SMU has already faced a talented Baylor team this season. Chad Morris has the Mustangs pointing in the right direction early even if their record does not reflect as such. They have already matched their win total from last season and will have a very good chance of going bowling this season.
TCU is undoubtedly a national contender. Coming off a 63-point cakewalk last week the Horned Frogs may be looking for the same kind of dominating performance at home his week as well. However, SMU is not the team TCU saw last season. Do not expect the Mustangs to just roll over in Fort Worth this weekend.
SMU at TCU (Battle for the Iron Skillet)
Kickoff: 8 p.m. ET (Saturday)
TV Channel: Fox Sports Net
Spread: TCU -39.5
Three Things to Watch
1. How Long Will TCU’s First-String Defense Play?
No, I am not implying that TCU’s defense will easily handle SMU. However, the Horned Frogs have seen multiple injuries in this young season. This is the last non-conference game for TCU before they get into Big 12 play next week against Texas Tech. Health is quickly becoming an issue and TCU head coach Gary Patterson may decide early to begin pulling starters from the game. The problem there may be SMU’s offense keeping them in the game a little longer than TCU may want.
2. SMU Offense
SMU was able to put up 21 points against Baylor two weeks ago and they are coming off a 31-point performance against North Texas. SMU’s spread offense can and will score against TCU. SMU may be able to keep this game close for a while much like they did against Baylor. SMU quarterback Matt Davis is accounting for over 288 total yards per game himself. Though not at the level of TCU’s Trevone Boykin, Davis is a threat that will spread the field with both his arm and legs.
3. Can SMU Keep it Close?
The simple answer is probably not. The Mustangs did go into the half against Baylor down only seven. Unfortunately the Bears left on doubt in the second half of that contest. The Mustangs are averaging 406.5 yards per game so far this season. Although TCU is averaging 538 yards per game, its defense has already been hit hard injuries and other circumstances. SMU should be able to take advantage of the Horned Frogs' secondary, at least for a few quarters. I don’t want to call this a shootout but SMU may score a little more than expected.
SMU may have the upper hand in this matchup from an experience standpoint. The Mustangs have already played Baylor and were able to fine-tune their offense against North Texas last week. Experience will simply not be enough for them to pull the upset though. TCU is one of the most potent offenses in the nation. SMU will simply not be able to contain the Frogs for an entire game. Just like they did against Baylor the Mustangs should be able to hang around for a while before sheer talent and speed take over for TCU. Expect the Mustangs to be able to cover the spread in this game but not much else.
Prediction: TCU 60, SMU 24
— Written by Jeremy Simon, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network and editor-in-chief of BlueGoldSports.com, a must visit for any and all West Virginia Mountaineer fans. Follow BlueGoldSports.com on Twitter @Blue_GoldSports.