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Patterson: Texas showdown is just one game

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While head coach Gary Patterson recognized the magnitude of Saturday’s match-up with the University of Texas Longhorns during Tuesday’s media luncheon, he said the game is just one of 12 games on this year’s schedule.

“It’s a measuring-stick game,” Patterson said. “We know if we play well or we win that we gain some more ground of where we’re trying to get as a program, but I don’t think our kids will be happy if we just play well.”

With the uncertain statuses of junior running back Aaron Brown and senior defensive end Tommy Blake, this test has the potential to be more difficult than originally expected.

“We don’t know about Aaron Brown, we don’t know about Tommy Blake,” Patterson said.

Senior defensive end Chase Ortiz, a friend and longtime teammate of Blake’s, said he expects his fellow preseason All-American defensive end to play Saturday.

Despite the team’s one-game-at-a-time outlook, Patterson said he understands Texas is a big game and that he and his team have a lot of work to do before they meet.

Patterson described the Texas team as very athletic, with possibly the best wide receivers in the country, led by senior Limas Sweed. He also talked about the ability of Texas sophomore quarterback Colt McCoy to manage the game and the capability of junior running back Jamaal Charles.

Patterson said that although last week’s game against Baylor was not the team’s best performance, he was impressed with how redshirt freshman Andy Dalton managed the game and how the team did not hurt themselves with mistakes.

“I thought the game against Baylor was laymen-like,” Patterson said. “I thought we played well, but I don’t think it was our best football game.”

Despite handing a shutout to Baylor, Patterson said the defense felt it did not play that well.

With the underdog tag stamped on the Frogs, Ortiz said he has no problems with the label heading into a match-up of two top 20 teams.

“I don’t have a problem being an underdog,” Ortiz said. “They’ve already proved themselves as a great team and if we’re labeled as an underdog that’s fine.”

While the rankings might indicate TCU as the underdog against Texas, senior free safety David Roach said he does not see it that way.

“I don’t feel like an underdog,” Roach said. “We’re both good teams, we’re both ranked teams, so I think it’s a pretty important game for both teams.”

TCU follows its game against Texas on Saturday with its Mountain West Conference opener against the Air Force Falcons on Sept. 13 – just five days following the Texas game.

“We can’t afford to win or lose and not emotionally get ready for the Thursday night game,” Patterson said.

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