After raising concerns about his team’s lack of sideline intensity in last week’s victory over Iowa State, TCU football coach Gary Patterson says he is counting on the intensity of the Horned Frogs’ longtime rivalry with SMU to alter the mindset Friday in Dallas.
The Horned Frogs (2-1) and Mustangs (2-1) meet in Gerald J. Ford Stadium (7 p.m., ESPN) in the 96th renewal of the Battle for the Iron Skillet between the Fort Worth and Dallas schools. The Horned Frogs have won the last four meetings in the series but Patterson remembers that his team that won the Rose Bowl struggled on a Friday night in Dallas before pulling away in the fourth quarter to secure a 41-24 victory in the 2010 season.
“We understand how this game plays out. Every year, it’s been a war,” Patterson said. “The last time we played there on a Friday night, people were getting knocked out. So you’d better get ready to play in this ball game.”
TCU receiver Emanuel Porter, a Dallas Lincoln graduate, is particularly stoked for the chance to play in his hometown.
“We’re ready to take home the Iron Skillet and, honestly, I’m ready to play in Dallas,” Porter said. “It’ll be a really good homecoming for me.”
As a team, the Frogs are counting on the emotional boost that comes from a rivalry matchup to enhance their efforts. TCU running back Kyle Hicks, who rushed for 117 yards and scored two touchdowns in last week’s 41-20 victory over Iowa State, acknowledged “a lack of emotion out there on the sideline” while playing the Cyclones in an 11 a.m. start. But the junior from Arlington Martin said the prime-time kickoff and rivalry factor should get the Frogs’ full attention Friday.
“We always talk about bringing your own energy,” Hicks said. “I would hope emotion’s not an issue in that game. It’s definitely a rivalry game. We have to come with it because we know they’re going to come ready to play. We’ll definitely be ready.”
TCU linebacker Sammy Douglas, an Arlington High school graduate who ranks second on the team in tackles (25), is motivated by the chance to play the team’s first road game of the season.
“We’ve got to come out and play hard because we know they’re going to give us their all, especially at their home field,” Douglas said. “Basically, out leaders need to come out and lead the team, keep us motivated and pushing forward so we can get our victory.”