TCU heads to OU looking to beat odds Print
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Thursday, 25 September 2008 09:42
NCAAF Headline News

 FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) - Before taking a question, TCU coach Gary Patterson pointed at his team's pyramid of goals on the wall, specifically under the ``Beat the Odds'' heading where Oklahoma is listed.
``That pretty much sums it up,'' Patterson said.
Not only this week, but for most of the past decade for the No. 24 Horned Frogs (4-0).
While Patterson was referring to Saturday night's game at second-ranked Oklahoma (3-0), where TCU is more than a two-touchdown underdog, the Frogs have long been trying to beat the odds and become one of the teams from a non-BCS conference to get to a Bowl Championship Series game.
Patterson told his team before the season to envision going to Norman with a 4-0 record.
``You don't know how the game is going to turn out. You've got to be able to dream a little bit,'' Patterson said. ``This is what you want, everyone's eyes on you, get yourself to a point where everyone pays attention, then see how the game turns out.''
season-opening upset at Oklahoma. Their BCS hopes ended a week later with a loss at lowly SMU even though they went on to win the rest of their games after that - one of their three 11-win seasons in a four-year span.
The year before Utah became the original BCS buster in 2004 (Boise State and Hawaii followed), TCU won its first 10 games and was sixth in the BCS standings before losing. With LaDainian Tomlinson at tailback in 2000, the Frogs were 7-0 before being upset at San Jose State.
With the nation's top-ranked defense (183 yards per game) and a high-scoring offense (43 points a game) this season, TCU hasn't trailed in a game. The Frogs are coming off a 48-7 victory at SMU.
Yet, this isn't a team filled with big-name players like L.T. And there isn't only one or two guys contributing for a team who's seven-game winning streak is bettered only by No. 11 BYU's 14 in a row and third-ranked Georgia (11).
The Frogs are 12th nationally with 249 rushing yards per game, but their top rusher is Ryan Christian with 189 yards combined in four games. Three others have at least 162 yards, including starting quarterback Andy Dalton with 184 yards and five TDs. Dalton's backup, Marcus Jackson, has thrown the team's only two TD passes.
On defense, seven players have combined for the 14 sacks, and five have interceptions.
s, what we're going for,'' senior center Blake Schlueter said. ``We're just a team, we don't have the superstars, we don't have the big names out there.''
Schlueter and linebacker Jason Phillips made their TCU debuts as freshmen in that game at Oklahoma three years ago.
``The only thing I really remember is when it was over, just walking off the field and seeing the clock was at zero and we were ahead,'' Phillips said. ``No matter what happens this game, I'll never forget that.''
There is a different scenario this time, primarily that this isn't a season opener with so many unknowns.
``We snuck up on them last time,'' Philllips said. ``We're not going to get any surprises out of them this time.''
Oklahoma is 28-1 against non-conference teams at home in 10 seasons under Bob Stoops (100-22), the lone blemish being that 2005 opener while outscoring the rest of those teams by almost five touchdowns a game. The Sooners are 58-2 overall.
Patterson, 66-25 in his eighth full season, smiled when asked about the differences between then and now - and which was better.
``I think I like 2005,'' Patterson said. ``We were an unknown.''
er, with No. 11 BYU and No. 17 Utah still left on TCU's schedule.
The only losses in TCU's 11-2 season two years ago were consecutive games against the Cougars and Utes.

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