Three days after the Horned Frogs remained undefeated in Mountain West Conference play with a victory against the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, head football coach Gary Patterson told reporters at his weekly news conference he was looking forward to Thursday night’s game against the University of Utah.
“Our energy is great,” Patterson said about his team. “There is no room for weak hearts for this game. We definitely have to be well prepared.”
Last year, Utah came to Fort Worth and defeated the Horned Frogs 27-20. This year, the game has BCS and conference title implications.
“In a game like this, we have to come out fighting,” sophomore quarterback Andy Dalton said. “We do have a chip on our shoulder and feel like we have something to prove.”
Patterson said he knows this is a big game, and neither team has anything to hide.
“I don’t think we need to say much about this one,” Patterson said. “When you play against a team like Utah this late in the season, everyone knows what they have.”
In a matchup of two top-10 defenses, Patterson said the two teams share some similarities.
“We are power football teams that play action and try to throw the ball vertical,” Patterson said. “Defensively, you’ve got both teams coming right at you.”
The coach said he wants to keep the past behind him and not worry about happened last year.
“We are throwing history out the window,” Patterson said. “We do not need to follow tradition. I hadn’t won a Thursday night game in a couple years either, but we beat BYU.”
The Frogs are trying to forget their 0-2 record at Rice-Eccles Stadium, the home of the Utes.
“We understand it’s going to be a great atmosphere,” Patterson said. “Utah has great fans. It’s going to be a loud stadium. The key for us is playing smart.”
This matchup won’t be the first time this season the Frogs play in a rough environment. TCU lost 35-10 at then-No. 1 University of Oklahoma in front of a crowd of 85,158.
“I believe the Oklahoma game made us a better football team with some of the road games we had to play and getting ready for BYU,” Patterson said. “If we had played a lesser opponent, we would have lost one down the road because we wouldn’t have been ready for that experience. We definitely would have lost to Colorado State, because we didn’t play very well but found a way to get the job done.”