A tired group of Frogs must make it through a Thursday night conference game before getting 16 days off between games, head coach Gary Patterson said at his weekly media luncheon Tuesday.
Following its matchup against Utah, TCU gets its first break of the season with 16 days off until its next game against New Mexico.
Patterson said his team is fatigued.
“We’ve been a tired football team,” Patterson said. “A tired football team equals injuries, and we have to find a way on a short week to get things done.”
Senior free safety David Roach said the team was tired, but it should be expected at this point in the season.
“Everybody in the country is tired right now,” Roach said. “I don’t think there’s anything that we’re dealing with that anybody else isn’t dealing with.”
Redshirt freshman quarterback Andy Dalton said he is looking forward to the break, but the team is not going to lose concentration on the game ahead.
“I definitely think the two weeks off are going to help us out,” Dalton said. “We’ve been playing through this stretch that we’ve had, and we’re just focusing on this game and hopefully end it with a win and get a really nice 16-day break.”
This marks the third season in a row the two teams will meet on a Thursday – every year TCU has been a member of the Mountain West Conference.
As a result of TV obligations, the teams keep facing each other Thursday instead of the traditional Saturday.
This will be TCU’s second Thursday game this season with one more coming Nov. 8 against BYU.
Patterson said the pressure to move games to Thursday is due to financial reasons.
“It always comes down to money,” Patterson said. “We’re doing it for whatever our contract is with CSTV.”
Patterson said his view on TV varies with the record of his team.
“When you’re winning, TV is great,” Patterson said. “When you’re losing, it’s not so great.”
No matter what the circumstances, Patterson said the team that plays harder is going to win.
This game could be the end to one of the team’s hopes for a conference championship. Both teams currently have two losses in the conference, and a third one would likely vanquish any hope of winning it.
“You’re not going to win the conference with three losses,” Patterson said. “I don’t think you put yourself in the situation.”
In the past three seasons, the conference champion has gone undefeated in conference play.
BYU, last season’s conference champion, remains the only team unbeaten in conference play at 3-0.
Saturday’s 38-36 win at Stanford was TCU’s first on the road, and Patterson said playing without unnecessary penalties was a big reason.
“You see what happens with our offense when you don’t put yourself at second and 20 – how much easier it is to move down the field?,” Patterson said. “When you don’t hurt yourself, when you’re only playing your defense, you’re not playing yourself. You give yourself the chance to be successful.