It was the battle of the acronym schools: TCU vs. SMU. It was also a battle of two schools with religion in their name, Texas Christian versus Southern Methodist. And as expected by most, TCU came out on top 24-16 in a game that was closer than the Horned Frogs would have liked.
Yes it was raining, heavy at times, and that played a factor in why this game was close. TCU’s special teams struggled to hang on to the ball in the second half with punter Ethan Perry fumbling the snap twice. They also botched a snap on a field goal attempt. But SMU wasn’t much better, throwing five interceptions. The defense for TCU was once again outstanding, forcing six turnovers overall.
The TCU offense really wasn’t on par with the defense, especially in the second half when they mustered just 27 total yards of offense. 27! Again, there was a pretty significant rain going on, but 27 yards in a half is inexcusable. This all leads to the fact that TCU continues to struggle to run the ball effectively. Ever since Waymon James hurt his knee (he’s out for the year), TCU has not found a suitable replacement. That will hurt this team once they get into the heart of their Big 12 conference schedule which begins this week against Iowa State.
TCU Quarterback Casey Pachall threw two touchdowns, but finished with just 107 passing yards. He’s better than that. The weather was a factor (feel like we’ve said that before), so it is hard to gauge the team’s overall performance.
Head coach Gary Patterson has to be happy with how his defense has looked so far through the year. They’ve swarmed opposing offenses, never letting them get much momentum going. They were at it again Saturday night, forcing SMU quarterback Garrett Gilbert into five interceptions; Gilbert went 15 for 40 on the night throwing the ball. It was not a good night for Gilbert or the SMU offense.
However, Coach Patterson can’t be happy with the Horned Frogs lack of discipline. They were penalized thirteen times for 140 yards. If they can’t keep their composure against a team like SMU, what makes you think they’ll be able to keep their composure against Texas, West Virginia, Oklahoma, etc.? Sure the game against SMU is a rivalry, but teams will see the problems they had with penalties and try to antagonize TCU to force them into more penalties. TCU must correct these mistakes and they must do it now.
TCU won the game though against SMU despite all of the things that went wrong for them. In doing so, they won the rivalry game and brought back the Iron Skillet trophy. SMU won it last year. Ironically, that was the last team that beat TCU, who boasts the nation’s longest winning streak in college football, now at twelve.
TCU will get their first look at Big 12 member Iowa State this Saturday, October 6 at 3:30 PM ET/2:30 PM CT. The Cyclones will be looking to get back on the winning track following their 24-13 loss to Texas Tech last Saturday. Have to think that we’ll see a better TCU team than the one last Saturday. And with the next game being at home, the first Big 12 conference home game, TCU’s defense will lead them to victory.