TCU is a 19-point favorite against SMU this week after a big win at Arkansas, but Gary Patterson knows from experience that his team better take the Mustangs seriously.
One of TCU’s two losses to SMU since 1999 came in a situation just like this. In 2005, the Frogs opened the season with a 17-10 road win over No. 5 Oklahoma. They played SMU the next week and lost, 21-10. Patterson has made sure to remind his team about that story this week.
“I told the 2005 Oklahoma story,” Patterson said Tuesday. “We were 11-1 [that season] and the only loss we had was SMU. You’ve got to play every game, you can’t treat any one differently.”
Now the Frogs come off a win over the Razorbacks that has resulted in a little bit of hype. Patterson said he told that story of his 2005 team as a cautionary tale to make sure his team is focused. Linebacker Travin Howard said that story was the first thing that came out of Patterson’s mouth to start this week.
TCU’s games against SMU are often competitive, at least for a while. The Battle for the Iron Skillet has been a one-possession game at halftime in three of the past four seasons.
The results of those previous games against the Mustangs may help the Frogs focus. Patterson said he brings up that 2005 SMU game every year before this matchup. However, most of his players aren’t old enough to really remember that loss.
Instead, the coach said what’s motivating his team more than anything is the desire to improve after last year’s failures.
“I think they relate more to being 6-7,” he said.
Quotes obtained by DieHards’ Dean Straka.