This article was revised for accuracy on Sept. 30 at 4:39 p.m.
Coming off an emotional win at Clemson University last Saturday, the Horned Frog football team enters its fourth week of play against the Southern Methodist University Mustangs. The primary topic of discussion in Tuesday’s media luncheon with head coach Gary Patterson was the striking similarity in the sequence of this season and the 2005 season.
In 2005, the Horned Frogs defeated a ranked Oklahoma University on the road and lost to SMU the following week in Dallas, the only loss the entire season.
“The only thing different about the ’05 year is that we weren’t surprised that we won,” Patterson said.
When the Horned Frogs beat Oklahoma in 2005, the team was unranked. Although the sequence was similar, Patterson said the team understands the what is in front of them.
Junior defensive tackle Cory Grant said that the team immediately mentioned the 2005 loss to SMU after the win against Clemson.
“Since we got off the plane Saturday night, SMU has been on our brain,” Grant said. “We don’t want those events to happen as they did in 2005.”
Patterson said he was impressed with the way the team handled the Clemson game, especially negative factors such as bad weather and the noise of the crowd.
“As long as our kids are playing hard, and we’re getting better every game, I’m going to be very happy with them,” Patterson said. “We didn’t play smart a couple of times but we played awful hard, and as long as we keep playing hard we’re going to have a chance.”
Offensively, Patterson felt that junior quarterback Andy Dalton played well. Dalton had 226 passing yards for two touchdowns as well as 86 rushing yards.
Dalton also achieved a career high in rushing attempts against Clemson on Saturday with 19.
Dalton said it was one of the most fun games he has played in.
Patterson said that despite the reality that TCU did not have a lot of factors in their favor, they played a good game and gained confidence heading into the rest of the season.
“I think there were a lot of positives that came out of the game,” Patterson said. “Now we need to move forward.”
On defense, Patterson said that junior defensive end Wayne Daniels and junior weak safety Alex Ibiloye were given special consideration, but he did not give the game to any defensive player.
“As the game went on they got better and better,” Patterson said. “That’s all you can ask as a coach.”
Also, the Horned Frogs defense played a key role in the 14-10 victory by preventing a touchdown in the first quarter, Patterson said.
“We didn’t play very well in the first drive,” Patterson said. “And we still were able to stop them … which was the difference in the ball game.”
The defense held the Clemson offense in the first quarter, causing them to kick a field goal, ultimately giving TCU the advantage.
Patterson said, “It all matters, every play matters.”
Patterson also commented on the effectiveness of special teams in Saturday’s game against Clemson.
“We had a couple punts that didn’t go as far as we wanted to, but they didn’t get any returns,” Patterson said.
Going into week four of play, TCU is ranked No. 10 in the nation, according to the USA Today poll.
“We get a chance to be 4-0 again,” Patterson said. “We’ll see how it goes.”