TCU a must-win game for Army

The 2004 TCU game proved to be one of the most spirited under Army coach Bobby Ross. The Black Knights led 17-0 late in the third quarter and TCU didn't score until the 5:58 mark of the period on an 11-yard run by running back Lonta Hobbs.

The date: Oct. 2, 2004.
The game: Texas Christian University at Army.
The prediction: TCU in a blowout.

Blowout, huh? Army, in the midst of an 18-game losing streak, took it to TCU for two-plus quarters, before falling 21-17 at Michie Stadium.

Translation: Don't worry about this week's spread for Army's game against TCU at West Point. So what if the Black Knights' are 11-point dogs. They've proved the last two years they can play with TCU.

The 2004 TCU game proved to be one of the most spirited under Army coach Bobby Ross. The Black Knights led 17-0 late in the third quarter and TCU didn't score until the 5:58 mark of the period on an 11-yard run by running back Lonta Hobbs. TCU won the game on a 2-yard run by Hobbs with just 41 seconds remaining.

TCU coach Gary Patterson had to convince banged up quarterback Brandon Hassell to stay in the rest of the game. Let's not forget last season. Sure, TCU won 38-17, but led by only seven points in the fourth quarter. The Horned Frogs finished 11-1 last season and beat Iowa State 27-24 in the Houston Bowl at Reliant Stadium.

TCU, which figured to spend most of the year in the top 25, enters West Point Saturday on a two-game losing streak. It serves as the Horned Frogs' first losing streak since 2004. TCU lost to BYU 31-17 on Sept. 28 and 20-7 to Utah a week later. The Horned Frogs (3-2) have two weeks to prepare for an Army team struggling on offense.

As for the Black Knights' (3-4), this weekend's game serves as must a win, if they want to keep their Poinsettia Bowl hopes alive. Army must go 6-6 to take in the fun and sun in San Diego. Tough games against Air Force, Notre Dame and Navy remain on the schedule.

Tulane is expected to be a pushover. So let's hope the Black Knights can pull one out this weekend.
We know this much about Army: It can certainly play with TCU.

Extra points: Patterson is one of nine head coaches that have been named to the watch list for the 2006 Bobby Dodd Coach of the Year Award. Patterson is joined on the potential recipient list by Mack Brown (Texas), Lloyd Carr (Michigan), Jim Grobe (Wake Forest), Mark Richt (Georgia), Greg Schiano (Rutgers), Jeff Tedford (California), Joe Tiller (Purdue) and Tommy Tuberville (Auburn). Joe Paterno of Penn State won the 2005 award.

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