Everywhere on the SMU campus that had a printable surface had the words "June Cometh." As I watched the Frogs blow out the Mustangs, I admit I made up a few jokes in my head about the situation. June cometh, sure, but he left his team in the locker room. The truth is these jokes might only last for so long.
TCU supporters had a blast watching the Frogs roll over the Mustangs. By the middle of the third quarter, it seemed only purple-clad fans still occupied their seats. SMU, however, has young talent. Jones is currently putting together an impressive first-year recruiting class that will add more young talent. It might be a few years, but SMU will get better. How could they possibly get worse? (Sorry Mustang fans. I had to land one last punch.)
The score was lopsided in TCU's favor, but it could have been worse for SMU. TCU quarterback Andy Dalton missed a wide-open tight end in the back of the end zone, and the TCU receivers dropped several passes that might have added a few more touchdowns. With juggernaut Oklahoma waiting and scheming (the Sooners had an off week), the TCU offense will need to be clipping at an all-time high. TCU will need to clean up penalties as well. The Frogs drew nine yellow flags, most of which were for false starts.
"We are not a good enough football team to go second and 15," Patterson said after the game. "Too many penalties."
The TCU faithful started chanting "beat OU" before the SMU smack down ended. The Frogs defense played SMU well. TCU gained yardage against the SMU rushing attack. The Frogs front set SMU back 8 yards total on the ground. Their pass defense played well too, giving up only 218 yards in the air to a Mustang offense that had averaged 303 yards a game passing in its first three games. Jones sounded dejected in the post-game press conference. He talked about the mistakes his team made, all the while holding his car keys in his hand as if to say, "I'm ready to leave and move on."
"It was frustrating to watch when you hand the ball off and they just overpower you," Jones said.
Not only did the defense hold the Mustangs' offense to 210 yards, but the Frogs also forced three turnover, two interceptions and a fumble. The fumble was on SMU's first possession. That led to a TCU touchdown. TCU defensive end Jerry Hughes intercepted freshman SMU quarterback Bo Levi Mitchell on the next Mustang possession, returning it 24 yards for the Frogs' second touchdown. Just like that, TCU -14, SMU -0. IT seemed the game was over at that point.
"The TCU defense will probably be the best defense that we will see this year," said Jones after the game. "They have great team speed. They (TCU's defense) should be ranked in the top five in the nation. They were coming in."
The TCU defense will need to play just as well next week against a much better Oklahoma offense. If the Frogs can force turnovers, shut down the run, and prevent the Sooners from getting big plays in the passing game, TCU will have an opportunity to win. It will be tough, though, as Oklahoma is averaging 556.7 yards a game this season, 217 on the ground.
So, TCU fans, make your June Jones jokes. Celebrate another year of Iron Skillet possession. But get ready for a fight next week. It should be a great match up of one of the nation's best offenses going against one of its best defenses.