"They ran the ball 49 times against us a year ago (a 38-36 win for TCU at Stanford," Patterson said. "If you don't stop the pounding, then they will keep coming at you. And then they are going to try to throw it over your head. They are very similar in concept to New Mexico, but they run the ball better than what New Mexico does."
At Virginia Tech, the lunch pail is awarded to the defensive player who has the best performance each Saturday. That player has the privilege of carrying the pail with him everywhere for an entire week up until kickoff for the next game. The honor of carrying the pail creates a hard-nosed defensive competition the entire game. For TCU to defeat Stanford, the Horned Frogs' defense will need to keep a tough mindset.
TCU has only given up 59 yards rushing combined in two games this season, but those two games were played against the mediocre offenses of New Mexico and Stephen F. Austin. With the Horned Frogs cruising past both teams (26-3 over the Lobos, and 67-7 over the Lumberjacks) their first real test comes against Stanford.
"This is one of those games where, if you want to play against BYU and Oklahoma, this (Stanford) is a very physical game and you have to get in their face," Patterson said. "This is a big ball game for us, because it's the next game."
Patterson was able to put his second, third, and in some cases, fourth-string players into the game against Stephen F. Austin. He said the game experience they gained will help in the future, while the first-stringers should be rested and ready for The Cardinal.
"We treated the game (against SFA) like we needed to treat it," Patterson said. "We're fast on defense. This game (against Stanford) is going to be a big difference. I call that (against SFA) basketball. Don't run it much and throwing the ball all over. Now we're going to play football. This is going to be ‘here I come, you know what I'm running, can you stop me?'"
Patterson has circled stopping the Stanford ground game early as a key to winning the game, but it will be hard. Stanford Junior Toby Gerhart already has 220 yards rushing this season. Anthony Kimble, the second rushing option, has added 79, and all three of the quarterbacks who get solid playing time can pick up yards on the ground when they need to. Patterson said he expects a hard-fought game on both sides of the ball from a Stanford team that was only down 27-17 to No. 15 Arizona State last week.
The game against Stanford starts a tough stretch for TCU to end its non-conference schedule. The Horned Frogs are on the road the two week after, facing SMU and then Oklahoma. TCU can set the tone for the rest of the season with another convincing win Saturday.
"We got through one conference game, one AA game, and now we have three games that are against good football teams," Patterson said.
Media Lunch notes:
In response to a question about comparing TCU and Stanford's special teams, Patterson said: "I don't know, we haven't played them yet. Ask me after the game."
When asked the question if he knows when Sr. RB Aaron Brown will play, he answered with one word: "no."