Coming off their highest final ranking in nearly 50 years, the No. 17 Horned Frogs look to start this season where the last one left off Saturday when they visit Virginia.
Oddsmakers from online sports book SPORTSBETTING.com have made TCU -11 point spread favorites (View College Football odds) for Saturday’s game (Game Matchup). Current public betting information shows that 72% of bets for this game have been placed on TCU -11 (View College Football bet percentages).
Prior to Patterson taking over in 2000, no TCU coach had won 10 games more than twice. Patterson has accomplished that feat five times in the last seven years, and he has four 11-win finishes over the last six seasons.
That consistent success has led to heightened expectations for the Horned Frogs, who went 11-2 in 2008 and were No. 7 in the final AP poll - their best finish since 1959. They come into this season as the Mountain West favorites with their highest preseason ranking since 1960.
Patterson is eager for his team to get back on the field after TCU was one of only two teams in the nation idle during the first week of the season.
"We finally get to enjoy a game week," he said. "I wish we could have already played. We would have all of those jitters out."
The Horned Frogs haven't shown signs of jitters in their openers lately. TCU has won its last six - the past four by an average of 17.5 points - and haven't given up a touchdown in its last two.
The Horned Frogs allowed 18 total touchdowns last season, third-fewest in the Football Bowl Subdivision. They led the FBS with 217.8 scrimmage yards allowed per game, largely because of All-America end Jerry Hughes.
The 6-foot-3, 257-pound Hughes led the nation with 15 sacks and six forced fumbles last year, but Patterson says he's more valuable than numbers can explain.
"I don't think you can measure Jerry Hughes by statistics," Patterson said. "He is bigger, faster and a better football player than a year ago. He is a really good football player, as good as anyone we have had here. If how he worked during the offseason is any indication of the type of year he is going to have, he will have a good season."
That doesn't bode well for a
The Cavaliers committed seven turnovers, and coach Al Groh knows similar mistakes could haunt them against the Horned Frogs, who led the FBS in time of possession and had a turnover margin of plus-13 in 2008.
"The numbers really point out why they are such a good team," Groh said. "When they get (the football), they keep it and they end up scoring with it. When the other team has got it, they take it away pretty quickly and don't give up very many points."
That kind of ball control has helped TCU go 11-3 in its last 14 games against teams from BCS conferences. It's also been one of the top road teams in the country, going 26-13 since 2003.
Patterson, though, isn't taking anything for granted.
"We understand that we are going to get
Posted: 9/8/09 10:51PM ET