No. 4 TCU starts 3-week road stretch at UNLV
If No. 4 TCU seeks to improve its BCS fortunes, it’ll have to do
so away from the Lone Star State.
Three of the next four games for the Horned Frogs are on the
road, with its biggest game left a visit to No. 9 Utah next week.
But before that, the undefeated team that leads the nation in
scoring defense travels to Sin City in hopes of preventing any
Halloween tricks from UNLV.
”If you want to win championships, you’ve got to be able to
play on the road and it starts with UNLV,” TCU coach Gary
Patterson said. ”Every time we’ve played there it’s been a tough
ballgame and we don’t expect it to be any different than that this
Saturday’s game is likely to be tough – for UNLV. The Rebels
have won just one game this year and scored more than 10 points
just twice in seven tries. Their six losses have all been lopsided,
and they’ve allowed more than 41 points in four games.
UNLV has had an extra week to prepare for TCU because of an open
date, but coach Bobby Hauck said that doesn’t make things any
”They are hard to game plan (for) because they do everything
well,” Hauck said. ”They are explosive at every position. They
run well on defense as well as at all the skill positions on
Hauck said he spent the bye week recruiting as well as
TCU’s 8-0 season includes road wins at SMU and Colorado State,
games the Horned Frogs won handily. Since 2003, TCU is fifth in the
country with a 35-14 record in games on the road or at neutral
This year, TCU leads the country in allowing an average of 9
points, 117.9 yards passing and 12.1 first downs per game. Its
offense is ranked 11th in the country, and it has held steady in
the fourth slot in the AP poll since Oct. 10, the day after a 45-0
win over Wyoming.
But Patterson said playing on the road is tough because it
limits his ability to develop younger players or play them in a
”The hard part about road games is you can only take 64 players
in the Mountain West Conference – different than home when you have
everybody,” Patterson said. ”A lot of other conferences travel 70
to 75 (players).”
All teams at the top of the rankings have to play well now, he
”Everybody’s playing for a conference title, everybody’s trying
to get to a bowl game and so every game’s tough,” Patterson said.
”Every team that we have left on the schedule has a reason for
them wanting to beat us.”
Hauck said his team, through its woes, is finding out what kind
of character its players have.
”It’s not easy going out and getting beat on Saturdays and then
to get up on Monday and go back to work and try to come out on top
again the next week,” he said. ”It takes some character and I
think we’re finding that out about ourselves.”
But Patterson said UNLV has the advantage of the bye week and
can score against good teams – especially at home. He cites UNLV’s
21 points against then-No. 12 Wisconsin in its season opener and 26
points against then-No. 25 Nevada.
”They played a lot different playing at home than playing on
the road,” Patterson said.