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SMU Mustangs vs. TCU Horned Frogs Game Preview

SMU meets their first big challenge of the season in #20 TCU

North Texas v SMU Photo by Cooper Neill/Getty Images

Date: Saturday, September 16th

Kickoff Time: 3:30 p.m. EST


Current Line: TCU -18, FPI 92% TCU

Series Record: 49-40-7 TCU (has won each match up since 2012)

Last Meeting: TCU won 33-3, September 23, 2016

The SMU Mustangs are off to an excellent start. They dominated a Stephen F. Austin team on both offense and defense, as well as defeating a much improved North Texas team. To give some perspective on the red hot start: SMU hasn’t started off 2-0 since the 2009 season, beating Stephen F. Austin and UAB. Although SMU has started out on the right foot, they’ll have a much bigger challenge this week in #20 TCU.

Last Week:

In case you missed the recap from last weeks game against North Texas, take a look here. There were three key takeaways I saw from last game.

First, the defense settled down after the first two drives to slow down a pretty good UNT offense. The good news with that is the fact that the defense looks improved from last year. The bad news is that they cannot do this against other high-powered offenses otherwise they will fall far behind.

The second takeaway is the QB competition is settled. Ben Hicks had an excellent performance throwing for 312 YDS, four TDs and a 83.6 QBR. Chad Morris said he would play multiple QBs to get an idea of who would win the competition. Hicks quickly silenced the competition as Peavey and Gillins, the backups, only threw the ball once each compared to Hicks’ 39 attempts.

The last takeaway was one that we already had an idea would happen. Cortland Sutton had video game numbers in this game. Sutton was on the receiving end of 8 catches for 163 YDS and four TDs. After being limited in the first game, Sutton had his breakout game we all expected. Sutton will have to be big again next week to beat the TCU Horned Frogs.

This Week:

In case you want to learn more about TCU, click here for my Q&A with Frogs O’ Wars Jaime Plunkett. SMU has plenty to worry about this week. From a dual-threat quarterback to something as simple as traveling to Fort Worth in a hostile environment, there are going to be many challenges. The main key for SMU is keeping pace offensively with TCU. Based off TCU’s previous two games, they will put up points. In order to keep pace, SMU must run the ball effectively with their main backs West and Jones. If the run game gets going, Hicks will have a much easier day against a very tough opponent.

Final Prediction:

This game is going to be closer than the line indicates. TCU’s defense was solid against SEC foe Arkansas, but they haven’t faced an offense like this yet. I think SMU has a stellar offense that TCU might not prepare for as seriously. With that being said though, SMU hasn’t faced an offense this season like TCU. SMU’s defense will eventually be worn down resulting in a TCU win.

Final: TCU 49 - SMU 38