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TCU @ SMU Preview: The Battle for the Iron Skillet

Amanda Green - SI Cheerleader of the week 12-24-09 (via <a href="">MattyV53</a>)
Amanda Green - SI Cheerleader of the week 12-24-09 (via MattyV53)

Tonight the TCU Horned Frogs head 40 miles east to Dallas for the annual "Battle for the Iron Skillet" against the SMU Mustangs.  Tonight's game on ESPN will mark the 90th time the two teams have squared off on the gridirion with TCU leading the series 43-39-7.  Judging by SMU predicting it's largest crowd ever it would seem that fans are trying to convince themselves that tonight is going to be just like 2005 when TCU, fresh off a big win over #7 OU in Norman, OK came into SMU's Ford Field the next week with their heads in the clouds and got handed their only loss of the season in a 21-10 clunker of a game.  This year looks to be different as the Frogs are now used to the media's spotlight and this 2010 team is a focused group of veterans with 27 seniors on the roster.

While SMU is a "step above" Baylor in every facet of the game I just don't see them being able to hang around for long with the way that the Frogs are playing right now.  On offense SMU the mobile QB Kyle Padron will be running the show but the 'Stangs aren't as one dimensional as you would think having discovered a power-back in Zach Line to complement the June Jones spread attack.  The Frogs need to be careful as Line can be a killer on draws and screens.   On defense SMU has a pretty impressive front 7 led by DE Taylor Thompson and LB Ja'Gared Davis that can give the TCU offensive line a challenge in spots, but I look for the Frogs to win the battle up front pretty handily.

Prediction: TCU 38 SMU 20