Patterson optimistic of Horned Frogs’ future

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    Focus on the upcoming game against the Air Force Falcons took precedence over the Poinsettia Bowl and recent talk of firings in the college football world at Tuesday’s football Coaches’ Luncheon.”We beat the odds, and nobody thought we could get to this point with a chance to go 10-2,” head coach Gary Patterson said. “We are in a position to finish the season just like we wanted, we just did it in a different way.”

    Last weekend the Frogs beat the Colorado State Rams and solidified their chance for a bowl bid.

    “I told (the team) we were in a position to control our own destiny,” Patterson said.

    Playing in Colorado in the cold and at a higher altitude was not a factor in the Frogs’ performance last weekend, Patterson said.

    “Altitude is only an excuse when you lose,” Patterson said.

    Saturday will be seniors’ day at Amon Carter Stadium, and senior wide receiver Michael DePriest talked about some of his time at TCU this season.

    “While I was injured, I had to be more a verbal leader for the team, which was different because I usually led by my actions,” DePriest said.

    The Frogs are in a position to have the most wins in four seasons since the teams in the 1930s led by Sammy Baugh and Davey O’Brien, DePriest said.

    DePriest said talk of that kind of dominance has not put the players in a position to coast through the rest of the season.

    “Coach gives us short-term goals and stuff to attain,” DePriest said. “We have a chance to finish in the top 25 as well.”

    Air Force is expected to bring a strong running game to Fort Worth on Saturday.

    “The last 72 hours, I have been looking at the triple option plays they run,” Patterson said. “But, then again, they have passed for over 200 yards in the past two games, as well.”

    Patterson said the game could be like a “hornet’s nest,” with Air Force throwing the ball more, teamed with TCU’s passing game.

    Though the bowl game is not for another three weeks, Patterson did discuss his thoughts on the Northern Illinois Huskies.

    “They are a lot like us; we both have a chip on our shoulder,” Patterson said. “If we don’t stop the run, it will be a long day.”

    Recent discussion of firings within college football staffs have worked their way to TCU, as Patterson was recently mentioned by USA Today as a possible fill-in for Larry Coker, who used to be head coach for the Miami Hurricanes.

    “Dark Monday and Tuesday, and the week after Thanksgiving is always a tough time for college coaches,” Patterson said. “But I am humbled by the chance to be mentioned by that program.