TCU expected to have another lopsided win over BYU
BYU was a lopsided loser in its last trip to TCU. The result was
as bad at home against the Horned Frogs last season.
And those games were when the Cougars (2-4, 1-1 Mountain West)
were still considered among the nation’s best teams. Not the
offensively challenged squad they have become this season, when
they have already fired their defensive coordinator.
That is why BYU is an unprecedented underdog at fourth-ranked
TCU (6-0, 2-0) on Saturday, even though Frogs coach Gary Patterson
remains wary of the Cougars.
”BYU week has always been traditionally, and still is, a tough
week,” Patterson said. ”You always have to be careful. You just
don’t want to be the next team, the team that they break out on. We
have to be ready to play.”
The Cougars are 29-point underdogs, the largest they have been
since at least 1985, according to the odds maker RJ Bell of
Pregame.com. It is only the sixth time BYU has been at least a
20-point underdog in that same span.
Two years ago, the Cougars arrived at Amon G. Carter Stadium as
the nation’s ninth-ranked team and with a 16-game winning streak,
then lost 32-7. They were ranked 16th and at home last year when
TCU beat them 38-7 for their only conference loss.
BYU has managed only 17 points a game this season (ranked 113th
nationally), and its 24-21 victory over San Diego State last week
marked a season-high scoring game.
”They’re hungry, the way they played last week was, they were
flying around, they were playing with passion,” Frogs quarterback
Andy Dalton said. ”They are kind of fighting for their lives right
now. … They have a lot at stake.”
TCU is 6-0 for the second year in a row, and the fourth time in
The Frogs are coming off consecutive shutouts for the first time
in 55 years and are the nation’s top-ranked defense, allowing only
230 yards per game.
While opponents struggle to move the ball against them, the
offense led by Dalton, their newly engaged quarterback, has
recently improved its production. TCU has gone from 375 total yards
against SMU three weeks ago, to 474 yards and then 578 last
”Again, I’ve been impressed with them,” said BYU coach Bronco
Mendenhall, who added the role of defensive coordinator when Jaime
Hill was fired after four consecutive losses.
The Frogs held Colorado State to 161 yards in a 27-0 victory two
weeks ago, and limited Wyoming to 191 yards in a 45-0 victory last
Saturday. Third-ranked Boise State, the other highly ranked team
from a conference without an automatic BCS bid, also had a 45-point
victory over the Cowboys this season.
”I’m sure that’s important to some people, but you’re not going
to get anything from me,” TCU center Jake Kirkpatrick said of the
identical margins over Wyoming. ”(Patterson) has always stressed
to win by one point. It always feels better to win by more because
it means you played better. But all we can do is show up and play,
and everybody else can talk about that stuff.”
The first BCS standings of the season come out Sunday night.
TCU is playing the second of three consecutive home games, a
stretch that wraps up against 23rd-ranked Air Force the following
Saturday. The Frogs have won 17 consecutive home games, and 32 of
their last 35 games overall.
When asked if the plan was to try to stop TCU or try to keep up
with the Frogs, Mendenhall said neither.
”The focus is on improving our team,” the BYU coach said. ”My
focus still is on our team and driving them and motivating them and
teaching them. ”
After finally becoming a BCS buster for the first time last
season, and wanting to do it again, TCU’s goals are much
”You get an aura about you when you get on a roll. That’s what
we’ve talked about,” Patterson said. ”I don’t think we’re on
that, but I think we’re getting closer to that. We’ll see the next