Ticket sales for SMU’s home game Saturday against TCU reflect the anticipated return of former coach Sonny Dykes, who left the Mustangs last November after five seasons at the helm of the Dallas-Fort Worth-area rival.
No tickets remained as of Monday on SMU’s official website for the Battle for the Iron Skillet. According to the Dallas Morning News, the cheapest tickets on secondary markets have been sold for at least $150.
The turnout could threaten the Ford Stadium attendance record of 36,742 fans who watched SMU play Army in the 2010 Armed Forces Bowl.
SMU (2-1) is coming off a 34-27 loss at Maryland while TCU (2-0) was idle.
“I’m not worried about our guys one bit,” said SMU coach Rhett Lashlee, who was the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach under Dykes with the Mustangs in 2018 and ’19.
“They’re going to have a good week. They’re going to be ready to play. We’ve got a really good opponent coming in.”
Dykes reportedly upset SMU players and fans when he left for TCU at the end of last season without informing the Mustangs.
When told by a reporter during a recent press conference, “We all know people at SMU aren’t happy that you left,” Dykes said, “I don’t take any of this stuff personal.”
“It’s not healthy,” he said. “It’s hard to stay in this profession very long if you take everything personal. It’s hard to keep your sanity. I choose to try to keep mine.”
Dykes is not the only person who left SMU for TCU. The Horned Frogs’ starting center, Alan Ali, played the previous five seasons at SMU and started 39 games across all five offensive line positions.
Dykes is the first TCU first-year coach to start 2-0 since Dutch Meyer in 1934. A first-year coach at the school has not started 3-0 since Francis Schmidt in 1929.
SMU quarterback Tanner Mordecai, formerly of Oklahoma, is third in the nation with 1,013 passing yards. He has completed 70 of 117 pass attempts with 10 touchdowns and three interceptions.
–Field Level Media