Patterson Talks To The Media

TCU football 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. Read what he had to say inside BigPurpleNation.com!

FORT WORTH, Texas -- As his 11th-ranked team prepares for a Mountain West Conference showdown at No. 9 Utah Thursday, TCU head coach Gary Patterson took a break from game planning for his weekly news conference in the Four Sevens Team Room.

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

Opening Statement ...
"I don't think we need to say much about this one. When you play against a team like Utah this late in the season, everyone knows what they have. As a head coach, you always like to play a big game like this at home, but we're not. We had our opportunity at home against BYU, and now it's our turn to go to Utah. This is what you coach for. I'm excited for our kids to have the opportunity to play on the big stage. They have worked hard and done a great job."

Comparing TCU and Utah ...
"Offensively, we both play with the option a little bit. We are power football teams that play action and try to throw the ball vertical. Defensively, you've got both teams coming right at you. We have two freshmen on special teams who have done a great job for us kicking and punting, but Utah has a senior in (punter and placekicker) Louie Sakoda. He's been in pressure situations and has done it all for them."

On preparations during a short week ...
"This time of year, you don't need to go in pads to see who is physical. If they aren't physical right now for the 11th game, they're not going to be ready. The thing you have to do going into a big game is be prepared. It doesn't matter if it's at home or away. It's just like a test in school. If you go in prepared, you walk in at ease because you don't think there is anything that will be a surprise. That's the biggest thing that I am trying to do as a head coach. We know they are going to run reverses, throw double passes and have other players lined up at quarterback. You have to understand that and get ready for it.

"You can do just as good a job getting prepared on short weeks. It works both ways. It's not the first time we have played each other. We know each other. This will be our best offense going into this game with Utah. It's who can be the best team on that night. It's about field position and takeaways. Control the football, get first downs and don't turn the ball over."

TCU's 0-2 record at Rice-Eccles Stadium ...
"All of that stuff goes out the window. It's about how you play on that given day. I do think it is tough to get it done on the road, but that is what makes this game so special. You have the chance to beat the No. 9 team in the nation on the road. That shows even more character about your football team. You've also got the Black Out. We just have to make it where we are only playing those 11 guys on the field. We understand it's going to be a great atmosphere. Utah has great fans. It's going to be a loud stadium. The key for us is playing smart. In big games, you have to be real careful about things and make great plays to win. When you are on the road, you have to come out of the tunnel ready to go."

On whether this team takes on his personality ...
"I don't know. We've had some good teams here. If this group of seniors can win one more game, and hopefully more, they'll have 40 wins. They will have averaged 10 wins over the last four years, meaning they know how to play at a high level. They're tough and have been there before."

On this game being in the national spotlight ...
"To be on this stage is what you coach and play for. A lot of people across America watched the BYU game. There were other leagues playing that night, but our game was watched more than any else. I believe this game will also be watched by more than any other being played that night."

On the development of TCU quarterback Andy Dalton ...
"I thought Andy grew up the final five games of last season. We feel a lot better going into these games with a guy who commands the offense like he does. The good thing about him is that he's only a sophomore, so there are better days ahead."

On how this year's team compares to some recent successful TCU squads ...
"I think this is the best team. The 2000 team was No. 1 in pure athleticism, but I'm not sure we went into the San Jose State game (a 27-24 loss when the Horned Frogs were 7-0) with the right state of mind. We weren't a great defensive team in 2003. We lost a lot of corners and linemen at the end of the season and weren't playing that well defensively. We just found a way to hold on. In 2005, we had a chance but the (BCS) rules weren't like they are today. If you could take the 2005 team and put it in the present day, we would have a chance to be here because we came on strong. It's what people remember in November. The loss was the second game of the season and we had a win over Oklahoma."

On having a difficult non-conference game with Oklahoma this season ...
"I believe the Oklahoma game made us a better football team with some of the road games we had to play and getting ready for BYU. If we had played a lesser opponent, we would have lost one down the road because we wouldn't have been ready for that experience. We definitely would have lost to Colorado State, because we didn't play very well but found a way to get the job done."


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