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Coach Patterson on the Longhorns, Turkey, Football

Gary Patterson discusses handling the extra half-week between games, and Texas's reputation with his players, and a team full of freshmen in his press conference.

TCU's head coach, dishing on the game with Texas this week, very roughly transcribed.

Refresh often for updates. I don't put the questions in (that's when I publish the updates as I'm going. Infer, if you will, what the question was. And don't fret-- CGP rarely answers them directly anyway (like all good coaches).

The coach is at the mike (and the streaming is very spotty, dang it!):

We wanna finish the last two games of the season; we're one and one so far for the last four. It's a great opportunity to rekindle the old SWC rivalry. We're excited about [streaming interrupted. I paid $10 for this?]

Mack Brown has done an unbelievable job with that program; the different facets you have to master in that job. He and Sally are good friends of ours, but other than getting after it for 3 hours on a Saturday. Defensively they're good; lot of weapons offensively, Malcolm Brown coming back, tailbacks, good wideout, special teams is always good because of their depth. QUarterback is good.

This is no differnet for us than going to WVU and willing against Tavon Austin, Stedmon Bailey, or playing Collin Klein. These four ballgames are a measuring stick for us.

[Q: injuries multiply; is this a Big12 team that deserves to be here?] [the streaming is out again; it's not Big12 quality, I guess.] ... with the new stadium and all that's happened, visibility, recruiting, the word is patience. We have to be patient, and keep our goals high. That's what we've done up to this point-- all the conferences we've been in, people telling us we didn't play anybody, all the way to "you don't belong in the Rose Bowl." That's like most of us average-looking guys dating when we were younger.

The recruiting advantage has been unbelievable. We want to play Texas because if you wanna be great, you have to beat the best. Over the years, the Big 12 title has gone through Austin and Norman. You had OSU last year, K-State this year, but if you wanna win it consistently, then you'd better find a formula to be able to beat those two football teams. If anybody in the league would argue differently, he needs to go to the doctor, because they're not right. That's the way it's been, and it's not going to change.

When we went into the MWC, everything was focused on how to beat BYU and Utah. Recruiting-wise, schematics, everything. In the C-USA is was how to beat Louisville and USM.

Texas and Oklahoma have a lot to play for-- shares of the title, if things break their way. Everybody focuses on games like this-- go all the way back to when I was a small kid, it's A&M and Texas. It's a staple. I wish it wasn't a rotating basis; Texas gets a chance to enjoy their traditions and play at home on Thanksgiving, and nobody else gets a chance to start traditions. It's not a complaint, but TCU doesn't have a chance to recreate the kind of history it had in the 1930s. There are some who say TCU can't ever do that, but that's what everybody has said since the beginning-- we couldn't build a stadium, we couldn't get back into the Big12. It's like anything else in life, it's what you do when people say. If I'm a head coach, and people are right, you have to change what people say. If you know they're not correct, because you know what goes on and they don't, you just let it go in one ear and out the other, and keep going about your business.

I got enough things I need to get accomplished, I don't have to worry about Thanksgiving, 2007. I can't worry about what they think, I have to be more worried about "How does TCU ..." [streaming fail]

Texas's defense is just playing better-- they're young. A lot of it has to do with, also their offense is healthier, their young players have learned the schemes-- like all teams, they play better when they're in a rhythm. They're in a rhythm.

About Boykin: we haven't played as well as we needed to, two or three games-- Oklahoma State, West Virginia, except the big play, and then the K-State game. He probably couldn't have played on Saturday, had we played. He's a lot healthier now. You have to be very careful, how do you push 'em so they don't lose confidence, and don't let youth be an excuse. If you're just playing five freshmen-- that's the most we ever had before this year. Then the mindset is, "I'm only dealing with three, how do I keep them maturing on a weekly basis, growing them up?" But now it's 16, and another 30, 35 redshirt freshman [bogus number alert!] and it's more of a mental task, dealing with this on a week-to-week basis. You have to work a little more in generalities, and a little more on the side with all the rest of it. Then I can just pinpoint two or three guys.

Right now we're punting and kicking well-- we haven't been doing that well in the last two or three games. [streaming fail]

For everything that's happened to us, to fight back and win in overtime at West Virginia, to be bowl eligible, is remarkable. I'm not patting myself on the back, whatever this team has gone through, to be at this point with two games left, already bowl eligible, this staff and these kids have done a lot to get there.

This team isn't out of a game; some teams when they're down, they're out of it. Not this team-- they're in the game in the last two minutes. You have to give them a lot of credit. A lot of people don't realize-- on Thanksgiving to play-- you can't eat Turkey before a ballgame. We won't be home on Thanksgiving; we won't be home on Christmas Day. Probably 75% of the time since I've been here, I haven't been at home on Christmas Day. My point is, everybody sacrifices-- just like I did at that thing for our fans [streaming fail]

We have to understand, as fanbase, as a university, that this is what goes along with being in the league. Like in the Rose Bowl, one night I was eating dinner, and I overheard a family, seven in it I think, were changing their minds from going skiing to going to the bowl. ... Mack [Brown] has done a great job building his program. We've studied them, as well as Coach Snyder at K-State, how to grow the program. We take what helps us. Not everything.

How many of your guys were recruited heavily by Texas? I dunno, maybe ten percent.

Special incentive? You have to be careful with that; we don't wanna say that Texas starts off better. For me, even going in the Big12, if I make a big deal out of the Big 12, do I say all the games I won before don't matter? For me, everything I've said up to this point, they're tremendous. There're things we have here at TCU that UT doesn't have. That's one of the reasons why Gary Patterson is still at TCU.

[streaming fail, again...]

We want to be 7-4, then 8-4, then 9-4. If you think any way different than that, then you're losing. If you think about resting, or about one step back, then you're in a lot of trouble. You have to keep moving forward.

[did you watch any college football Saturday?] Nope, but I did Saturday night. I wanted to watch Oklahoma. Great win for Baylor, I felt bad for Coach Snyder. Like I told him, I hope you win them all. It's a small window-- everything has to line up. But he still has a chance to play in a BCS game; a couple do in our league. Aside from that, I felt badly for him.

[banged up after K-State?] Only Trevone needed the rest; everybody else has been pretty good. I'm a little worried-- I did things a little different. Usually we go and go Tues-Wed-Thurs, get better, but not have very long practices. But because Texas does so much on offense and defense, we actually had a Tuesday practice last Thursday. We wanted to introduce; with a younger team, if you take a day off, that always worries me, staying in the game mentally. We really ran well on Sunday. We were already out of pads, were in shorts and helmets. We'll see how the two philosophies collide; if it doesn't work, then I should have done it the other way.

I couldn't wait 'till Sunday to do good-on-good; our o-line needed speed from our one defense, two defense; they struggled a little against Kansas State. Since then we haven't banged as much. We do everything practice-wise here-- have our video test, and then leave Wednesday night. It's kind of like what we did against West Virginia. They thought we didn't go to the stadium because it was cold outside. The only thing you worry about going later is if your airplane gets their on time. We'll eat the same thing, here, and the only meal we'll eat gameday before we go is breakfast. Here in Texas I want to make sure I get my guys in front of all the lights tomorrow light, same thin we did at the Rose Bowl, comparatively. At the Fiesta Bowl we didn't go to the stadium. We give them a little more rest, eat the same foods.

There's not as much to watch during the day on a Thursday. In 2008, when we played both Utah and BYU on a Thursday night? I asked Whittingham how he did it, because he'd been successful on Thursdays. He said no pads that week, so we quit. Remember, BYU was ranked 9th in the country, but we got beat by Utah by 3, but outgained 'em by like 200 yards, and we missed three or four field goals. In the Fiesta Bowl, Chris [Petersen] have his team off MOnday. We had lost an edge. So we used that format for the Rose Bowl-- had our meetings, watched film, but didn't practice on Monday. You know how that turned out. That's why we didn't practice yesterday-- that would have been four days in a row, overkill. When you try something, don't try it when you're 10-0 and everything's on the line. Try it when you're 6-4, and trying to figure out how to win one more.