The Horned Frogs never let rival SMU gain any momentum in Saturday night’s game as TCU rolled 48-7 and made its first appearance in the top 25 since week one of last season. But one member of the defense said the team felt disappointed in allowing the Mustangs to score at all.
“Giving up that touchdown made us mad, but that’s football,” senior linebacker Jason Phillips said after the game. “As an aggressive defense, we are going to give up a big play every once in a while. But when that happens we have to let it motivate us and come back better for it.”
SMU got its only touchdown of the game when freshman quarterback Bo Levi Mitchell tossed a 4-yard touchdown to Cole Loftin with 5:25 to play in the third quarter.
Head coach Gary Patterson said Saturday he thought the team played OK, but put the win in perspective.
“You get to 4-0 and there aren’t many teams in the nation that can say that,” he said. “We’ve got to get back to work and prepare for a really good Oklahoma.”
The Horned Frogs have been aggressive on defense all season, and now rank No. 1 in the nation in total defense. TCU held Mitchell to 216 passing yards Saturday, intercepting him twice. The Mustang offense was even less successful on the ground as the Frogs held SMU to minus eight yards rushing.
“The last time we came here we got upset pretty bad,” Phillips said. “For us to come in and play like we did (Saturday) was big. SMU has a pretty tough offense and they threw some new wrinkles at us that we handled pretty well.”
SMU coughed up possession of the football one minute into the game when Frogs safety Stephen Hodge forced a fumble of Mustangs receiver Aldrick Robinson, one of three SMU turnovers. The fumble negated a first down for SMU, and the Horned Frogs drove 39 yards for a score, capped by a Joseph Turner 4-yard touchdown run. Minutes later, defensive end Jerry Hughes returned a Mitchell interception 24 yards for a touchdown to give the Horned Frogs a 14-0 lead with 9:15 left in the first quarter, a lead they never relinquished.
As the players left the stadium after the game, fans in purple chanted, “Beat OU.” With the latest game in the win column, the team now sets its sights at No. 2 Oklahoma. But with TCU’s win over SMU, the 4-0 Frogs will enter Norman, Okla., ranked 24 in the AP Top 25.
Phillips said the upcoming game against the Sooners will be a huge test for the team.
“The Sooners have great athletes at every position and their quarterback may be the best in the nation,” Phillips said. “We’re going to probably go at it a little harder this week in practice.”
TCU was the last team to win in Norman and one of just two teams to win there since Bob Stoops became head coach at Oklahoma in 1999.
The Horned Frogs and Sooners are scheduled for 6 p.m. Saturday. The game will be televised nationally on Fox Sports Net.
The Horned Frogs welcomed back senior running back Aaron Brown Saturday, who missed the first three games for violating university policy. He rushed for 51 yards on 11 carries and caught four passes for 60 yards.
Sophomore quarterback Andy Dalton finished the game 16-25 for 210 yards with no passing touchdowns, but ran for 21 yards and a score. Junior quarterback Marcus Jackson led the team with 115 yards rushing, most of it coming on a 79-yard touchdown run with four minutes left in the game.