After winning by three and seven points at Texas Tech in Lubbock and Kansas State in Manhattan, Kansas, these close games are proving the challenge of playing on the road in the Big 12 Conference.
“We can finally maybe catch our breath when we get done with the ballgame [against Iowa State], but we don’t think it will be probably any different than any of the other road games we’ve played up to this point,” Patterson said Tuesday.
The wins in Lubbock and Manhattan mean nothing in Ames, Patterson said.
“For right now, it’s just week seven,” he said. “It’s the Cyclones of Iowa State. You’ve got to watch fakes. You’ve got to prepare for everything in this ballgame. Everything goes. It’s going down.”
The added factor of another night game poses a challenge for TCU. Patterson said there is more emotion at later games, making playing away that much more difficult.
“I’d like to know the record of all the head coaches in the league at Manhattan, Kansas,” Patterson said. “I think there’s some that have only won a couple times.”
Current Big 12 coaches, including Patterson, are a combined 8-10 with their current schools when playing in Manhattan.
“It’s just a tough place to play,” Patterson said. “Ames is the same thing, and Lubbock, for us. TCU hadn’t won in how many years up there.”
TCU hadn’t beaten Texas Tech in Lubbock since 1991. It had lost the last four games away at Texas Tech, in 1993, 1995, 2004 and 2013.
The running headline of the season for TCU football has been the number of injuries on defense and the 14 true freshmen and 15 redshirt freshmen who have filled in the holes.
Still, Patterson said he prefers the situation this year to two years ago, when the team had a dominant defense but lacked offensive power and leadership.
“Every day is ‘50 First Dates,’” Patterson said, referencing the romantic comedy. “You’ve got to give our kids credit.”
The coach said the defense must start faster. He said that if the team had played the entire game like it played the second half against Kansas State, it would have had a lot more success.
Patterson noted that while the Wildcats beat TCU on special teams and on their own offense for the majority of the game, the Frogs’ ability to fight back gives players more confidence.
“There’s a lot of compliments right now, but I don’t really have time for compliments,” he said.
He did have one for two of his seniors, though.
He said both Trevone Boykin and Josh Doctson should be considered for the most prestigious award in college football, the Heisman Trophy: “I’d have to say there’s not many people playing much better, if there is anybody.”