Kenny Hill. Photo from GoFrogs.com.
Beating Arkansas on the road means TCU can kick back at home against SMU, right?
Not so fast. While it seems almost customary for TCU to pull off a blowout win against SMU year after year, having kept the prized Iron Skillet in Fort Worth since 2012, SMU's solid performances in its first two games of the season show signs that the Mustangs may put up a fight against the Frogs this year.
TCU vs. SMU 2017 from Fort Worth, Texas magazine on Vimeo.
Here are four things to watch out for.
1. This is a better SMU.
Since Chad Morris took the reins (pun most definitely intended) of the Mustangs two years ago, his team has steadily improved. SMU went 2-10 in 2015 and 5-7 in 2016 — both losing records, yes, but improvements nonetheless. This year, they’re starting 2-0, and both are blowout wins. This could very well be an SMU that’s different from what TCU has been used to seeing in recent years.
2. This guy: Courtland Sutton.
The Mustangs have an explosive offense led by quarterback Ben Hicks, but the player everyone’s been talking about is wide receiver Courtland Sutton, who had four receiving touchdowns against North Texas last week, along with an impressive eight catches for 163 yards. Pitting him and the rest of the team against TCU’s hard-nosed defense, which held Arkansas to a single touchdown last week, should be fun to watch.
3. A stronger SMU defense.
SMU has some solid players on its defense, like defensive end Justin Lawler and linebacker Kyran Mitchell, who both recorded two sacks apiece against North Texas. And with three interceptions in their last two games, the Mustangs may capitalize on the Frogs’ at-times shaky passing game.
4. Team No Sleep.
Yes, SMU’s two wins are against Stephen F. Austin and North Texas. But the Mustangs put up at least 50 points against both, which is worth taking note of. The Frogs shouldn’t sleep on any team, really — and especially not SMU. Not if they want to keep the Iron Skillet in Fort Worth for a little while longer.
And now, for some fun facts, per GoFrogs.com:
TCU defensive end Ty Summers' younger sister, Faith Summers, is a sophomore on the SMU women's golf team.
TCU outside receivers coach Rusty Burns, in his ninth season, was SMU's offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach from 2004-2007.
TCU defensive end Michael Epley was at SMU two seasons (2014-2015). He played last year at Tyler Junior College before transferring to TCU.
SMU defensive line coach Buddy Wyatt was a four-year letterman (1986-1989) as a defensive tackle for the Horned Frogs.
Former TCU safety Chris Scott (2008-2011) is a graduate assistant coach with the SMU defense.
The Battle for the Iron Skillet starts Saturday at 2:30 p.m.