TCU couldn’t ask for a better start to their season, but they are a long way from their goals. Beating OSU? Just a small sliver of the pie.
He pointed to a small shaded area that represented the victory at Oklahoma State.
“See all the rest that’s white? There’s a lot of work to do,” Patterson said. “That’s why I put up the pyramid, to be honest with you. Every Sunday we walk in as a team. Everything we accomplished, we put in purple.”
A fully shaded pyramid is the goal. It would mean winning it all.
“The bottom of it is the foundation, what you have to accomplish,” Patterson said. “And then you have the things we need to get done. The third level is nonconference opponents. The fourth level is conference opponents at home. The fifth level is conference opponents on the road.”
GP has a ton of respect for the Eers, even as the injuries mount. Saturday should be a battle.
Quarterback Will Grier has completed 65 percent of his passes (94-for-144) and thrown for 13 scores against three interceptions with 1,374 yards – the seventh most nationally. Running back Justin Crawford leads the Big 12 in averaging rushing yards per game (112.8, 17th in the FBS) and scoring by a non-kicker.
“You got a West Virginia team that’s pretty good,” said Patterson, who is in his 18th season at TCU. “Offensively they have some weapons. The quarterback is doing a great job his first year. He’s very mobile. Got a couple running backs and wide receivers with speed and size. They cause you problems. We’re going to have to compete every down. Like in basketball, contest ever shot. We have our work cut out. It’s like every week in the Big 12 when you are a defensive guy.”
The Big 12 is doing their job so far - four ranked teams, seven with .500 or better records. Will it matter in December?
A whole lot of eyes -- and not just in the conference footprint -- will be watching the games the rest of the season. No. 3 Oklahoma is very much in the College Football Playoff picture. So is TCU. And Oklahoma State's escape at Texas Tech kept the Cowboys in the discussion as well. Four teams are ranked in the AP Top 25 this week, one behind the ACC and equal to the SEC, Big Ten and Pac-12.
ESPN has taken notice too. College GameDay announced Sunday that it is headed for Fort Worth for Saturday's Top 25 showdown between No. 8 TCU and No. 23 West Virginia. This will be TCU's sixth time hosting GameDay games, all in the last nine seasons. The Horned Frogs have won each of the previous five appearances.
If all those things seem like a relatively low bar for a "power five" conference, consider where the Big 12 stood a year ago at this time. The playoff was pretty much an afterthought. Oklahoma would eventually run the table in the conference for the first time since the round-robin schedule was implemented, but it didn't matter because the Sooners had already lost to Houston and Ohio State in the nonconference portion of its schedule.
Darius Anderson has saved the day for the Horned Frogs through their first four games.
His final play in the 90-degree heat of Stillwater, Okla., on Sept. 23 was a 42-yard touchdown sprint. It wrapped up a 44-31 victory for the Horned Frogs in which the sophomore from Rosenberg ran 26 times for 160 yards and caught four passes for 41 yards.
“It was hot out there,” coach Gary Patterson said. “And it takes a lot for me to say it’s hot.”
But Anderson looked like he could have carried it 26 more times.
“I felt good,” he said after the game. “We work hard in practice, so I know physicality-wise, we’ll be good.”
The Frogs tested Anderson’s limits with a career-high 30 touches. He has the most carries in the Big 12, and he leads No. 9 TCU with 422 yards rushing, which ranks third in the conference. His performance at Oklahoma State only inspired more confidence that he can carry the load while Kyle Hicks recovers from injury.
“Without him, we probably wouldn’t be where we’re sitting right now,” Patterson said.
YES YES YES!!!
The show, which includes hosts Rece Davis, Lee Corso, Kirk Herbstreit and Desmond Howard, will be broadcast live from the TCU’s Campus Commons from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m.
This is the sixth GameDay game TCU has been involved in over the last nine seasons. The Frogs are 5-0 when GameDay is on hand for their game. The last time GameDay did a TCU game was at West Virginia in 2014.
Meanwhile, the Frogs keep adding to a fast rising class of 2018.
Burentte committed to TCU over offers from Arizona, Houston, Missouri, Ole Miss, SMU and a handful of others.
At 6-foot-3, 301 pounds, Burnette is ranked as the No. 41 offensive guard in the country and No. 117 overall prospect in the state, per 247Sports Composite.
TCU now has 19 verbal commitment in its 2018 class, including five offensive linemen.