After spending two years in Dallas, the Iron Skillet has returned home to Fort Worth.TCU capitalized on big plays on defense and special teams to win 21-7 against SMU on Saturday night.
Redshirt freshman Andy Dalton and sophomore Marcus Jackson split time as quarterback against the Mustangs. Head coach Gary Patterson said he had been planning to use both quarterbacks before the game, but Jackson proved to be a tougher matchup for SMU.
Jackson would finish six for 12 passing, good for 68 yards and a touchdown. He also had 40 yards on the ground.
“Marcus (Jackson) was the guy for the job tonight,” Patterson said. “Tonight, we needed a quarterback who could really get away from some things.”
Patterson said there is no animosity between the two signal-callers, and he recognizes each has his own strengths and weaknesses.
“I think it’s good for them to be honest with you,” he said. “They’re both young and it’s good to compete.”
Jackson said he has no problem with the two-quarterback offense.
“I think we have to do whatever works and whatever will help our team,” Jackson said.
Controlling SMU sophomore quarterback Justin Willis was the key to the win, Patterson said. Willis finished with 245 total yards and was held out of the endzone.
This game also featured the return of junior running back Aaron Brown, who had been out with a leg injury since the Baylor game Sept. 1.
In his first game back, Brown finished with 92 yards on 11 carries.
Brown said the injury was tough for him because he wanted to come back and help his team during the recent two-game losing streak.
“With my mentality, I wanted to come back two weeks ago,” Brown said. “I got up and came back tonight with no injury.”
Although SMU beat the Frogs statistically in first downs, total yards and time of possession, TCU stifled the Mustangs on third-down conversions, holding its rivals to a 25-percent third-down conversion rate.
The game started quickly for SMU, thanks to a 15-yard touchdown run by junior running back DeMyron Martin on its second possession. Martin finished with 100 rushing yards on 19 carries.
TCU would respond less than four minutes later with a blocked punt by redshirt freshman safety Colin Jones that was returned for a touchdown by freshman wide receiver Bart Johnson.
The Frogs would benefit from another big play early in the second quarter as junior linebacker Robert Henson returned a Willis interception for a 58-yard interception return for a touchdown.
Later in the quarter, Jackson worked his magic and led TCU to its first and only offensive touchdown of the game in the second quarter.
With Jackson under center, the Frogs were able to march the ball 78 yards during 16 plays ending with a 15-yard touchdown pass from Jackson to senior wide receiver Derek Moore. The second-quarter score turned out to be the final score of the game.