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Quick Look: SMU Mustangs

TCU hosts SMU Saturday with the Iron Skillet on the line.

North Texas v SMU Photo by Cooper Neill/Getty Images

TCU is 2-0, which is all you can ever ask of a team that’s two weeks into their season. That they’ve had one of the more dominant defenses in the country over the first two weeks should give fans something to be excited about, surely, but week three will present a new test for the Frogs’ D.

Yes, SMU has been, largely, a whipping post for TCU football over the past decade, but with Chad Morris at the helm, the Ponies have made major strides back to relevancy. Add in that SMU has a receiver who has had his way with TCU the past few seasons, and this game will undoubtedly be a test TCU needs to pass before entering conference play.

SMU’s Record

2-0 (last week, defeated North Texas 54-32). SMU has scored 112 points in their first two contests of the season, hanging 58 on Stephen F. Austin in week one, before putting up 54 against North Texas in week two. While neither of those two teams has anything close to what the Frogs do on defense, This is probably the best offense TCU will have faced to this point.

Key Players

There are a few names to know, but the biggest by far is Courtland Sutton. Sutton, a junior wide receiver, is far and away SMU’s biggest offensive threat, and he’s had his way against TCU in the past. In two games against the Frogs, Sutton has nine receptions for 231 yards and a touchdown, and most of the time in both of those games, he was going up against Ranthony Texada.

So far in 2017, Sutton has 10 receptions for 185 yards and five touchdowns, including an eight reception, 163 yard, four touchdown day against North Texas (which earned him AAC Offensive Player of the Week honors). He’s the biggest matchup problem for TCU’s defense, and he’s a problem they’ll need to manage if they want to win big.

Biggest Unit Matchup

SMU’s receivers vs. TCU’s secondary - Behind Sutton, SMU has another solid receiver in Trey Quinn, who also has ten receptions on the season, and James Proche, who had five receptions for 66 yards against TCU a season ago. In 2016, TCU’s secondary held SMU to just 244 passing yards, while intercepting redshirt freshman Ben Hicks twice. Hicks has a full season under his belt, and he’s looked good in his first two games as a sophomore. While his performances have been against lesser competition, this isn’t a matchup that TCU can sleepwalk through and expect to come out the other side unscathed.