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TCU News: 50/50 game for the Horned Frogs and Ponies?

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Gary Patterson is preparing his players like he would any big game.

Links O' War
Links O’ War
Danny Mourning

Football:

College football preview: TCU at SMU | Chron.com

This rivalry still means something to the players.

SMU update: SMU is looking for a bounce-back win in transitioning to coach Sonny Dykes after Chad Morris departed to Arkansas. Dykes spent 2017 at TCU as an offensive analyst. …The Mustangs scored all 23 of their points in the fourth quarter in last week’s 46-23 loss at North Texas. …Third-year starting quarterback Ben Hicks threw two touchdown passes, including a 71-yarder to running back and Seven Lakes product Braeden West, who also scored on a 5-yard run. …TCU is the most played opponent by SMU.

TCU’s Patterson views SMU as 50-50 game despite dominance | Tuscon.com

Dykes seems to think he has Patterson’s number a bit for tonight, or at least knows what to expect. Now, can his team stop it?

The Mustangs’ new coach is Sonny Dykes, the former Louisiana Tech and California coach who last season was an offensive analyst for Patterson at TCU.

”I’m sure Gary feels pretty good about his team,” Dykes said, downplaying the idea of having some advantage because of his time there. “The reason that Gary does so well is he knows exactly what he believes in, and his team always does that well, they’re always going to do certain things well on defense. ... I would imagine he’ll change a couple of things here and there, but I think at the end of the day, he’s going to do what’s made him successful and what he’s comfortable doing.”

No. 16 TCU going for Iron Skillet at SMU before Ohio State | The Sacramento Bee

Ben Banogu is going to have a big game.

SMU QB Ben Hicks vs. TCU defense. Hicks, the third-year starter, has to adjust without receivers Courtland Sutton and Trey Quinn, who both went in the NFL draft last spring. After a slow start in a season-opening loss at North Texas, Hicks had a couple of long TD passes late. TCU has held seven of its last 15 opponents to seven points or less.

TCU-SMU prediction: Can the Horned Frogs and Mustangs both end up looking like winners? | Sports Day

The Frogs will know more after SMU than they did after Southern, but the biggest test comes a week later.

Regardless of the rivalry, a good showing against the Frogs is something SMU’s players and coaches definitely need. Even in a loss, the Mustangs can hopefully put Week 1’s embarrassment behind them. Use it as a reset, if you will. That means supporting quarterback Ben Hicks with protection and precise route running, both of which looked pedestrian against the Mean Green. Scoring in bunches on the Frogs’ elite defense would be a major step forward as SMU looks to build momentum before facing Michigan in Ann Arbor next week. Any improvement shown against TCU should be considered a win.

While TCU’s schedule makers probably weren’t using this mentality, the Frogs’ first three opponents screamed, “easy,” “medium” and “hard.” Or, at least they did. After dismantling Southern 55-7 in its opener, the middle game against SMU was supposed to be TCU’s warm up before facing Ohio State at AT&T Stadium in Week 3. And while Patterson won’t let his Frogs take any opponent lightly, TCU will have to wait and see how much of a challenge the Mustangs can mount with five days’ prep. Sophomore QB Shawn Robinson scored 5 touchdowns against Southern in only one half of play, but he could still use some growing up before meeting the Buckeyes in Arlington.