SMU takes on TCU at Ford Stadium Friday night for 98th meeting of the Iron Skillet. Everything went wrong for SMU in its opener, as it fell to UNT Saturday night 46-23. Meanwhile, TCU took down Southern 55-7. Here are three things to watch for Friday night.
#1: TCU quarterback Shawn Robinson
New Horned Frog signal caller Shawn Robinson impressed in his second career start last week, tossing three touchdowns and running in two more. The DeSoto product was one of the more hyped prospects that Gary Patterson has landed at TCU, ranked as the #6 dual-threat quarterback in the nation by 247Sports in 2017. SMU head coach Sonny Dykes worked with Robinson while at TCU last year, and had good things to say about the sophomore. “The thing that’s most impressive about Shawn is the kind of character kid he is,” Dykes said to 247Sports’ Billy Embody. “Very high character kid, very hard working kid. Great parents. Just everything you want from a quarterback. Tremendous upside. He’s a guy that’s going to be able to operate their offense well. I’m sure Shawn will have a great year.”
#2: Can SMU’s offense bounce back?
SMU’s offense struggled mightily against UNT, getting shut out in the game’s first three quarters. Quarterbacks Ben Hicks threw an early pick-six, and had a tough time connecting with his receivers for most of the game. Moreover, SMU mustered just four rushing yards. Getting both the passing and rushing games going will be key for SMU to hang with TCU. “We’ve got to be able to run the football,” offensive coordinator Rhett Lashlee said. “We’ve got to be balanced. Even when it’s not like we’re running it extremely well we’ve still got to stay balanced so our passing game will work, help out our offensive line.” SMU brought in talent on offense, with transfers from big-time programs such as ex-West Virginia Mountaineer Reggie Roberson and Notre Dame transfer C.J. Sanders. With another week, perhaps those pieces will begin to gel.
#3: Fan Support
It is the first boulevard of the year, and it will be interesting to see if SMU’s fans will come out to support their team. SMU added a party deck into Ford Stadium, with hopes of drawing more students to the game. It is supposed to rain Friday night which could hurt attendance, but SMU fans are encouraged to come out in full force for the Mustangs’ home opener.