Matchups: Frogs likely to keep Iron Skillet on Saturday

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    Quarterbacks

    TCU: Andy Dalton continues to improve and look more comfortable in the pocket while taking care of the ball and not being afraid to pull the ball down and run. Dalton threw for 145 yards last week and rushed for 91.

    SMU: True freshman Bo Levi Mitchell is completing 59.6 percent of his passes and has 769 yards passing with eight touchdowns. Coach June Jones recently put his confidence in the quarterback, saying he would learn more on the field than on the sideline.

    Advantage: TCU

    Runningbacks

    TCU: Ryan Christian rushed for 82 yards and a touchdown during the wet game against Stanford. Christian is leading the team with 189 yards rushing and has scored twice on the ground.

    SMU: As a team, SMU has a total of 133 yards on the ground and just one rushing score. Senior DeMyron Martin has rushed for 105 of the team’s yards and has the lone score.

    Advantage: TCU

    Wide Receivers

    TCU: Jimmy Young continued his dominance of the TCU receiving categories with five grabs for 35 yards against Stanford. Young now has 184 yards receiving, 109 more than any of his teammates.

    SMU: The Mustangs have two receivers with more than 200 yards receiving. Those two wide outs have nine of the team’s 10 touchdown grabs. Sophomore Aldrick Robinson has 270 yards and five scores, and he also ran a 200m dash in 21.48 seconds at Waxahachie High School.

    Advantage: SMU

    Offensive Line

    TCU: The TCU offensive line continues to dominate its opponents, allowing just three sacks through three games. Center Blake Schlueter continues to be the anchor in the middle of the line.

    SMU: The Mustangs’ line has allowed seven sacks in three games and has not done a great job supporting the running game. Mitch Enright is on the Rimington Trophy watch list with Schlueter for the nation’s top center.

    Advantage: TCU

    Defensive Line

    TCU: The defensive line for TCU has done a good job all season creating pressure on opposing quarterbacks and stifling opponents’ running games. Senior Matt Panfil leads the team with 3.5 sacks for 30 yards lost. Two of those sacks came against Stanford for 26 yards lost, earning him Mountain West Co-Defensive Player of the Week.

    SMU: SMU’s defensive front has had a hard time getting to the quarterback and slowing the running game, allowing 621 rushing yards and 1,003 passing yards. Sophomore Youri Yenga leads the team with four tackles for loss and 2.5 sacks.

    Advantage: TCU

    Linebackers

    TCU: The TCU linebacking corps has continued to be as dominant as predicted in the preseason. Robert Henson is leading the team with 21 total tackles and 11 solo tackles. He also has 3.5 tackles for loss.

    SMU: Sophomores Pete Fleps and Justin Smart are holding down the linebacker positions for SMU with a combined 45 tackles. Fleps is leading the team with 24 tackles and is tied for the lead with three pass breakups and two fumbles forced.

    Advantage: TCU

    Defensive Backs

    TCU: The defensive backs for the Frogs are coming off an impressive game against Stanford, in which they allowed just 122 passing yards. Stephen Hodge had six tackles and a forced fumble in last week’s victory.

    SMU: The defensive backs for SMU have allowed 1,003 passing yards on the season, including 513 against Texas Tech last week. Sophomore Tyler Jones had six tackles and a pass breakup against Texas Tech.

    Advantage: TCU

    Special Teams

    TCU: The Frogs are 13th in the nation in average punt return with an average of 19.88 yards per return. Sophomore Jeremy Kerley is responsible for most of that success with 159 yards on eight returns.

    SMU: Senior Thomas Morstead is third in the nation with a punt average of 47.85 yards per attempt on eight punts. The Mustangs have no one ranked in the top 80 in the nation among punt returners.

    Advantage: TCU

    Coaches

    TCU: Gary Patterson has led the Frogs to victory in all but one game in his tenure as head coach against SMU. Patterson’s team leads the nation in time of possession with an average of 37:30 per game.

    SMU: June Jones coached some big games at Hawaii, including the Sugar Bowl against Georgia last year, but this is first year in the TCU-SMU rivalry. SMU’s defense has allowed opponents to convert 64.4 percent of third downs, ranking them second worst in the nation.

    Advantage: TCU