Patterson and Oregon State Head Coach Mike Riley said in a conference call Tuesday that both teams were excited for their season opener Sept. 4 at Cowboys Stadium.
“Our kids are excited,” Patterson said. “Players can’t wait for two weeks from Saturday, and coaches could take another month.”
Patterson said having the game at such a large venue is a great opportunity because it grabs the attention of players and fans. He also said playing a team with the quality of Oregon State helps keep players motivated through practice.
“It makes a difference as you go into the last two weeks,” he said.
On the philosophy of scheduling difficult games early, Patterson said that TCU always likes to play a team from one of the six BCS qualifying conferences.
Patterson said TCU needs one game a season that seems like it can’t be won. This year’s game, he said, is Oregon State.
Patterson said the game will benefit more than just the football program because of the attention the national broadcast will bring to the university. It is scheduled to be broadcast on ESPN.
“I don’t look at it as just a head coach, I’ve been here long enough that I feel like I’m part of TCU, and what’s going to be best for TCU, and not just my football team,” Patterson said. Riley said that matching up against TCU defense will require versatility from his team.
“I think…they [TCU] force you to play an all-around game defensively,” Riley said. “You’re going to have to be sound in all areas.”
Two standout Oregon State offensive players, brothers James and Jacquizz Rodgers, are returning to their home state for the Cowboys Classic. The Rodgers’ are from Richmond, a suburb of Houston.
Patterson said that coaches have a lot of admiration for the way the two brothers play football.
“They’re hard to play,” he said. “They’re hard to tackle. They love the game. As far as them coming back to Texas, I’m sure it’s exciting for them to get a chance to play in front of a lot of family.”
Patterson said that with the exception of Joseph Turner who graduated last year, all of TCU’s running backs from last year will play, plus redshirt freshman Waymon James. Promising freshman running back Dwight Smith missed preseason practices with an injury, Patterson said.
Kirk Herbstreit, ESPN College Football Analyst, said in an earlier press conference that the Cowboys Classic is one of the most anticipated games taking place during Labor Day weekend.
“I think it’s a great game and I’m looking forward to getting back and watching these…great teams go at it on the opening weekend,” Herbstreit said.
Patterson said the Horned Frogs will be playing the season with a different motto than last year’s “Don’t Back Down” and will follow the motto “Make it Happen.”