Patterson Meets With The Media

FORT WORTH, Texas -- TCU head coach Gary Patterson held his weekly news conference Tuesday in the Four Sevens Team Room inside the Dutch Meyer Athletic Complex and Abe Martin Academic Enhancement Center.

The Horned Frogs (4-1, 1-0) return to Mountain West Conference play Saturday when they host San Diego State (1-3, 0-0) at 5 p.m.

Included below are excerpts from Patterson's remarks to the media.

Opening Statement ... "We are 1-0 now. We are finished with our non-conference schedule, and it has prepared us to head back into conference play. We're into the second segment of our season, hosting San Diego State before heading to Colorado State and then back home for BYU.

"This will be an important game for us because it is the next one. We get a chance to play again at home, get better and work on some things.

"I was proud of our guys last week. We didn't handle things well early. They (Oklahoma) got over 200 yards in the first quarter, but I thought we pulled together well to allow only 200 yards the rest of the game. I thought we played a lot better on special teams and that bodes well for the rest of the season. Offensively, we can't turn the ball over on that kind of defense.

"We are 4-1. It would have been different if we would have lost to just some school down the street, but we lost to the No. 2 and eventual No 1 team in the nation. I'm not ready to go panicking. They have good football players, have won national championships and more Big 12 titles than anyone else. We came up short, but I know one thing about TCU and the character of our players. We did not back down. We weren't intimidated and we played all out in the fourth quarter. We went into their place after they had an off week. There is a lot of teams in the country that didn't want to play Oklahoma and we did. We have a lot of football left to play."

On keeping his team focused after the loss ... "We have to understand that part of the season is done and now our focus is on a Mountain West Conference championship. Since we have no off weeks, it's just the next ball game. We have several goals for the season and one of them is to protect our house and win at home. We also want to play well on the road. I believe that if we win out, we still have a chance for a conference championship and BCS bowl game."

"Right now, the focus is on San Diego State. We want to get back to a winning way and on another roll as we head into conference play. If you don't come out ready to play every week, you are going to get beat. I don't believe we have played our best game yet. We didn't play very smart last week, but we played hard all the way through the fourth quarter."

On keeping his team fresh during the season ... "I learned that from (former Colorado State head coach) Sonny Lubick about five or six years ago. I noticed that Colorado State always came on in the last half of the season. He said he took out the individual workouts and focused more on the team drills. It makes you better able to run and be fresh. Plus, the Texas heat helps us stay in shape anyway. There weren't too many TCU guys coming off the field late in that game Saturday."

On San Diego State head coach Chuck Long (a former Oklahoma assistant coach)... "Everything that Oklahoma knows, he knows. I think each of us has an advantage, but they are different. They haven't run the ball as much as Oklahoma does. Our whole game plan was that we didn't want OU to run the ball, and they didn't."

On his younger players ... "We have improved on special teams and some of our younger guys have started to grow up in certain situations. Things are starting to go quick, and we are hitting the midpoint of the season this week. After about seven or eight more ball games, the Jason Phillips and Robert Hensons of the world are going to be gone.

"One of the things that make a program stand the test of time is you keep growing your young players. You can't not play them because they didn't play well. Otherwise, when the older guys are gone you are filling their shoes with players that may have been on special teams but are now starting on defense. We have to put our kids in a position so they can be ready to play at their best."

On San Diego State quarterback Ryan Lindley ... "He's going to be another in a line of great San Diego State quarterbacks. He's 6-foot-3, can run a little bit and he's got a good arm. He's throwing for over 300 yards a game right now. We've got our hands full. We've got to be better this week. The best way to beat the passing game is to score points. All we want to do is win and become 2-0 in conference and 5-1 overall."

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