Patterson meets with the media
Aug. 25, 2008
FORT WORTH, Texas -- TCU head football coach Gary Patterson met with the media Monday in the Four Sevens Team Room inside the Dutch Meyer Athletic Complex and Abe Martin Academic Enhancement Center.
The Horned Frogs open the 2008 campaign Saturday at New Mexico. Kickoff is 5 p.m. Central for the nationally-televised (VERSUS) contest.
Included below are excerpts from Patterson's comments to the media.
Opening Statement ...
"Playing against a conference opponent on the road is always tough. We understand that it is going to be a very good crowd and a loud crowd. We have to get ourselves ready to play.
"New Mexico is probably a lot healthier than we are at this point. We are pretty banged up in some areas, but hopefully will be ready to go by Saturday. Outside of that, like all first games, you don't know what you have until you play.
"I love Albuquerque. When I was out there, I loved the fans. It will be a very good game environment. Early last season, we didn't play well on the road and lost some close games. We know that if you want to win a conference championship, you have to win on the road."
Is the same urgency there in the first game, whether it's against a Big 12 team or a conference opponent?
How hard is it to start the season well?
"Both squads have young kickers and punters, which can make a game pretty amusing at times. It all depends on how they get out there and handle it. Both teams also have new return men. All of these things can make for interesting games."
How has TCU quarterback Andy Dalton looked different from last year?
How do you plan on managing the running backs?
Is there more pressure on the coaching staff and the team starting with an MWC game?
"Older players usually handle things very well. We have a high standard here at TCU. We want to be in the Top 25 in the nation in defense. Our goal is to get to a place where we can compete for a national championship. We want to keep climbing to a higher level of play.
"We didn't want to climb the mountain fast. We are going to do things the right way with a good foundation. There is one goal in mind. One year doesn't make it. No matter what happens this year, we are always trying to reach out and get things done."
What do you have to do to get the team ready on the road?
"We talk about it all the time. We put our kids in tough situations. We will start playing the Lobo fight song and the crowd noise at practice. You have to prepare yourself and help your kids so they know what they are going to see. You have to put them in a situation where they can be successful.
"We are still a young football team with a lot of players that are underclassmen. Six of our 10 wide receivers on scholarships are sophomores. We are still growing, still teaching them to fight and they are learning that it's about the team, not the individual. You have to coach and you have to teach.
"It will be a fight. Why would you want it any different?"