A Blog devoted to all things SWC, the greatest college athletic conference. Updated weekly with the SWC Game of the Week during football season. Other relevant SWC News will appear from time to time as well.

Monday, September 15, 2008

SWC Game of the Week: TCU at SMU

For the first time in our short history, we had a SWC Game of the Week “Hurricaned” out. Texas will face Arkansas next week in Austin, but this week we will turn our focus to the battle of the Metroplex, TCU at SMU. They will battle of the Iron Skillet Saturday at 7PM and if you have CBS Sports Channel you can watch it on TV.

This week we visit an old rivalry, SMU vs. TCU. In the 88 meetings between the two, TCU has won 41 compared to SMU’s victory total of 39. They have tied 7 times. SMU won the last meeting in Dallas 21-10 in 2005. SMU won 15 in a row from 1972 to 1986. TCU beat the Ponies last year 21-7. SMU is one of the youngest teams in the nation, playing 12 true freshmen in their opening loss to Rice. One of those freshmen is quarterback Bo Levi Mitchell. He has looked good in stretches and bad in others, seems to be a typical freshman quarterback, but has led SMU to 15th in the nation in passing offense at 308 yards a game. He will look to get the ball in the hands of Emmanuel Sanders. Sanders is on a streak of 4 consecutive games with at least 100 yards receiving and at 128.0 yards per game he is 8th in the nation in receiving yards per game. He has caught a ball in 26 of his 27 college games. Thomas Morstead, the SMU punter, leads CUSA and is third in the nation with 48 yards per game. On defense, linebacker Pete Fleps leads SMU with 24 tackles this week as well as 3 pass breakups and 2 forced fumbles. On the academic front, 97% of the scholarship athletes that entered SMU between 1991 and 2001 have earned their degrees.

Gary Patterson has been quite successful at TCU after taking over for … Fran (remember him?) The Horned Frogs look to be BCS busters again this year and are off to a 3-0 start, the third 3-0 start in the last six years. The previous two yielded 11 win seasons. TCU has outscored it’s opponents 124-24 and has not trailed yet this year. QB Andy Dalton has led the Frogs in rushing in 4 of the last 7 contests and has 4 rushing touchdowns this year to tie Joseph Turner for the team lead. TCU has a balanced attack, rushing for 241.3 yards and passing for 156.7 yards. TCU has won 18 straight games when rushing for more yards than passing. TCU’s 241 yards rushing per game ranks 13th nationally. On defense the Frogs are second in the nation, only yielding 174 yards a game. Defensive ends Matt Panfil and Jerry Hughes have both received MWC defensive player of the week honors. Panfil has 7 tackles for a loss this year including 3.5 sacks while Hughes has 5.5 tackles for a loss and 3 sacks. The pair also have all 4 of TCU’s tackles for a loss.

During the post-World War II college football boom, the SMU and TCU student bodies created a traveling trophy called the Iron Skillet that was presented to the winner of the annual football game between the archrivals. The tradition eventually died, and the skillet was lost. In 1993, however, the tradition was revived as the president of the SMU student body painted the face of the TCU student body president red and blue following the Mustangs’ 21-15 victory in Fort Worth. The engraved skillet is presented to the winning team after each game.

This week we will focus on one of the greatest football players to ever play the game, Doak Walker. Doak was an All American 1947, 1948, and 1949 at SMU. He carried the ball on offense, punted, returned kicks, and kicked extra points. He did it all. He played his freshman year in 1945, missed the 1946 season due to military service, and then won the Heisman Trophy in 1948, the first junior to do so. He was the first college football player to be on the cover of Life Magazine. He graduated from Highland Park High School in 1944 and chose SMU over following his buddy and classmate Bobby Layne to Texas. "Having Doak on our team was like having loaded dice or marked cards. We just felt like we had to do our part and Doak would do the rest. The most amazing thing is that he did it all so effortlessly. He made it look so simple." - Francis Pulattie. Doak and the success of the SMU teams of the post war years drew enormous crowds, so big that SMU moved their home games from campus to the Cotton Bowl. Then the Cotton Bowl couldn’t contain the crowds so they built a second deck, making capacity of 75,000. The Cotton Bowl honored Doak with a plaque that says, “The House that Doak Built.” In 1950 Doak began his NFL career with the Detroit Lions by leading the league in scoring with 128 points. He was a four time All-Pro with the Lions, where he was reunited with Bobby Layne, his high school classmate, and led them to NFL Championships in 1952 and 1953. He retired after only 6 years in the league, still in his prime. He was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1959 and the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1986. The award for the best running back in college football each year is named for him, The Doak Walker Award.

Alabama at Arkansas (‘Bama tough opponent for Arkansas, Hogs with extra week off)
Baylor at Connecticut (Baylor 1-0 on Friday’s this year, takes on UConn on this Friday)
Houston at Colorado State (Houston takes on Mountain West)
Rice at Texas (Rice makes annual contribution to the Texas football program)
Miami at Texas A&M (Aggies out for revenge from Miami disaster in 2007)
Mass. at Texas Tech (Texas Tech continues tough non conference slate)

SWC Game of the Week:
Texas vs. Arkansas Postponed Due to Hurricane Ike

Other Games:
Baylor 45 Washington State 17 (Baylor blows out Washington State, wins second in a row, game played Friday to avoid Ike)
Air Force 31 Houston 28 (Houston’s comeback comes up short in a game played at SMU’s Ford Field, now the City of Houston begins their comeback)
Vanderbilt 38 Rice 21 (Rice shut out in the 2nd half)
Texas Tech 43 SMU 7 (Tech gets the water off the field, then runs over the Ponies)
TCU 31 Stanford 14 (TCU takes down Stanford with 17 second half points)

Conference: Overall:
TCU 0 0 3 0
Texas Tech 0 0 3 0
Arkansas: 0 0 2 0
Texas 0 0 2 0
Rice 1 0 2 1
Baylor 0 0 2 1
Texas A&M 0 0 1 1
Houston 0 0 1 2
SMU 0 1 1 2

Read about SMU’s mascot, Peruna.

We here at SWC Game of the Week wish all those in the path of Ike well, and we wish Houston and Galveston a speedy recovery. The Gulf Coast has produced many great SWC players, too many to list, and we look forward to the next group to be discovered.

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