Where: Gerald J. Ford Stadium, Dallas, Texas
TCU and SMU, located 40 miles apart in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex, meet for the 92nd time on Saturday at Gerald Ford Stadium in the Battle for the Iron Skillet. While some historical rivalries — Nebraska-Oklahoma, Texas-Texas A&M and West Virginia-Pittsburgh – have been impacted because of conference realignment, TCU’s nearly 100-year-old rivalry with SMU was unaffected by the Horned Frogs’ move to the Big 12 this year. The private schools have met every year since 1915 except for six times, with TCU holding a 44-40-7 edge. The 14th-ranked Horned Frogs will be looking to extend the nation’s longest win streak to 12 games but also will be out to avenge last season’s stunning 40-33 overtime loss to SMU. That snapped TCU’s 22-game home win streak, the third-longest in the FBS at the time. It was the last defeat for the Horned Frogs, who rallied from a 16-point deficit in the fourth quarter to force overtime. After winning their final eight games last year, TCU has opened with three wins this season, including a 27-7 victory over Virginia last week. SMU has been off since getting drubbed by Texas A&M 48-3 on Sept. 15.
ABOUT TCU (3-0): Casey Pachall passed for 305 yards and three TDs against Virginia, his second straight 300-yard game. It marked the first time TCU has thrown for more than 300 yards in consecutive games since 2004. Pachall leads the nation in passing efficiency with a 209.9 rating. He has completed 76.1
percent (54 of 71) of his attempts, which ranks fourth in the FBS, for 841 yards with eight touchdowns and just one interception. Brandon Carter rushed for 128 yards, his second straight game over the century mark. Coming into the season, the Horned Frogs were concerned about the offensive line but they have yielded only one sack all year. Josh Boyce caught his 18th career TD pass against the Cavaliers to become the school’s all-time leader. TCU has continued its tradition of strong defense under coach Gary Patterson. The Horned Frogs lead the FBS in scoring defense, yielding just 4.3 points per game, and have allowed only one touchdown in the past 13 quarters, dating to last season’s Poinsettia Bowl.
ABOUT SMU (1-2): This is the third of four consecutive games against teams from the Long Star state for the Mustangs, who also faced Baylor and Stephen F. Austin and take on UTEP next week. SMU has had some success through the air, averaging 273.7 yards, which ranks 36th in the FBS. However, they are 109th in rushing, averaging only 107.7 yards. Garrett Gilbert has passed for 694 yards and three touchdowns but also has been intercepted four times. Zach Line is averaging a respectable 99.7 yards on the ground. However, he accounts for 92.5 percent of SMU’s entire rushing offense. Line has 17-yard 100-yard rushing games, which ranks second in SMU history behind only Eric Dickerson. That total is third among active players in the FBS. Senior defensive end Margus Hunt has been a kick-blocking machine for the Mustangs. In the 52-0 win over Stephen F Austin, he set an NCAA record by blocking his ninth field goal attempt. He also has blocked seven extra points. His 16 total blocks rank second in NCAA history.
1. SMU is TCU’s third-most played series. The Frogs’ 91 meetings with the Mustangs trail only Baylor (107) and Texas A&M (92).
2. TCU tight end Griffin Gilbert, one of 15 true freshmen to see action for the Frogs this season, is the younger brother of SMU quarterback Garrett Gilbert.
3. Former Hawaii standout quarterback Timmy Chang, the NCAA’s all-time passing leader, is in his first season as the Mustangs’ offensive graduate assistant. He has been reunited with SMU head coach June Junes, who was his mentor at Hawaii.