TCU, SMU ready for 100th edition of Battle for the Iron Skillet

SMU coach Sonny Dykes has done an effective job of building a chip on his team’s collective shoulders, creating an edge based on the notion that the Mustangs remain perennially overlooked as an ascending program in a state where football is forever king.Last Saturday, following the Mustangs’ 39-37 win at Louisiana Tech courtesy of a Hail Mary pass from Tanner Mordecai to Reggie Roberson Jr., Dykes grasped a result that emphasized one of his tenets for program building. SMU did not yield in sweltering conditions in a road environment and exemplified a philosophy considered cliche: The Mustangs played through the final whistle.”It goes back to their mentality and the promise that they make to each other to play all 60 minutes regardless of whether we’re ahead or behind,” Dykes said. “I told them afterward at the end of the day you’ll have your whole life to look back on this one. When things aren’t going your way, when there’s a little bit of trouble in your life, adversity, just focus on trying to finish and do the best you can. Don’t ever give up.”For the rest of your life, you can look back on this and say all I did was show up and try to do my very best, do my job, and something good will happen if you do that. That’s a great lesson for our players, our coaches, everybody.”Up next for SMU (3-0) is its rivalry game against TCU (2-0) at Amon Carter Stadium in Fort Worth, Texas. It will mark the 100th edition of the Battle for the Iron Skillet, with TCU holding a 51-41-7 series advantage. SMU won the previous meeting 41-38 over No. 25 TCU in 2019 — last year’s meeting was canceled because of the COVID-19 pandemic — and is seeking back-to-back wins for the first time since 1992-93.Behind Mordecai, who leads the nation with 16 touchdown passes, the Mustangs are rolling. But Dykes expressed concern over the potential for an emotional letdown on the heels of such a dramatic victory. According to the research of an assistant, teams that win by Hail Mary have a 13 percent success rate the following week, something Dykes believes won’t be an upcoming issue.

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