The TCU football team is off this weekend, but they will return to action Oct. 22 when they host New Mexico at Amon Carter Stadium one week before playing BYU in what will be counted as a home game at Cowboys Stadium.
Problem is, playing in front of a home crowd, ironically, might be a disadvantage for a Frog team that has played its best two games of the season on the road.
TCU narrowly lost at Baylor in the season opener but responded with a 35-19 win at Air Force. And after losing to SMU at home two weeks ago, the Frogs came ready to play at San Diego State, notching their second conference road win with a 27-14 win over the Aztecs .
Head coach Gary Patterson was not sure why his team plays as well as it does on the road, but it is something he definitely does not mind.
“We weren’t perfect, but it’s like I told them, we have to figure out why one of the two best ball games we’ve played this year is Air Force and San Diego State, which both were on the road,” Patterson said. “It might be our young guys focusing on more or less distractions, whatever it is, but as a whole team, I felt like we were a lot more focused about what we needed to get done.”
In both wins the Frogs have gotten out to quick starts, which is something they didn’t do against Baylor or SMU.
TCU led 21-3 at the half against Air Force and 17-0 after two quarters at SDSU. On the contrary, the Frogs trailed at halftime against the Bears and Mustangs.
Patterson said getting ahead early and setting the tone for the rest of the game, especially on defense, was invaluable to the Frogs against the Aztecs and in their win at Air Force.
“Well, it was [important,]” Patterson said of his team’s early leads. “It’s important for our confidence level to keep playing like we did [Saturday.]”
Junior defensive tackle D.J. Yendrey said the lack of a home crowd forces TCU to bring its own energy at away games.
The reduced travel roster also forced the Frogs to rely on each other even more when they go on the road, Yendrey said.
“When we have away games, we have to come out here and feed off each other’s energy,” said Yendrey, who had five tackles plus a sack against the Aztecs. “Not a lot of people get to make the trip, so we know we’re all we have. We just have to come out fighting.”