Rivalry games are among the most emotional of the season for players and fans, and head football coach Gary Patterson said Saturday’s game against Southern Methodist University will be no different.
“They’re emotional ball games because these kids know each other,” Patterson said. “They played each other in high school, they played in all-star games together; they know each other.”
TCU has started the season with three wins, while SMU has started with one win and two losses.
Patterson said it’s a lot easier for his team to be going into Dallas after three wins, but his team realizes it has its hands full.
“We understand any time we play over in Dallas you can throw the records out,” Patterson said, citing 2005, when SMU handed TCU its only loss of the season.
SMU’s head football coach June Jones, in his first year with the school, has already done a great job making a difference on offense, Patterson said.
“If you look at June Jones’ staff, you’re not looking at a group that just started coaching,” Patterson said. “They’ve got some good football coaches that aren’t going to be rattled by losing a couple football games early.”
This week Patterson said his players will be focusing solely on the game against SMU.
“They’re the biggest task we have at hand right now,” Patterson said. “We understand it’s the difference between being 4-0 and 3-1.”
Sophomore quarterback Andy Dalton reiterated Patterson’s point and said his team got the Iron Skillet last year, and they hope to keep it. Last year TCU beat SMU 21-7 at home but only had 250 yards of offense compared to SMU’s 352.
“We get a chance to be 4-0, and we have a chance to play and test our skills against somebody of coach Jones’ level of expertise,” Patterson said. “It’s always a lot of fun as coaches too.”