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TCU 360

TCU 360

All TCU. All the time.

TCU 360

The Skiff Orientation Edition: Welcome, Class of 28!
The Skiff Orientation Edition: Welcome, Class of '28!
By Georgie London, Staff Writer
Published May 13, 2024
Advice from your fellow Frogs, explore Fort Worth, pizza reviews and more. 

Preview: TCU and SMU clash in the 102nd Battle for the Iron Skillet

The cross-town rivalry has been a DFW mainstay since 1915.
TCU+quarterback+Chandler+Morris+throws+the+ball+against+the+Houston+Cougars+at+TDECU+Stadium+in+Houston%2C+Texas%2C+Sept.+16%2C+2023.+%0A
Lance Sanders
TCU quarterback Chandler Morris throws the ball against the Houston Cougars at TDECU Stadium in Houston, Texas, Sept. 16, 2023.

The Frogs are set to take on their cross-town rivals this week as the SMU Mustangs head to Fort Worth in the 102nd installation of the Battle for the Iron Skillet.

There is always a new twist in the historic saga.

A true rivalry

Last year, TCU head coach Sonny Dykes coached against his former school, SMU. It made the game a bit more personal for SMU players that were still there from Dykes regime.

Also, there was some extra sizzle to the skillet after Dykes, then with SMU, was filmed frying Frog legs ahead of the battle a year before taking the new position at TCU.

This year, the drama continues.

SMU recently agreed on terms to join the Atlantic Coast Conference with Stanford and California beginning next year. SMU head coach Rhett Lashlee had some choice words about the move.

SMU won’t receive full ACC revenue shares for nine years. Additionally, they will likely pay more than $10 million as an exit fee to the American Athletic Conference for leaving. Donors stepped up big to combat these losses.

Thus, many believe the move might be the beginning of a return to glory for the Mustangs.

Cold skillet

Recently, TCU announced it will be indefinitely pausing the series with SMU after the 2025 game. TCU Athletic Director Jeremiah Donati said the move will open space for more home games.

Thus, taking care of season ticket holders, he said.

Between TCU pausing the series and Lashlee’s comments, there is no shortage of fire in the pit of the rivalry.

Both schools are coming into this game hot. SMU handled Prairie View A&M last week, winning 69-0.

The Frogs are coming off a win in their first conference game, beating Houston 36-13.

The matchup

The story for TCU was the defense, as in just two weeks the Frogs have gone from discombobulated to dominant. They only allowed six points against the Cougar offense, whose lone touchdown came on a 98-yard kickoff return.

“Our defense played lights out,” Dykes said.

Two interceptions paved the way for TCU’s dominant performance. They held Houston to a combined 266 yards of offense.

The Frogs were also stout on third and fourth down. Houston only converted four times out of 15 on third down and never converted on fourth down.

They will have their hands full this weekend with a high-powered SMU offense led by quarterback Preston Stone, who threw five touchdown passes last week.

For TCU’s offense last game, it was the first time an opening drive resulted in points on the board.

While this was the most cohesive the offensive unit has looked so far, turnovers still played a factor for the Frogs as quarterback Chandler Morris surrendered a fumble and also threw an interception that went off the hands of wide receiver Jack Bech.

“There are lots of corrections we’re gonna have to make, but it’s always good to get a road win,” Dykes said.

TCU also got some big names back in the receiver room as JP Richardson and Savion Williams were full participants in the game and led the Frogs in receiving yards.

Williams had a big touchdown on a perfectly thrown deep ball by Morris and Dykes did not undermine how important it was to have him back.

“It was big for us, he needs to be that guy we can count on to convert big plays for us,” he said.

Coming off the dominating performance, look for both receivers to have an even bigger workload this week against SMU, who struggled in their biggest test against No. 16 Oklahoma. The Mustangs allowed quarterback Dillon Gabriel to throw for four touchdown passes.

Up next

TCU is 52-42-7 against SMU all time and will look to, once again, improve on the chemistry of the offense and fix the miscues on special teams. Last week, the unit gave up 132 return yards to Houston return-man Matthew Golden, including one returned for a touchdown.

The Frogs open as seven-point favorites against SMU and Dykes will look to win his fourth Iron Skillet in a row.

Kickoff is set for Saturday at 11 a.m from Amon G. Carter Stadium in Fort Worth and will broadcasting live on FS1.

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