2005 SMU upset still fresh on minds

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    After a big win on the road, TCU will defend its winning streak against the Southern Methodist University Mustangs in the 89th Battle for the Iron Skillet on Saturday.

    The Horned Frogs and Mustangs will face off in Amon G. Carter stadium at 7 p.m.

    The series began in 1915 with a 43-0 TCU victory. The Horned Frogs won the last six home games against SMU and hold a 42-39-7 advantage over the Mustangs.

    In 2008, TCU defeated SMU 48-7 with two touchdowns by tailback Joseph Turner. Turner rushed for 67 yards against the Mustangs last season.

    TCU plays at home this weekend ranked No. 10 in the nation, according the the USA Today Coaches poll. They have not played at home as a top-10 team since 2003.

    The Horned Frogs are the highest ranked team the Mustangs have faced since 1994.

    After a loss in overtime to Washington State University last Saturday, SMU enters the weekend with two wins and one loss, their best season start since 1996.

    On offense, Mustang wide receiver senior Emmanuel Sanders, leads the nation with 33 receptions.

    Horned Frog defensive tackle Cory Grant said the spread offense run by SMU can be dangerous because of the strength and skill level of their receivers and quarterback.

    Defensively, SMU recorded 11 interceptions so far this season, the most in the nation.

    “They’ve been very opportunistic about what they do on defense,” head coach Gary Patterson said.

    June Jones, SMU’s head coach, enters his second year of coaching the Mustangs, after nine years at the University of Hawaii. Patterson said he is impressed with what Jones has done in his time at SMU.

    “June Jones has done a good job of changing the mindset,” Patterson said,

    Junior quarterback Andy Dalton is ranked No. 14 in the nation for pass efficiency heading into his fourth week of play.

    Dalton was named Co-Offensive Player of the Week for the Mountain West Conference after last week’s win against Clemson University.

    In 2008, Dalton had 210 passing yards against SMU, as well as 21 rushing yards on four carries.

    Patterson said the defense needs to improve this week as well.

    “(Against) SMU we’re going to have to come out of the blocks a little bit better,” Patterson said. “They’re a big first quarter second quarter football team.”

    Patterson said that SMU has the ability to score a lot of points in the first half of the game, so the defense will have to be prepared early in the game.

    The Horned Frogs are currently ranked No. 12 in the nation in total defense. Patterson said the team is preparing for a tough game this weekend.

    “We didn’t feel like we played very well last time we were here (at home), so it will be interesting to see how this game goes,” Patterson said.

    The team has quotes up from SMU in the locker room to help them mentally prepare for Saturday’s game.

    “Who knows, maybe we’ll even break out the black uniforms for this group,” Patterson said.