The bright lights, casinos and entertainment of Las Vegas can be distracting, but when the Horned Frogs travel to Sin City Saturday to take on the UNLV Rebels, head coach Gary Patterson said his team will be focused.
Patterson said the team would not spend much time in the city. The schedule for the weekend is simple: fly in to Vegas, sleep, eat, play football and come back home. Business as usual for the Horned Frogs.
If Las Vegas wasn’t distracting enough, the Frogs are scheduled to play conference rival No. 8 Utah the week after, a game that could have huge BCS implications. Patterson said he isn’t worried about that either.
“I don’t even have to talk to them about it. I haven’t even heard it come up, to be honest with you,” Patterson said at the weekly media luncheon.
Senior tight end Evan Frosch said he has seen good teams overlook opponents before, but that’s a reason why he doesn’t think TCU will do the same.
“You can’t hide the fact that everybody sees Utah next week, but we’re all focused on UNLV right now,” Frosch said.
Senior wide receiver Bart Johnson said experienced seniors will also help the Frogs stay focused.
“We’re such a mature team. We have so many seniors on this team, and we’ve been in this situation before,” Johnson said. “You can’t overlook anybody. We’re trying to get to 9-0, and UNLV is the next step to that.”
UNLV has struggled this season under first-year head coach Bobby Hauck. The Rebels are 1-6, but had an extra week to prepare for the Frogs after coming back from a bye week. TCU will be the highest-ranked team UNLV has ever played at home and the only team UNLV has never beaten in Mountain West Conference play. Patterson said UNLV has great skill players and is a very fast team.
Saturday’s contest will be a late one for the Frogs, and Patterson said the team would adjust a little for the time difference, but would go through its usual game day routine.
The Frogs are coming off a 38-7 win over Air Force. Sophomore running back Ed Wesley rushed for a career-high 209 yards as TCU’s defense held the nation’s best rushing attack to just 184 yards, Air Force’s lowest of the season.