Frogs hope to reverse historical Ute dominance

Frogs hope to reverse historical Ute dominance

No. 4 TCU looks to advance their season record to 10-0 this weekend against a team that has historically had their number.

The Frogs will face off against the No. 14 University of Utah Utes on Saturday in Amon G. Carter Stadium in front of a sellout crowd and will be ESPN’s College GameDay’s game of the week.

“Every year when we play Utah, it has been a close, physical game with two very athletic teams,” said Frog head coach Gary Patterson.

The Utes handed the Frogs their most recent loss in Salt Lake City last season with a final score of 13-10. They also handed TCU their last home loss in 2007.

Since their first year in the Mountain West Conference, 2005, the Frogs have not been able to defeat the Utes, giving Utah a series lead of 5-1.

On defense, Patterson said that the Utes are comparable to Clemson University, who the Frogs defeated earlier this season 14-10.

“They are both big, physical, very fast and aggressive. They will come at you,” Patterson said. “They are not going to give you anything. You have to go take it.”

Senior Utah linebacker Mike Wright leads the Utes in tackles with 54 in 2009.

As the defending MWC champions, the Utes are 5-0 in conference play and 8-1 overall. Utah’s lone loss came early in the season from a non-conference opponent, the University of Oregon.

The Horned Frogs head into Saturday’s game with their highest ranking since 1956 at No. 4 in the nation, according to the AP poll.

The Utes are 7-0 in games where both teams were nationally ranked.

Last year, TCU was ranked No. 12 in the BCS standings going into the Utah game against the then-No. 8 Utes.

After losing the game, Patterson said the locker room was full of emotion.

“I have never been in a locker room that had a hundred people with tears in their eyes,” Patterson said. “You understood that this really means something.”

Heading into the weekend, the Frogs have a shot at a BCS bowl game, and a long shot at an opportunity to play in the national championship, according to many college football analysts.

Junior Andy Dalton, quarterback for the Frogs, reminded the media Tuesday that if this weekend results in a loss, none of that matters.

“It’s exciting to be at this point when we get to play them for something that matters,” Patterson said. “This is what you try to get to.”

TCU has outscored its opponents 178-25 in the past four games, holding their opponents to only two touchdowns.

Dalton leads the Frogs in passing yards with 1881 yards on 207 attempts for a total of 16 touchdowns.

Senior tailback Joseph Turner leads the Frogs in rushing yards with 560 for nine touchdowns.

The two teams face off on a Saturday for the first time since TCU’s Thursday night overtime victory in 2005. Every other meeting between the MWC rivals was on Thursday night.

Patterson said the Frogs prepared for a physical battle with a lot of energy.

“We understand that every ball game we have played against Utah has been very close,” Patterson said. “They have never played us here when we had this kind of crowd, so it’ll be interesting.”

He also commented on the fact that the Frogs will debut their new Nike Pro Combat uniforms this weekend, presenting another interesting twist.

“It doesn’t matter about uniforms or crowd size, you’ve got to go play,” Patterson said. “Like I said when I was coming off the field Saturday, it’s going to be a showdown in Cowtown. That’s where we’re at.”