The Frogs, 3-2 overall and 0-2 in conference, will try to end their two-game losing skid when they face the Army Black Knights, 3-4, Saturday afternoon in West Point, N.Y.This will be the Frogs’ last game of their nonconference schedule. The team’s season will end with six straight conference games.
TCU and Army met as rivals in Conference USA each year from 2001 to 2004, with the Frogs winning all four of those games. Last year the two teams met in Fort Worth, where the Frogs won 38-17 in a nonconference match.
When the teams met in West Point in 2004, the Black Knights took a 17-0 lead in the first quarter, but the Frogs rallied to a 21-17 victory.
“They’re still very physical and do things where they can be successful,” said head coach Gary Patterson. “They do a great job running the football, and it’s obvious why Coach Ross has won at every level.”
Patterson said the games against Army are a way to respect the armed forces and what they do for us.
“The reason we get a chance to play the game is because of what the armed services provide us,” Patterson said. “As far as the football aspect, you’re playing tradition. They’re playing for more than the game itself. They’re playing for everyone overseas.”
This will be the Frogs’ first game after a 16-day layoff, a long break in which the Frogs worked on keeping up their physicality, Patterson said.
“We’ve had six practices, and they’ve probably been the most intense ones we’ve had in awhile, in particular last Tuesday and Wednesday,” Patterson said. “With this much time off, you always worry because you only have so many hits in your shoulders and legs.”
Since the Frogs’ loss to Utah on Oct. 5, the Black Knights have played twice, including a 62-7 win against the Virginia Military Institute.
Aside from having never lost to Army, TCU has some other pieces of history in its favor.
TCU has never lost three in a row under Patterson and has not lost three games in a row since a four-game losing streak in 1998.
However, one problem that has faced the Frogs all season has been their 108th-ranked pass defense, which allows 251.8 yards per game.
Patterson may have history precedence on his side, but he said he does not expect this to be an easy victory.
“By no shape of imagination do I feel like this is an easy ball game,” Patterson said.