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Football: TCU defeats SMU 34-17 to win the 102nd Battle for the Iron Skillet

The Horned Frogs step up in the second half to move to 3-1 on the season.

SMU v TCU Photo by Sam Hodde/Getty Images

The TCU football team won its third consecutive game earlier this afternoon, defeating SMU 34-17 to claim the 102nd Battle for the Iron Skillet. Chandler Morris continued to play with confidence, completing 22-of-31 passes for 261 yards and three touchdowns, all of which went to tight ends. Emani Bailey remained the workhorse running back for the Horned Frogs, carrying the ball 25 times for 126 yards and one touchdown. TCU finished with 457 total yards and forced two second-half turnovers. The Horned Frogs (3-1, 1-0 Big 12) also had two second-half sacks of Preston Stone, who completed only 45.7 percent of his balls.

SMU scored first on Saturday, moving the ball effectively on the ground and taking a 3-0 lead on a 24-yard field goal from Collin Rogers. The Mustangs ran for over 100 yards in the first half and seemed to control the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball throughout the first half, but SMU had few answers for Morris and TCU passing offense, which found the end zone midway through the first quarter, where Morris connected with tight end Jared Wiley for a 9-yard touchdown on a well-designed play that included multiple fakes. Wiley and Morris linked up for another touchdown during the second quarter, where Morris rolled to his right and tossed the ball to Wiley, who raced to the end zone for a 2-yard score.

SMU made the score 14-10 after Camar Wheaton leapt into the end zone for a 1-yard touchdown run that capped off a successful drive where the Mustangs pounded the ball on the ground. While SMU outgained TCU in the first half, accumulating over 200 yards of total offense, the Horned Frogs emerged from the locker room and dominated the third quarter, scoring three times to command a 27-10 lead. Griffin Kell converted a 35-yard field goal and a 24-yard field, while safety Abe Camara stepped up with a huge pass breakup on fourth down to push the Mustang offense off the field. The defensive stand led to a 24-yard rushing touchdown from Bailey that enabled the Horned Frogs to take a 27-10 lead.

TCU’s defense continued to make plays in the fourth quarter, where cornerback Josh Newton intercepted Preston Stone and returned the ball all the way to the SMU 10-yard line. A series of highly questionable plays from the TCU offense and special teams resulted in an empty drive, but the defense answered the call once again, with safety Bud Clark picking off Stone and giving TCU possession on a touchback. TCU failed to convert the turnover into points, though, with head coach Sonny Dykes and offensive coordinator Kendal Briles electing to bypass the field-goal attempt on a fourth-and-4 down in favor of a deep pass to the end zone that fell incomplete for Major Everhart. With TCU unable to put the Mustangs away, SMU marched down the field and scored on a touchdown run from Tyler LaVine.

The Horned Frogs ultimately secured the win late in the fourth quarter, with Morris finding Chase Curtis on a fourth-and-2 down for the tight end’s first career touchdown catch. TCU’s defense stamped the win with a sack and near-safety from nose tackle Damonic Williams. Linebacker Namdi Obiazor led the defense with 8.5 total tackles, while strong safety Mark Perry followed with six total tackles and safety Nook Bradford had four solo tackles.