The worst place to be for SMU football is trying to get on track against your Metroplex rivals to the west, TCU. The Iron Skillet game in on tap again and for the Mustangs, it's a desperate attempt to prove last week was, well, week one.
Can Ben Get Back?
Last week was nothing if not a regression game for Ben Hicks. Combine that with his effort in the bowl game, and our small sample size of two games under Sonny Dykes isn't promising. On Saturday night Hicks look ineffectively wild through three quarters, once again missing badly on throws. After his sophomore season, we assumed those issues were behind him.
Perhaps you can chalk it up to losing Courtland Sutton and Trey Quinn, but that doesn't excuse the throws that completely missed. It's entirely possible that North Texas and Louisiana Tech last season caught him off guard, and it's not a trend, but we'd like to see a better performance out of Hicks Friday.
SMU's offensive front didn't help the cause; the Mustangs couldn't run the ball through a wet paper sack on Saturday let alone North Texas. The Mustangs have a solid group of backs in Xavier Jones, Ke'Mon Freeman, and Braeden West; they should be able to establish some sort of running attack with any help up front. On paper, this is a veteran line group that should be ok, but they were a leaky fixture last week who cleared the way for four net rushing yards.
Then There's TCU
It's tough to get healthy against one of the better teams in the Big 12. TCU comes to Dallas with some questions of their own. Shawn Robinson is making his third start at quarterback, second in 2018. He's no Kenny Hill in the passing department, but he's serviceable and more capable with his legs.
The offensive line is regrouping with four new starters, and the defensive front is missing some key contributors including the injures Ross Blacklock. The Frogs smashed Southern last week, but they have plenty of issues to work out.
Skill talent isn't one of those issues. TCU has plenty of to go around on the edge, including Jalen Reagor, KaVontae Turpin, and Jaelen Austin at receiver. At running back Darius Anderson, Sewo Olonilua, and Kenedy Snell at running back. Any of those players can break a game open with a hint of daylight.