TCU-SMU Preview

BY foxsports • September 25, 2012

Enjoying the longest active winning streak in the nation, TCU hasn't been defeated since falling to SMU last season.

While the Mustangs didn't have much trouble putting points on the board in that game, they're likely to have their hands full Saturday night against one of the top defenses in the country.

Seeking a 12th consecutive victory, the 15th-ranked Horned Frogs look to resume their domination in this series when they visit SMU.

After kicking off its season with a 56-0 victory over Grambling State and winning 20-6 at Kansas in its Big 12 opener, TCU (3-0) continued its defensive prowess in a 27-7 win over Virginia last Saturday. Linebacker Kenny Cain had two interceptions and recovered a fumble for the Horned Frogs, surrendering an FBS-low 4.3 points per contest.

"We gave up one touchdown late in the fourth quarter, but that comes along with finishing the game," Cain said. "The defense has been playing great, and we have to keep that up and force teams to kick field goals."

TCU was, in contrast, anything but stifling in a 40-33 overtime loss to SMU on Oct. 1 - which ended the Horned Frogs' 22-game home winning streak. The Mustangs came in having dropped 10 of 11 in the series before stunning the then-No. 20 Frogs with 461 yards of offense.

The win was just their second over a Top 25 program - both coming against TCU - since being hit with the NCAA's death penalty in the 1980s.

Pulling out another win over the Frogs, though, could prove difficult given SMU's results against FBS opponents.

The Mustangs (1-2) lost 59-24 to Baylor in their season opener and fell 48-3 to Texas A&M on Sept. 15, winning 52-0 over FCS team Stephen F. Austin in between.

Garrett Gilbert went 23 of 49 for 203 yards with an interception versus the Aggies, who outgained the Mustangs 605-309.

"We just never got going on offense," coach June Jones said, "and we haven't really got going yet in the first three games but there's a lot of football left and hopefully we'll pick it up."

SMU is surrendering an FBS-high 388.0 passing yards per game and coming off a bye week, has surely spent plenty of time preparing for Casey Pachall.

Leading the nation with a 209.9 passer rating, Pachall went 21 of 32 for 305 yards and three touchdowns last weekend but was picked off the first time this season.

"I want to be perfect the whole time," said Pachall, who threw for 304 yards and three touchdowns versus SMU last season. "I know I'm going to make mistakes because everyone does. But after that, it's just one of those mistakes I'm going to have to learn from."

Josh Boyce caught his school-record 18th touchdown pass against the Cavaliers while sophomore Brandon Carter had five receptions for 128 yards and a score.

Carter, who had an inconsistent freshman season, had eight catches for 141 yards and two touchdowns against the Jayhawks.

"He's done a great job. He's gotten a lot better with his routes, and knowing when to do what," Pachall said. "That certainly helps me, because he's a lot more reliable now with his routes and everything. I know he can catch the ball and run with it, but it's just that trust factor that's grown."

TCU has outscored opponents by an average of 24.7 points during its winning streak.

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