Patterson: Just trying to ‘stay ahead by one point’

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    TCU’s victory over Wisconsin last January may have seemed like a close one.

    Tank Carder knocked down a two-point conversion pass and the Frogs staved off a late-game comeback, nudging past the Badgers 21-19 for the win.

    But TCU’s slim margin of victory was perfectly fine with head coach Gary Patterson.

    In fact, it was even better than he had hoped for.

    The Frogs (10-2, 7-0) play Louisiana Tech (8-4, 6-1) tonight at 7 p.m. in the San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl and Patterson said his team, seeking its second straight bowl win, will go into the game with the same mindset their he’s preached for years.

    Win by one.

    “Still holds true,” Gary Patterson said of his one-point theory. “You notice we won by one point against Boise this year and everybody seems to be happy. I don’t think you change that motto.”

    And why would he?

    The Frogs are no stranger to close games – especially ones on the big stage. TCU beat Boise State 36-35 Nov. 12 and before edging the Badgers in January, the Frogs beat the Broncos 17-16 in the 2008 Poinsettia Bowl.

    Plus, as Patterson noted, six of TCU’s last seven bowl games have been decided by seven points or less, four of those going in the Frogs’ favor.

    Patterson said his team is used to playing close games in bowls and that doing so only helps TCU in the future.

    “We’re not unaccustomed to very tight ballgames in bowl games because you’re going to be playing very good football teams,” Patterson said Tuesday at the Poinsettia Bowl press conference. “That’s what we want and it’s a challenge.

    But Patterson said his “one-point theory” goes deeper than just what happens on the football field. Staying ahead in the classroom and applying the motto to their everyday life is something Patterson said he tries to stress to his players.

    “It’s about life,” Patterson said. “I think life is hard enough the way it is. When you get up in the morning, what you’re trying to do by the end of the day is you’re trying to be ahead.”

    As Patterson pointed out, hardly anything in life comes easy. Getting ahead while you can and working to stay there is important, Patterson said.

    “Very few times in life, do people get a chance to win by 40 points,” Patterson said. “What we try to do every day, whether it’s in the offseason program or going to class, is you’re going to try to stay ahead by one point.”