustangs and 16 of 18. The Horned Frogs are 22-22-2 versus SMU in Dallas and 28-18-5 in Fort Worth.

SMU is TCU’s second-most played series; the Horned Frogs’ 97 meetings with the Mustangs trail only Baylor (113).

 

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