TCU chance to get into offensive rhythm vs. SMU
DALLAS (AP) — TCU is ready for a chance to get into a rhythm with its new offense.
The pattern so far for the Horned Frogs (2-0) has been play a game, have an off week, play a game, have another off week. That changes over the next eight Saturdays, starting this week at SMU (0-3) in the Dallas-Fort Worth rivalry known as the Battle for the Iron Skillet.
“Now we’ll get an opportunity to just go out there and keep playing, and try to keep the momentum,” running back B.J. Catalon said. “Keep going out there and seeing what the new offense has for us.”
Coach Gary Patterson knows it will “help the offense to play every seven days.”
In their first two games with new co-offensive coordinators and their version of a faster-paced spread offense, the Frogs have scored 78 points and piled up 982 total yards.
They are a nearly five-touchdown favorite on the road against SMU, which has managed only 195 yards per game and scored only 12 total points, both worst among FBS teams. There was a touchdown on the final play at North Texas, what ended up being June Jones’ last as the Mustangs coach, and two field goals last week in 58-6 home loss to sixth-ranked Texas A&M that was defensive coordinator Tom Mason’s first game as interim coach.
Plus, the Mustangs are already on their fourth quarterback this season.
Garrett Krstich, who took over for ineffective replacement starter Kolney Cassel in the second quarter against Texas A&M, is a junior walk-on who is expected to get his first career start against the Frogs. Krstich completed 13 of 24 passes for 137 yards with no interceptions against the Aggies.
Mason told Dan Morrison, the associate head coach and quarterbacks coach now serving as a co-offensive coordinator, “that we have to go with who is playing the best. I don’t care if he’s a walk-on. I don’t care if he was fourth string going into fall camp. To me, quarterback is like any other position. You play the guy that’s playing the best right now. Right now, he’s playing the best.”
Here are a few other things to know when the former Southwest Conference rivals meet for the 94th time:
GOOD FIT: Quarterback Trevone Boykin has thrown for 289 yards per game with four touchdowns, and is also the Frogs’ top rusher with 61 yards per game. Catalon said the new offense “fits (Boykin) perfectly. ... When it comes to him using his feet, he will always be able to do that, so I feel like this offense really helps him out and just gives him an opportunity to spread the ball around. Really, it’s just like he’s out there playing catch. He’s having fun.”
STRUGGLING ON D TOO: While the offense struggles to score and move the ball, the Mustangs defense is giving up a lot of points and yards. SMU opponents are averaging 49 points and 530 total yards a game. They have faced two of the nation’s best offenses in Top 10 teams Baylor and Texas A&M, but even allowed North Texas to pile up 43 points.
SKILLET HOME: The Iron Skillet trophy that goes to the winner of this game has spent a lot of time in Fort Worth on the TCU campus. The Frogs have won six of the last seven games in the series, and 12 of the last 14.
CONFERENCE AHEAD: This is the final non-conference game for both teams. After playing the Mustangs, TCU jumps into its Big 12 schedule with three consecutive games against ranked teams — No. 4 Oklahoma, No. 7 Baylor and No. 24 Oklahoma State. SMU plays its conference opener Oct. 4 at East Carolina.