Battle of the Iron Skillet this weekend

by Dan M | Posted on Saturday, September 16th, 2017

Members of the TCU football team reach in to touch the "Iron Skillet". Their prize for beating SMU in an NCAA college football game on Saturday, Sept. 29, 2012, in Dallas. TCU won 24-16. (AP Photo/John F. Rhodes)

SMU (2-0) at TCU (2-0)
Line: Horned Froges -19.5 / 64.5
TV: 2:30, ESPNU
SMU and TCU meet for the 97th time, with TCU holding a 49-40-7
all-time lead.
The Horned Frogs won the most recent match-up, 33-3, in Dallas
last season. The last win for SMU in Fort Worth was a 40-33 overtime
victory in 2011. The 96 meetings are the most for the Mustangs versus
any opponent.
The Mustangs are coming off a 54-32 victory over North Texas,
giving them a 2-0 record to start the season for the first time since 2009.
TCU is 2-0, which is all you can ever ask of a team that’s two
weeks into their season. That they’ve had one of the more dominant
defenses in the country with wins over Jackson State and Arkansas, and
has allowed its fewest points (7) in the first two games since 2012.
This should give fans something to be excited about, but week three
will present a new test for the Frogs’ defense.
Yes, SMU has been, largely, a whipping post for TCU football
over the past decade, but with Chad Morris at the helm, the Ponies
have made major strides back to relevancy. Add in that SMU has a
receiver who has had his way with TCU the past few seasons, and this
game will undoubtedly be a test TCU needs to pass before entering
conference play.
SMU has scored 112 points in their first two contests of the
season, hanging 58 on Stephen F. Austin in week one, before putting up
54 against North Texas in week two. While neither of those two teams
has anything close to what the Frogs do on defense, This is probably
the best offense TCU will have faced to this point.
The Mustangs has a few names to know, but the biggest by far is
Courtland Sutton. Sutton, a junior wide receiver, is far and away
SMU’s biggest offensive threat, and he’s had his way against TCU in
the past. In two games against the Frogs, Sutton has nine receptions
for 231 yards and a touchdown, and most of the time in both of those
games, he was going up against Ranthony Texada.
So far in 2017, Sutton has 10 receptions for 185 yards and five
touchdowns, including an eight reception, 163 yard, four touchdown day
against North Texas (which earned him AAC Offensive Player of the Week
honors). He’s the biggest matchup problem for TCU’s defense, and he’s
a problem they’ll need to manage if they want to win big.
Behind Sutton, SMU has another solid receiver in Trey Quinn, who
also has ten receptions on the season, and James Proche, who had five
receptions for 66 yards against TCU a season ago.
In 2016, TCU’s secondary held SMU to just 244 passing yards,
while intercepting redshirt freshman Ben Hicks twice. Hicks has a full
season under his belt, and he’s looked good in his first two games as
a sophomore. While his performances have been against lesser
competition, this isn’t a matchup that TCU can sleepwalk through and
expect to come out the other side unscathed.
THE IRON SKILLET
During the post-World War II college football boom, the SMU and
TCU student bodies created a traveling trophy called the Iron Skillet
that was presented to the winner of the annual football game between
the archrivals. The tradition eventually died, and the skillet was
lost.
In 1993, however, the tradition was revived as the president of
the SMU student body painted the face of the TCU student body
president red and blue following the Mustangs’ 21-15 victory in Fort
Worth. The engraved skillet is presented to the winning team after
each game.
The match-up between SMU at TCU is one of the most played active
(scheduled for 2017) non-conference games in the country.
Pick: SMU 35 TCU 31

Around the League
Illinois (2-0) at USF (2-0)
TV: Friday, Sept 15, 6:00, ESPN
Line: Bulls -17.5 / 56
Pick: Illinois 27,  USF 24

UMass (0-3) at Temple (1-1)
Line: Owls -14.5 / 52
TV: Friday, 6:00, ESPNU
Pick: Temple 19,  UMass 3

UConn (1-0) at Virginia (1-1)
Line: Cavaliers -10.5 / 51
TV: Saturday, 11:00, ESPN2
Pick: Virginia 34,  UConn 16

UCLA (2-0) at Memphis (1-0)
Line: Bruins -3 / 73
TV: 11:00, ABC
Pick: Memphis 34,  UCLA 30

Virginia Tech (2-0) at ECU (0-2)
Line: Hokies -22.5 / 60.5
TV: 2:00, CBSSN
Pick: Virginia Tech 40,  ECU 13

Tulane (1-1) at Oklahoma (2-0)
Line: Sooners -35.5 / 75
TV: 5:00, FSN-PPV
Pick: Oklahoma 55,  Tulane 17

Tulsa (1-1) at Toledo (2-0)
Line: Rockets -9.5 / 67.5
TV: 6:00, ESPN3
Pick: Toledo 30,  Tulsa 21

Rice (1-1) at Houston (1-0)
Line: Cougars -22.5 / 53
TV: 7:00, ESPN3
Pick: Cougars 48. Rice 20

Cincinnati (1-1) at Miami (1-0)
Line: Miami -5.5 / 48.5
TV: 7:00, ESPN3
Pick: Miami 24,  Cincinnati 10

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