When TCU takes on Texas Tech this weekend in Amon G. Carter Stadium, head football coach Gary Patterson expects one of the biggest home games in recent football history.
“I think it’s going to be an unbelievable atmosphere,” Patterson said. “The best since the 2009 Utah game.”
With a stage set for the No. 23 Horned Frogs and the No. 17 Red Raiders, the history comes back for TCU. Fifty-four overall games have been played between the schools since the 1920s, with Tech leading the series 28-23-3. The two teams have only met twice since the Southwest Conference dissolved after the 1995 season.
Patterson said the game atmosphere is a major factor in recruiting in the state of Texas.
“If you get a choice between Iowa State or Texas Tech, which do you choose? Texas Tech. Anytime you can play in-state, it’s better. Kids can be closer to home,” he said.
Here are some other quotes and stories from Patterson’s latest press conference:
Maponga battles injury
Patterson said defensive lineman Stansly Maponga will be questionable for the remainder of the year, saying each game will be a game-time decision. Patterson said Maponga has a foot injury, which will likely require surgery after the season, but Maponga will be able to play depending on “how he can tolerate the pain.”
Patterson said he expects red shirted freshman Josh Carraway to see playing time if Maponga cannot play. Patterson would remove the red shirt to make Carraway eligible to play in TCU’s final six games.
“That’s really probably not the type of team we want to play right now”
After Texas Tech canceled an out-of-conference series with TCU in 2011, Texas Tech’s head football coach Tommy Tuberville was quoted with the above statement, creating a reaction with the TCU fan base.
Patterson addressed this quote in his conference and said he didn’t view it as Tech backing out of a challenge.
“No one from TCU said that,” Patterson said. “I never said that.”
“Coaches make business decisions. There’s no such thing as a player or team that doesn’t want to go play somebody. They [cancel] because it’s a better business plan.”
Patterson used an example from his team to illustrate his point.
“I wouldn’t play LSU right now because of the Big 12 schedule, not because I don’t want to play LSU," Patterson said. "Not because I don’t want my team to have that challenge. But because of the amount of players that could get hurt and you can lose them for the season.”
Patterson also had a lot to say about attendance for the upcoming game.
“The last time we played Tech here, there were more Red Raiders than TCU people,” Patterson said. “We can’t win many home games and keep a home-field advantage if that’s the way it’s going to be.”
“We have a lot of people who wear red and black but are hometown fans. They’ll probably wear red and black on Saturday. On the other 11 games, they’ll wear purple.”
For Saturday’s game, Patterson said he hopes that more purple shirts show up than red and black ones. He said he noticed the thousands of TCU fans who came to the Baylor game and said the team played better because of their support.
“I need that emotion of the crowd again,” Patterson said. “We need our stadium to be the same exact way.”
“Fans have to stay. They need to deal with the things we deal with. If we don’t win, they have to put up with Tech people for the next year. The fan base has to know that if you lose in this league, you have to deal with it for the rest of the year.”