Patterson: Each conference road game presents a challenge

Head football coach Gary Patterson spoke about his team’s chance to play for a national title at this week’s press conference, a subject he usually avoids.

“I think I have a lot more argument this year (than last year),” Patterson said. “If you can get through the kind of schedule we have and still win at Utah, even though you still have a game left, I think you have an argument.”

Patterson also talked about his team’s resilience in Friday’s win at SMU and the challenges the fifth-ranked Horned Frogs will face during conference play.

Though the Frogs fell behind the Mustangs 17-14 early in the third quarter Friday, Patterson said having a number of veteran players on the team helped the team to keep its composure.

“After it was all said and done, I really have to give my kids a lot of credit,” Patterson said. “They didn’t play with a lot of emotion. They really kind of got hit in the mouth and they found a way to win.”

After escaping Gerald J. Ford Stadium with a win and finishing their non-conference schedule with a 4-0 record, the Frogs finish out the season with all Mountain West Conference opponents. Patterson said each conference road game will present an individual challenge.

“When you go to somebody else’s house you have to take ball games,” Patterson said. “Every road game we have left will be a tough road game for different reasons.”

He said this weekend’s game against Colorado State will challenge the Frogs because it is the first conference game. UNLV will present the first late-night game starting at 10 p.m. CT. Utah will intimidate the Frogs because they have not won at Rice-Eccles Stadium, and the New Mexico game will fall two days after Thanksgiving.

The Horned Frogs dropped from fourth to fifth in the Associated Press Top 25 poll. TCU will open its conference schedule Saturday in Fort Collins, Colo., when it takes on Colorado State at 1:00 p.m.