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Preview: SMU-TCU Face Off For Iron Skillet

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DALLAS, TX - SEPTEMBER 29:  James Fry #64 of the TCU Horned Frogs prepares to snap the ball along side teammates Blaize Foltz #66 and Aviante Collins #69 against the SMU Mustangs on September 29, 2012 at Gerald J. Ford Stadium in Dallas, Texas.  (Photo by Cooper Neill/Getty Images)

TCU defeated SMU 24-16 in 2012. (Photo by Cooper Neill/Getty Images)

SMU (1-2) at TCU (1-2), 11 a.m. CT Saturday

Line: TCU by 19.5

Series record: TCU leads 45-40-7

WHAT’S AT STAKE

The Iron Skillet, which goes to winner of game between only FBS teams in Dallas-Fort Worth market. Both teams trying to avoid 1-3 starts. TCU hasn’t been 1-3 since 1999, when Gary Patterson was still defensive coordinator and the Frogs finished 8-4. SMU started 1-3 last season, but recovered for 6-6 regular season and school-record fourth straight bowl bid.

KEY MATCHUP

The SMU passing game combination of coach June Jones and passing game coordinator Hal Mumme vs. TCU’s 4-2-5 defense loaded with experienced cornerbacks and safeties. The Mustangs have thrown for 1,046 yards and quarterback Garrett Gilbert, the nation’s leader with 38 completions per game, has team-leading 103 of Mustangs’ 339 yards rushing. The Frogs have given up 676 yards passing with more interceptions than TDs allowed (5-4).

PLAYERS TO WATCH

SMU: Linebacker Kevin Pope leads Mustangs with 30 tackles (12 solo, 18 assists). He also has 41/2 tackles for loss and team-high 11/2 sacks.

TCU: Cornerback Jason Verrett has shut down pair of high-profile receivers in head-to-head matchups this season. Texas Tech’s Eric Ward was held without catch while LSU’s Odell Beckham Jr. had only one catch for 8 yards.

FACTS & FIGURES

TCU has won 11 of the past 13 against the Mustangs, whose win in 2005 was only loss by the Horned Frogs that season. — The Frogs are 25-8 in regular-season games following loss under Patterson. — TCU has eight sacks this season, by seven different players. — Over past 31 games, SMU is 16-0 when scoring first and 0-15 when opponent scores first.

(© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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