TCU victorious, Iron Skillet returns to Fort Worth

TCU wide receiver Gunnar Henderson tallies 31 yards on 3 receptions on Sept. 24, 2022. (Photo courtesy of

By Dru Kennedy, Staff Writer

Head coach Sonny Dykes returned to Gerald Ford Stadium and the Horned Frogs reclaimed the Iron Skillet with a 42-34 win over SMU.

The game was Dykes’ first appearance since leaving Dallas for Fort Worth last spring. Some SMU fans and players touted the game as a revenge match against Dykes. The trash talk spilled over into Dykes’ media availability days before the game when he said he understood the fan animosity.

After Saturday’s win, he was relieved.

“I’m glad this is over and I’m hopeful now we can go on and I can coach my team and not have to deal with some of this stuff that you have to deal with,” said Dykes.

The Frogs got their fast-paced offense going early and made sure to get their receivers heavily involved.

Quarterback Max Duggan threw for 278 yards, moving up to fourth on TCU’s all-time passing list. He added three touchdowns, two of which were in the first quarter.

“Ever since Max stepped foot on campus, he’s been a leader on this team, he’s very unselfish and mature,” said wide receiver Derius Davis. “Having those guys make our offense way easier and get our offense going.”

The Frogs got off to a slow start offensively in the second half, not scoring until the fourth quarter but they made sure to stay calm and composed.

“We didn’t want to let our emotions take over,” said Duggan.

The biggest difference in the ballgame was turnovers.

SMU turned the ball over twice, one of them coming in the fourth quarter when Josh Newton tallied his second interception of the season. This led to a 1-yard touchdown run by running back Emari Demercado, putting the Frogs ahead 35-21.

“Us taking care of the ball was the biggest difference in the ballgame,” Dykes said.

SMU responded with a short touchdown run, but Demercado then scored a 63-yard touchdown to put the final points on the board for the Frogs.

This win over SMU makes Dykes the first TCU football coach to win his first three games since Francis Schmidt in 1929. It also makes the Frogs the only undefeated FBS program in the state of Texas.

The Frogs will open Big 12 play next Saturday against Oklahoma at home.