Matt Visinsky

Gameday Central: SMU vs. TCU

Come inside Pony Stampede's Gameday Central for SMU vs. TCU.

When: Friday, Sept. 23, 2016 at 7 p.m. CT 
Where: Gerald J. Ford Stadium (Dallas, Texas) 
TV: ESPN
SERIES: 96th meeting (TCU leads 48-40-7)

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SMU vs. TCU quick links

Game preview: SMU vs. TCU

Five TCU players to know

Five questions with HornedFrogInsider's Josh Harvey

Notebook from SMU's weekly media day

Pregame Buzz

Follow Pony Stampede's Patrick Engel (@PatrickEngel_) and Phil Mayer (@mayer_philip) on Twitter for live updates from Ford Stadium today.

Matt Visinsky

1st quarter blog/observations- SMU 3, TCU 3

  • Ke'Mon Freeman came in as a wildcat quarterback in the red zone twice on SMU's opening drive. He ran the a zone-read for what looks like a touchdown, but it was negated on a holding penalty on Courtland Sutton.
  • SMU's streak of reaching inside an opponent's 15-yard line and not scoring a touchdown reached 13 straight possessions after Josh Wiliams kicked a field goal.
  • Darrion Millines needs to be quicker to react on the throw he broke up on second down on TCU's opening drive. He's responsible for robbing short throws over the middle like the one TCU quarterback Kenny Hill made on that play. SMU brought six rushers on third-and-one and forced an incompletion on the next play.
  • Kyran Mitchell blew up a trick play to sack Hill for a 16-yard loss. Play made by SMU's secondary not biting on the double reverse to set it up.
  • SMU had a great matchup with Courtland Sutton in the slot on third down from its own six, but Ben Hicks overthrew him on a go route.
  • SMU's secondary is playing at a really high level. Disciplined in zone and not hesitating. TCU didn't take many shots down the field on its first three drives though.
  • Has not been a good quarter for SMU's offensive line. Hicks has taken a beating in the passing game.
  • TCU didn't pick up a first down until the final 90 seconds of the quarter.

2nd quarter blog/observations- TCU 6, SMU 3

  • SMU's offensive line having trouble holding blocks in the running game. There are holes for a quick second, but their not lasting long enough.
  • TCU converted on fourth-and-four when Hill sensed Jordan Wyatt coming on a corner blitz and threw to Kyle Hicks on the wheel route right where Wyatt came from.
  • Great play by Anthony Rhone on his interception on the goal line. In Cover 2 dropping back and Hill didn't see him. A hit on intended receiver John Diarse was called targeting upon review, ejecting Darrion Millines.
  • TCU has tackled well in the open field. SMU hasn't made them miss.
  • Left tackle Nick Natour left the game with an injury with 7:58 left in the half.
  • On third-and-two from TCU's 36, Ben Hicks tried to force a quick in to Shelby Walker, but it was nearly intercepted by a underneath defender Hicks didn't see.
  • TCU is spreading SMU out a bit and it's getting some yards. Letting speed win. 
  • Michael Badejo played Hill on the option that set up first-and-goal. He almost got there, but got it off to Hicks and converted.
  • Kevin Johnson read a first-and-goal option by Hill and blew through a running back's block to make a four-yard tackles for loss.
  • Mikial Onu had great coverage on Cole Hunt on the corner route on third-and-goal that Hunt caught, but out of bounds.
  • Very strange that SMU just let a little more than two minutes run off into halftime, but couldn't. Went three-and-out, but Sackville delivered a 49-yard punt that pinned TCU inside the 20. The Horned Frogs didn't score before half, but advanced into SMU territory and tried a Hail Mary.

3rd quarter blog/observations- TCU 20, SMU 3

  • SMU gave up a 75-yard touchdown pass from Hill to Diarse on the first play of the second half. Kevin Johnson missed a pretty easy tackle on the play. He was lined up in the slot and initially Kyran Mitchell took responsibility, but Kevin Johnson was late to help and missed a tackle.
  • Xavier Castille has to come up with the catch on the post. Hicks hit him in the hands on a great throw.
  • Mitchell Kaufman dropped a pass on a flat route on third-and-two from the TCU 29. Hicks got it to him even though he didn't see James McFarland positioned to drop into flat coverage.
  • Very senseless facemask on RC Cox on 3rd and 19 to give TCU a first, but a bit of a picky call too. Came after the receiver was stopped.
  • Can't complain much about the TD to go up 20-3. Great throw.
  • I like the first play of the drive after TCU scored again. Quick slant and quick hitter to Proche, who'd been quiet.
  • Good read and rob by Niko Small on third-and-two, but I'd think Sutton thinks he should catch it.
  • SMU can’t allow a screen to go for a first on third-and-10 when it only rushes three guys. Kyran Mitchell missed the tackle. SMU only rushed three on the next third down and allowed a 23-yard completion, and a 15-yard completion on the next third down

4th quarter blog/observations- TCU 23, SMU 3

  • Hicks can't hold the ball as long as he did on the sack
  • Saw Hicks get out of the pocket and complete a pass to Sutton. I wonder if we'll see more of that. He's capable outside the pocket. 
  • RC Cox made a nice play where he avoided a cutblock attempt to make an open-field tackle.
  • SMU's defense is clearly tired. TCU hitting its hot routes off blitzes pretty easily.
  • Kevin Thomas had his first catch of the year late in the game. 
  • Redshirt freshman Hunter Thedford saw some time at defensive end.

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