TCU football first played Southern Methodist University in the fall of 1915, shutting out the Mustangs 43-0. One hundred years later, the rivalry is still intact as the two teams meet at Amon G. Carter Stadium in Fort Worth this weekend.
The Horned Frogs and Mustangs will battle it out for the Iron Skillet trophy for the 95th time this Saturday. For the first time since 2012 the game will be played under the lights, with kickoff set for 7 p.m.
The Frogs enter the game at No. 3 in the nation and sit at 2-0 after routing Stephen F. Austin 70-7 in last weekend’s home opener. The Mustangs come into Fort Worth at 1-1, riding the momentum of a 31-13 victory over the University of North Texas last weekend.
TCU’s offense has regained the swagger they carried last season. Quarterback Trevone Boykin led the Frogs against SFA, passing for 285 yards and four touchdowns before being subbed out early in the second half.
Wide receiver Kolby Listenbee and running back Aaron Green also returned to their 2014 form last weekend. Listenbee made six receptions for 142 yards against SFA.
Green recorded two short rushing touchdowns for the Frogs before being subbed out after the first quarter.
TCU will also be expecting wide receiver Josh Doctson to get back on the map Saturday. Doctson, who finished as one of the Frogs’ top receivers last season, has only caught one touchdown pass over the first two games this season.
On the other side of the ball, The Frogs’ depleted defense must continue to rely on new faces to get the job done this weekend.
“We got to have young guys keep growing up,” Patterson said in Tuesday’s press conference. “A lot of guys played in last week’s game that didn’t play against Minnesota or ever before.”
Patterson said the Frogs are once again expected to be without freshman linebacker Mike Freeze, who went on a ‘personal leave of absence’ last week.
“We’re giving him time,” Patterson said. “That time will run out at the drop date. If he comes back we’ll welcome him back, he’s done nothing wrong.”
Patterson said that there is a “great chance” that senior defensive tackle Davion Pierson could return to the lineup for Saturday’s contest after missing the first two games with an undisclosed injury.
The status of senior defensive end Mike Tuaua remains an unknown. Tuaua did not play on Saturday for unspecified reasons.
For SMU, Saturday is another chance to show the college football world the progress they have made after finishing 2014 with a dismal 1-11 record.
Under the direction of new head coach Chad Morris, SMU’s offense has already made strides this season. The combined 52 points they scored against Baylor and UNT have already exceeded their point total from their first seven games in 2014.
Junior quarterback Matt Davis has proven himself to be a dual threat, throwing for 171 yards while rushing for 135 yards against UNT. Even Patterson acknowledged Davis’s talent.
“Matt is athletic and definitely adds a spark,” Patterson said. “You’re covering everyone else and then he takes off.”
All the stats won’t matter when the teams take the field on Saturday. With an enduring rivalry between the schools, anything can happen.
“It’s a lot more emotional and physical,” Patterson said. “The new offense they run makes you play that way. Chad has done a very good job over there at playing hard.”
For Patterson and the Frogs, the lasting rivalry, while not as amped as it may have previously been, is not expected to end anytime soon.
“I am still a fan of keeping series intact,” Patterson said. ”It’s hard to find games. There’s a historical plus. Who else do you play?”