Lucky 13

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    In front of a sold-out crowd numbering 45,647, the Horned Frogs downed the Texas Tech Red Raiders 12-3 extending their nation-leading winning streak to 13 games.Junior place kicker Chris Manfredini, who provided the Frogs with 12 points going 4-4 on field goals, which gives him continues his perfect field goal career at TCU, said he still gets nervous before every kick and attributes that to his strong record.

    “The nervousness is what makes me a good kicker,” Manfredini said. “I also have the confidence to over come it, but you need both. You never want to be too confident and then go in there and being very lackadaisical and laidback.

    While the Frogs’ offense was unable to put the ball in the endzone, the defense did its part by holding the nation’s No. 2 passing offense to just three points

    “I’ve got college show guys wondering how we’re going to stop Texas Tech’s offense, head coach Gary Patterson said. “Well, you just saw it. Speed, baby.”

    The Frogs defensive secondary included two freshmen, right cornerback Rafael Priest and left cornerback Nick Sanders, who rose to the challenge of defending against the nation’s a fact that brings a smile to senior safety Marvin White.

    “They did good to stay with the big-time ballgame like this,” White said. “They held their composure, and they played within themselves. They weren’t trying to force anything. They played well for being redshirt freshmen.”

    Wearing bracelets with the words “make it personal”, the Frogs did just that taking revenge for the 2004 70-35 loss in Lubbock.

    “We gave up 70 points two years ago,” Patterson said. “We’ve been waiting for this one for a long time.”

    With the win, the Frogs extended two other winning streaks as well. Against Big 12 opponents, TCU has won their last four meetings, and senior quarterback Jeff Ballard’s winning streak as a starter now stands at 11 games, which ties 1938 Heisman Trophy winner Davey O’ Brien and is one game shy of Sammy Baugh’s all-time record.

    “The team streak is really what’s important to me,” Ballard said. “It doesn’t matter if the score is 12-3 or 3-2. As long as we are winning, that’s all we care about.

    The Horned Frogs came into this game ranked No. 20 in both the USA Today Coaches Poll and the Associated Press Media Poll, and losses from No. 19 Nebraska, No. 17 Miami and No. 15 Oklahoma should propel the Frogs toward more Bowl Championship Series respect, something Patterson desperately wants his team to have.

    “People have been underselling our kids for years,” Patterson said. “All anyone wants to talk about is the Big 12. We’re not the Big 12; we’re just a Texas team that plays with Texas players. I have a lot of respect for Mike Leach and his staff and the job they do. The bottom line is I’d like to get a little bit here at TCU.”

    TCU will now have about two weeks to prepare for their first Mountain West Conference game against the 1-2 BYU Cougars in Amon Carter Stadium.