Team returns to field after long break

Team returns to field after long break

Coming off of a 16-day hiatus, the football team will try to stop New Mexico’s four-game winning streak Saturday in Fort Worth.The Lobos (6-2, 3-1 MWC) are coming off of a 34-31 overtime victory against Air Force, and currently sit second in the Mountain West Conference behind BYU.

The Horned Frogs will try to contain New Mexico running back Rodney Ferguson, who is coming off of a career-high 146-yard effort against Air Force. His 41 carries were the second-most in a game in conference history, and earned him MWC Player of the Week honors.

“Forty-one carries is a bunch of carries. Probably the best thing was that we played on Thursday night because I’m sure he was really sore on Friday,” said Rocky Long, New Mexico head coach. “If he carries it 41 times this week, it means we’re probably right in the ball game and have a chance to win.”

Long said because of injuries, it is tough to gauge TCU’s talent level.

“There are so many different guys playing than what you are used to seeing play,” Long said. “Most of them have been back in the lineup on and off. I’m sure they are all going to be healthy now so we can expect their very best.”

Head coach Gary Patterson, who coached as defensive coordinator at New Mexico for two seasons before coming to TCU, spoke highly of Long during Tuesday’s media luncheon.

“He’s done an outstanding job,” Patterson said. “What I like about Rocky is he doesn’t ask for anything more, he just gives kids an opportunity to go play and do the things they need to do.”

Patterson said the key to the second half of the season for his players is not just winning, but also how they play.

“It’s not all about this year it’s about next year,” Patterson said. “It’s about having pride and character and all the things that go along with it. It doesn’t matter who plays.”

The time off gave the team a chance to evaluate the positives and negatives of the season, Patterson said.

“The bottom line to it is it comes down to turnovers – how many takeaways we haven’t gotten in the last three or four ballgames defensively and how many times we’ve turned it over offensively. Still, within that case we lost two games by three points and one by seven,” Patterson said.