The Horned Frogs will face the Georgia Bulldogs for the fourth time in program history. And while Georgia leads the series 3-0, TCU is here to win.
“We’re playing to win,” head coach Gary Patterson said.
Patterson said while bowl games are the best reward for players in college football, it all comes down to wins and losses.
“There’s no such thing as having a great bowl experience unless you win,” Patterson said.
TCU, 6-6, and Georgia, 7-5, are both coming off losses and want to prove themselves one last time.
“There’s no substitute for winning,” Patterson said.
However, the Bulldogs’ defense may prove a challenge to the Horned Frogs.
Anytime you go against a SEC defense, the competition is heightened, said co-offensive coordinator Doug Meacham.
Patterson is not expecting the Bulldogs to give them anything, especially with their strong front four.
“They’re big, fast and mean,” Meacham said. “Coach [Kirby] Smart does a phenomenal job. It’s going to be a challenge.”
But, TCU isn’t worried.
Running back Kyle Hicks is one of four players nationally who leads his team in both rushing and receptions. He said that he’s only focusing on one thing in order to make him successful against Georgia: making plays.
“If I have to do that running, catching the ball or blocking for my team, I just have to go out there and do it to the best of my ability,” Hicks said.
Patterson said the offense’s main focus is “scoring points.”
Center Austin Scholttmann agreed that a well-executed offense is key.
“If we can go out and execute our offense on Friday, I think we’ll be good,” Schlottmann said.
However, the TCU defense isn’t something to take lightly either.
Patterson said the defense has to shorten the amount of chances Georgia has on getting the ball back.
And that is possible with linebackers Travin Howard and Ty Summers.
Howard and Summers, who are No.1 and No.2 for tackles in the Big 12, will be vital in making big stops against the Georgia offense. Howard is leading the Big 12 and ranked 7th nationally in tackles. With 125 stops, he averages 10.4 per game. Summers is second in the conference with 113.
Seven of the last eight bowl games for TCU have been decided by seven points or less. But, Patterson said it will be the team who wants it the most that leaves with a win on Friday.
“What we are is what we are,” Patterson said. “We’ll find out tomorrow.”
Kick-off for the AutoZone Liberty Bowl is at 11 a.m.