TCU Survives Scare From SMU, Wins 24-16

TCU upended the SMU Mustangs on Saturday at Gerald Ford stadium by a score of 24-16. Head coach Gary Patterson said the game was one of survival.

In front a stadium barely a quarter full, TCU struggled with unforced errors and penalties. The Frogs could not stop shooting themselves in the foot.

Personal foul penalties, continuing to play without a helmet on, dropped passes, and muffed holds all cost TCU from stretching out a lead over the pesky SMU Mustangs.

The same can be said for SMU. Dropped passes all night long from SMU receivers stopped their own drives.

But TCU moved on to 4-0 with a 24-16 victory over SMU at Ford Stadium. Patterson would say that he can be happy for one more week.

Call the Frogs a resilient team for now. Heady...not so sure.

"I told them before we even started the second half...we are gonna have to survive this," Patterson said. "I watched them. Guys were taking stuff off. They weren't ready to go back out in the second half."

"When you've got a young football team, what did you think? We're gonna go take an hour and a half and go take a sauna?" Patterson said.

"We got lucky. I thought the defense with their goal line stand [in the fourth quarter] was probably the turning point in the game," Patterson said.

Five interceptions from Garrett Gilbert only multiplied SMU's offensive problems. TCU got second half interceptions from safety Chris Hackett, cornerback Jason Verrett (twice) and defensive lineman Jon Koontz (first career INT).

Patterson's defense held SMU to just 220 yards to total offense.

"Getting six takeaways is a big deal. We had to do it that way to win to be honest with you," Patterson said.

The scoring started for TCU when Casey Pachall found LaDarius Brown for a 10 yard touchdown with 5:27 remaining in the first quarter.

?The Frogs would double that lead when Pachall found Matthew Tucker for a two yard score just 3 minutes later.

TCU could get the lead no larger the rest of the first half. Missed tackles allowed Line to rumble 21 yards to cap off an 86 yard SMU drive.

Back to back three and outs for SMU after the scoring drive, gave TCU another chance to push their lead to 14.

Skye Dawson's 64 yard punt return set the Frogs up at the SMU 4 yard line, and Matthew Tucker would need just one play to punch the ball into the end zone.

A Chase Hover field goal made the halftime score 21-10.

No third quarter scoring for either team send the game to the final period with SMU in striking distance.

Special teams would give TCU a 14 point advantage again, but a special teams errors gave SMU late life.

As rain fell all night at Gerald Ford stadium, Ethan Perry muffed a punt with 11 minutes remaining which gave SMU the ball at the TCU 1 yard line.

True freshman Devonte Fields sacked Gilbert on second down and goal which pushed SMU back to the TCU 9 yard line.

Fields finished with 2.5 sacks and 5 tackles for loss (the second most TFLs for a player in the Patterson era.

"Devonte has been playing very well since the season started," safety Elisha Olabode said. "I'm very proud of Devonte. He helps the secondary a lot with his pressure."

On the game's biggest play, Sam Carter broke up a 4th down pass from Gilbert and Patterson's defense held.

Smart play: no.

Resilient play: yes.

TCU would muff two punts and two field goals on the night.

"You know it was a mistake. We should have taken the freshman punter out. We should have put in the senior," Patterson said.

The TCU defense was able to hold SMU running back Zach Line to just 2.9 yards per carry.

?Patterson said that the defense knew that Line couldn't beat them. "We worked on the run all week," Patterson said.

As a result, Garrett Gilbert had to beat the TCU defense, and he proved to be unable.

Gilbert completed just 15 of his 40 passes against the TCU secondary.

"Every time something like this happens and kids trust," Patterson said. "These guys haven't been through the war with me. Every time we play like this or we do something like this, more and more we gain confidence in the call, how we do things and how we communicate."

"I think we took another step forward today," Patterson said.

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