While everyone will look back at Jeremy Kerley's kick return in the 3rd quarter as the biggest moment in the game, there was another in my opinion almost as big.
Shortly after SMU took a 7-0 lead in the 1st quarter, they stopped Andy Dalton and TCU on a three and out. With all the momentum in the world, the Mustangs followed up with their own three and out from the 43 yard line. One decent pass by the offense and they were in field goal range.
TCU was playing on their heels at that point. Down 7-0 on the road with their offense not moving, SMU had a chance to take a lot of spirit away from the Frogs early. They missed out on the chance.
Zach Line talked about the missed opportunity after the game in his post game video.
SMU game ball goes to: Zach Line
The sophomore was spectator. A total of 17 carries for 142 yards and a touchdown. For SMU to be able to run for as many yards as they did against one of the best defenses in the country, really shows that the running game should be a huge factor the rest of the season.
"I give all the credit to the offensive line. I can do all the shake and bake out there I want, but they do all that hard work up front," said Line. "We saw what they do on defense and thought we would have success with it, and obviously Coach Jones is a smart coach. He knows when to run it and when to throw it."
TCU game ball goes to: Jeremy Kerley
He only had four catches for 33 yards, but the senior was crucial in the kick return game. He set up the Horned Frogs on multiple occasions with a much shorter field. His biggest return game in the 3rd quarter, literally moments after SMU took the lead 17-14. He ran to the right side for 83 yards down the sideline. The crowd and team's momentum was gone.
"I thought that was the biggest swing in the game," said Coach June Jones after the game.
1.)Attendance of 35,481 in a Gerald J. Ford Stadium record, breaking the mark of 34,749 set in the 2009 home-opener against Stephen F. Austin
2.)SMU Captains for today: Kelvin Beachum (70), Pete Fleps (52), Aldrick Robinson (24), Taylor Reed (44)
3.)Zach Line had a career-high 139 yards rushing for his second 100-yard game of the year. He is the first 100-yard rusher TCU has allowed since Harvey Unga of BYU on Oct. 29, 2009. It is just the 21st time TCU has allowed a 100-yard rusher in 117 games under Gary Patterson.
4.)TCU defeated SMU for the eighth time in nine seasons with Gary Patterson as head coach.
5.)The Frogs held a 32:18 to 27:42 edge over the Mustangs.
Couple Random Thoughts:
1.)The crowd was amazing on Friday... By far the best SMU crowd I have ever seen. They knew when to cheer and really energized the players according to sources. It's what SMU needs every home game. No, every week you aren't going to break records, but it would be nice to get in the 20,000s from here on out this season.
2.)When watching SMU football in the June Jones era, special teams has never been a concern. For the first time that I can remember, this team was outplayed on special teams Friday night. Jeremy Kerley is special, but the Mustangs didn't do the greatest job of swarming to the football on kickoff. It was even worse for Matt Szymanski. It's amazing how he averaged 40 yards a punt, considering he had two punts for less than 20 yards.
3.)I specifically asked Coach Jones if Friday night was a prime example of how the depth is still lacking for the Mustangs...His answer... "absolutely." When the coaching staff is hesitant to give a guy a breather or a team has quite a few starters on special teams, it really can affect the outcome of a game. The Mustangs started the 1st half strong and the 3rd quarter. But, wore down as the game went on.
4.)The media was out in full force on Friday night. It was the most I have ever seen inside the press box at SMU. Now of course a lot of that was because SMU was playing the No. 4 team in the country, but I was impressed by how many really knew their stuff when it came to the Mustangs. Of course, some of us regulars had to tell them certain things...for example who Zach Line was. But the Mustangs are really starting to gain the attention from at least the local media.
5.)The offensive line did a good job on Friday night. Yes, Kyle Padron was pressured at times, but it was often after he went through his progression as wide receiver. The TCU secondary is no joke. The offensive line bought Kyle time. They did all you can ask for. Coach Jones was very pleased with their effort after the game and I'm sure he will comment on it again throughout the week. Tech wasn't the o-line's greatest performance, they rebounded this time on National Television.
6.) I would call Sterling Moore's performance on Friday night as a pay day....TCU's passing game is pretty solid, and the senior cornerback not only had a big interception, but had a nice pass deflection or two and was solid with his open field tackles. Banged up and hurting, nothing was going to stop Moore from being on the field. SMU couldn't completely stop the TCU passing game, but slowed it down more than any other opponent this season.