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December 30, 2010

Gary Patterson


COACH PATTERSON: I just want to welcome you to the TCU part of the media days. On behalf of our team and our University, our chancellor Victor Boschini and our board of Trustees, we just want to make sure that you knew we were happy we're here and to be a part of this.
Our team is very excited about being at the Rose Bowl and being part of such a fantastic venue, and being part of history of the 97th Rose Bowl game. So I just wanted to make sure I opened up with that, and we'll open it up to questions and anything else we can answer. Thank you.

Q. I'm sure you've heard from so many people preparing for this game. What is the best piece of advice you've gotten in dealing with your team?
COACH PATTERSON: For Saturday? I think last year being part of the Fiesta Bowl and a BCS game got the wow factor out. We understand how prestigious the Rose Bowl is. But we also understand coming and playing and not winning is not as much fun.
So really our whole focus really with the whole team has been about being here, practicing, enjoying ourselves when we're not practicing, but really getting ourselves in a position that we can play great on Saturday and trying to find a way to win by one more point.
It's really been amazing and they've done the job for me. I haven't had to coach them very much at all.

Q. It seems like every year there is that one AQ team that puts the other non-automatic qualifiers on their back. This year it's TCU versus Wisconsin. Do you feel that?
COACH PATTERSON: Number one, I don't feel like we're the small guy. We've only lost three games the last three years. We lost Oklahoma and played in a National Championship game. We lost to Utah that beat Alabama in the Sugar Bowl, and then Boise a year ago. So we've been in big games and we've proven we can play on a big stage.
We're treating this like any other ballgame. That is one of the things we have. We understand we have to play at a very high level to beat a Wisconsin team, so for us as far as having to have a great effort or challenge.
But I do believe we're playing for all those people that haven't ever gotten a chance to do this. The loophole had to be just right to be in the Rose Bowl. It may be many, many years before another team outside the Pac 10 and Big 10 get an opportunity to play in this game.
All of the people that we've met, it's just been incredible how they've treated us, and the ambience of Los Angeles and Pasadena and everything that goes along with it. So we've carried it a little bit but really haven't talked about it much.
More important, we know we take care of TCU and ourselves and all the rest of it will take care of itself.

Q. The movement to the Big East makes you an automatic qualifier. So do you want to take advantage of your last year being a non-AQ?
COACH PATTERSON: It would be. I don't know if we'll be different as a football team whether we're AQ or not. Recruiting I think will change a little bit, but we'll still recruit the same kind of kids. Our game plan will still be the same.
But for us, it's really kind of interesting to look into. We've got one more year in the Mountain West Conference, and we're going to try to make sure that we keep them happy by playing at a high level and going from there. Then we'll move forward and see what that plan has to be to be successful.

Q. With all the time and media coverage, every game gets broken down and every match-up. For you is there a key or starting point where you start to beat Wisconsin and how important are the first ten minutes of the game for a team?
COACH PATTERSON: You've got to finish, you have to play 60. That is one thing about bowl games. I think the team that wants it the most wins.
In the last 12 bowl games we've been in in the last 13 years, usually the team that wants the game the most wins. I think you have two football teams that both have great character, both have shown that they can handle adversity.
I think it may be the best bowl match-up of the season because you have two teams that are very blue-collarish in how they do things. Don't mind being conservative as their game plan and getting after somebody and coming right at you.
I think the team that probably doesn't make the mistakes, doesn't turn the ball over, and can make the plays in the end will be the team that wins the ballgame.

Q. Your guys wanting to come out earlier and what happened last year in the bowl game, do you see a difference when you're looking at your team, whether it's practice or just mentally? Are they any different this year?
COACH PATTERSON: No, besides -- actually we didn't practice. We practiced one less day. We took off Monday. I felt like Boise State a year ago took off Monday, because we practiced Saturday and Sunday just to give them legs. We went out to Pasadena, saw the Rose Bowl. Then we've had good practices Tuesday and Wednesday, and we'll finish up with a day's practice.
As a general rule our practice regiment -- and I think the thing that people don't understand is that was a very good Boise State team. It came down to a fake punt and 17-10. But defensively we held Boise two years in a row to only one offensive touchdown in both of those bowl games.
So we've made some mistakes offensively, but we'll come back and play very well. I think our offense has been excited about getting another chance on this kind of stage. Every big ballgame they've played in this year, clear back to Utah, Baylor, Oregon State, they've played very well. I see no reason why they won't again Saturday.

Q. One of the big story lines is (Inaudible) TCU has a great rushing attack as well. Top 10 in the country.
COACH PATTERSON: Well, we're different. We're different in how we do it. I would say the best defense we've had this year is when our offense has had the football. I think that is the key. It's really easy to call defense when your arms are folded and you're going first down for us.
So I think one of the keys to this ballgame is our offense being able to control the football and making first downs. I think you have to score against Wisconsin. You just can't move the football and punt. You have to be able to score and capable to keep a game so they can't get in and just wear you out type thought process.

Q. What makes Dick Bumpas unique as a coordinator?
COACH PATTERSON: Well, Coach Bumpas and I have been together a long time. One of the things is he's very articulate for a ball coach. He's a guy that can do about four crossword puzzles prosecute the time we leave the hotel until we get to the stadium, so very smart.
He has an open-mind process. So we're kind of looking at angles and doing something that's maybe outside the box that other people would say oh, you can't do that. We just find a way that is going to take us a little longer, but we're not going to say no.
He and I have it's been a great work in process, along with the rest of the defensive staff, it's been a lot of fun.

Q. How did you and he get together?
COACH PATTERSON: I played for him. I played at Kansas State for Coach Bumpas. And then him and I coached a couple of places and we got back together at Utah State.

Q. Is there anything from last year's Fiesta Bowl that you can take into this game?
COACH PATTERSON: The most has to do with getting our kids what we're doing at the hotel. Number one, we didn't go out to the Fiesta Bowl. We went to the Rose Bowl on Monday to get out the wow factor. We'll go again tomorrow.
Second thing is being able to isolate our kids on Friday night with all the people coming into town before the ballgame. Giving them a chance to focus. At the place we stayed a year ago, it was really spread out. It was hard to get our kids focused and put into one place. I wish I would have taken them to a different hotel.
But this one here, we'll be able to control everything from the third floor up, so those are the two thing that's we've done different.
Our curfews have been a little lower, but not because of me. Our kids asked for that. But it's been 12:00, 11:00. It's been 12:00 up to this point. Starting tonight and tomorrow night it will be 11:00, so that is the only difference. But they've practiced really well which has been usual.

Q. (Inaudible)?
COACH PATTERSON: You have to all play, but it always comes down to the quarterback. When Andy's played really well, we've played great in big ballgames. But you have to have somebody that catches it, and you also have to block for it and do all the other things that we do.
I think they've been in a lot of big games. If you go back to his freshman year he's starting against Texas in Austin, and we played Oklahoma a couple of times. He went to Clemson and beat Clemson at Clemson in front of a big crowd. He's been in those kind of ballgames in his four years.
If they win Saturday, they'll have won 44 games as a senior class in four years. That is 11 games a season; that is a lot of ballgames. 43 is the most in the school's history that they've won so far, so he's been part of a lot of ballgames here.
His freshman year we were 8-5. And since then we've gone I think 11-2 and then 12-0, and then 12-1 and 12-0. So they've learned how to win.

Q. Reading in the media, some folks are drawing parallels to the quarterbacks.
COACH PATTERSON: They both manage the game well. I've met Scott. You like people that are just team players. I think it seems to me that Scott's a lot like Andy in the fact that whatever he's got to do to win, great leader, very composed. More about the team than he is about himself, and they manage the game.
When you have a quarterback that manages the game and you have good players around them, you give yourself an opportunity to be successful, and both teams have.

Q. Talking to one of your offensive coordinators yesterday about Marcus Cannon, (Inaudible)?
COACH PATTERSON: When you're 361 pounds and you're in 111 heat, 361 pounders don't like that. We had seven days two-a-days that were between 111 and 115. We don't go in the mornings; we go at 4:00, so that spoke highly.
This group didn't even hesitate this year during camp. They fought through it. Did what they needed to do, and really speaks of their maturity level and their toughness. Again, that's something that we build around and try to exploit.

Q. Is 4:00 intentional?
COACH PATTERSON: Just because of the teaching and the way we do it. But in Texas you're going to have to play your early games in the heat. If you don't practice in the heat, you're going to have a hard time handling it for four quarters. I thought it made a big difference in the Oregon State game early in the season. I thought it made a big difference in the Baylor game when we played them in the second half.
Our kids understand. They like the no humidity out here. It was even nice practicing in the rain yesterday.

Q. How well does he handle transition?
COACH PATTERSON: I think he handles it real well. Mark is one of those guys that's going to do whatever. He graduated and he's one of those guys that's going to do whatever he has to do to be successful.
I think he's going to be a draft choice. Somebody's going to get a guy that for that size is just unbelievably athletic. Squats in the 900s, benches 500, so very strong individual with good feet.

Q. How much did you consciously use the Fiesta Bowl as the motivation some?
COACH PATTERSON: Not very much. It's you a long time ago. I think it was more -- it's really interesting looking at the parallels. Two years ago when we beat Boise State in the Poinsettia Bowl, you had kids not go out because they didn't want to end the season with a loss. Then last year we're both undefeated and we lose.
I'm not sure by losing that ballgame that game didn't put us where we are today. I think we kind of had a bad taste in our mouth and said that's not how we wanted to finish things. We wanted to come back and give it one more try.
To their credit, not mine, but to their credit we've been able to do that. This team has really kind of carried -- my style's a little bit of a fire and brimstone. Really for the last three years, pregame speeches and all of that, it's more been about business as usual instead of trying to get them fired up.
They've been a very workmanlike group. Probably while we played well on the road because you've got to be able to carry your own energy. This group's been able to carry their own energy.

Q. What's he done better than he did a year ago?
COACH PATTERSON: I think he understands. He's thinking about route progression. When you're a freshman, it's kind of fun throwing the ball around. You always dreamed of it, and every year you find out the most important thing is winning.
But he's probably not going to to see anything differently defensively than he's seen now. I think the thing is the game slows down for older kids. I think that's what he'd tell you. It's slowed down. He's more of a leader. He's the guy that now is equipped.
When he walks in, he's not nervous. He's been on the big stage. For me, I think he's thrown 20 touchdowns and two or three interceptions since he got engaged. I told him he should have gotten engaged when he was a freshman, for heaven sakes.
It's funny, we came up with the Andy Dalton rule when he was a freshman. We were 4-4, and you hate to do this, but we were 4-4 and we had an off week. And he was throwing two or three interceptions. We were turning the ball over two or three times a game. We had to go, you throw an interception and you're out. In the last five ballgames, he only threw two, and we won four out of the five.

Q. (Inaudible)?
COACH PATTERSON: I can't have an opinion on that because that's not the way it turned out. One thing will I tell you, both Oregon and Auburn have great football teams. We are undefeated. For us this is a National Championship team.
We're playing a Wisconsin team that's playing as good as anybody in the country. And if you weren't playing in the National Championship game, why would you want to be playing in any other ballgame? I mean the granddaddy of them all, the 97th Rose Bowl.
To be able to walk out just without anybody in the stadium, when we went out Monday to be a part of that ambience and all the people. Even at Lowry's the other night, Mr. Frank's. He's put on 55 Rose Bowl feeds. And you think of all the coaches and players.
And he was saying the other night when I was sitting by him. Some guy came up from the 1971 Rose Bowl that was a player that wasn't even a great player. Hey, I was here. He treated me great. To be a part of something like that is incredible.
So I would not want to do the Rose Bowl any injustice by saying anything other than we're glad we're here. If we win, in our own mind a little bit we can claim our own National title. We'll just kind of do it from there. Because if you win, no one else beat you.

Q. What in the game do you think affects it the most?
COACH PATTERSON: Offense. That's the hardest to bring back. Getting the timing back and all that. The offensive part is what you have to work on to get back into sync and motion. Defense running the football comes back a lot quicker. But offensively you've got to work on getting it all back.

Q. How about special teams?
COACH PATTERSON: Well, we kind of do overkill with those guys. So we've been working those guys at least sometimes three groups a day. But we didn't because we played on Thanksgiving, we really didn't have much time to get away from it.
This group here is focused in. Today we'll have the first part of our 30 minutes, our practice will begin all special teams. Making sure all the little things are worked out. Work on fakes, punt fakes, all the different things that may come up in a ballgame.

Q. Yesterday they talked about being in Disneyland and seeing how big the Wisconsin guys were. Were they noticeably different on film than what you've seen?
COACH PATTERSON: They're bigger a little bit. But offensive line they're about the same as BYU, them and Utah have always been huge football teams. I think probably the front on defense is a lot bigger than maybe we've played against.
But I'll be honest with you, if we were playing them or Pascal High School back home about Thursday before a ballgame, I'm not sure we can beat anybody. They all look big to me.

Q. In a big game, is the first big play really important to relax everybody?
COACH PATTERSON: Well, I think to kind of get in and ease the ballgame. I think you've got to be careful about pushing. I thought one of the things on offense wasn't that we weren't ready. I thought we were tight last year.
I think one of the things we've really stressed is we've got to play TCU football. It's what we've done. It's what's gotten us here. We don't need to do anything more than what we've done to this point. We've got to go be us.

Q. That game last year, was it the nerves?
COACH PATTERSON: Yeah, I think it always helps to be beyond that stage already. But for us it's totally different in some ways.
It still comes down to once you get to Friday, it still comes down to just playing the team that you're playing against. Quit worrying about all the rest of the stuff. Let everybody else have the fun and go forward. But we know we're playing a great Wisconsin team that's overcome injuries during the season. Fought through one on the road. You have to do that to win championships. That's what we understand we're going to have to overcome to win.
But we've done the same things. I think both teams are here because they've done all those things. They've got all those check marks.

Q. You said on Thursday you convinced yourself you're not going to beat anybody?
COACH PATTERSON: That's a defensive coach. I don't tell the team that. I'm always one of those who is always trying to find the perfect defensive call. I think that's one of the things that's made us good. We always go in like we're the underdog. I've always been that way.

Q. Does it take a play or two for you to settle down and get over those nerves?
COACH PATTERSON: No, it's not that I'm nervous. Most people when they see me on the sideline, because I'm hyper and tense, that's when I'm actually most focused. Most people can't be that way and be focused. I'm actually the best when I'm that way. I'm into the ballgame, doing the things I need to do.
Trust me, nobody likes embarrassing themselves on national TV. I'm hitching my pants, tying my shoes, whatever I do. But if I think it will help us shut them out, I'd start combing my hair between series if it made a difference.

Q. Have you done that?
COACH PATTERSON: Not yet, but don't give me a comb. I told them I need Velcro shoes for this ballgame.

Q. Do you think your players feel they're favorites in this game?
COACH PATTERSON: I don't feel they think that one way or the other. They're here to try to win it. They understand none of that makes a difference. They're here to try to win the ballgame and they've been focused when when we heard who was going to play in the game. We're just business as usual. You've got to be able to go and play and make plays and find a way to score one more point.
My group back home, hey, look, all of us want to beat them by 40. Everybody wants to do something like that. But the key to the story is it's kind of a mindset for us. I'm talking about life. In life you get up in the morning, nobody lets you tie anymore. You have to be ahead by one point.
We've got to work hard, be focused and do all the things that we need to do. Just like anybody else, if you can be up by 30 in the market or on the scoreboard, it's a great day. But if we can be up by one, then that's what we're going to try to do.

Q. (Inaudible)?
COACH PATTERSON: That was the one game that I always watched. You always watched the parade. It always seemed to come on about 4:00 o'clock, nothing else is going on during the day and you sit in there, the pageantry and being part of that and all the great teams and players that have played here.

Q. Have you allowed yourself (Inaudible)?
COACH PATTERSON: Early, early. But I've kind of tried to do what I've been telling my kids to do. I'm trying to focus in and handle my business.

Q. The stadium?
COACH PATTERSON: It's unbelievable. It's a great venue. We even had Rudy come out and speak to us this week.

Q. (Inaudible)?
COACH PATTERSON: We're a very diversified offensively. We needed to get healthy. We needed one week to get ourselves bigger and stronger again, so I would say yes.

Q. (Inaudible)?
COACH PATTERSON: Most of it comes down to what they do on the field. That's kind of like I use the linebacker position. There are a lot of guys that look good, run fast, do it all. But you never see them make any tackles. They're standing around the pile, so we're always looking for guys to make plays.

Q. Have you seen a situation where that guy looks like a linebacker?
COACH PATTERSON: Yeah, but most of the time I see the tape before I see him. Fortunately in the state of Texas we're lucky because we get a lot of kids come to our camp already before we have to decide whether we want to give them a scholarship. We get a chance to see them sometimes two or three times in camps.
Sometimes it's good because they mature more and become better. But it definitely, definitely is still about not about potential most of the time. It's about productivity.

Q. Do you see maybe a kid comes in and is it a meek or mild personality?
COACH PATTERSON: Sometimes. But you know, one of the things I try to teach my kids is what is their personality on the field? Because I'm one of those guys that believe I'd like you to flip the switch. When you're on the field, I want you to rip somebody's head off, but off the field, I want you to be quiet. One girlfriend, go to church, get your degree, all that kind of stuff.
I try to teach them, because I told them that's the way life's going to be. You can't take home to work, you can't take work to home. You have to flip the switch. I think football is a direct how you have to do that.
If you have a problem off the field, you can't bring it to the clubhouse. So I think one of the things we try to do in our program here is really when a kid -- coach is going to keep their job because of wins and losses, but what we'll be judged by in five years is what kind of people we turn out and how successful they can be in life.
I'm lucky because I sit in a situation where I've been somewhere 13 years, and we can do that. From the university and everybody else, it's built in that they want you to make good decisions for the right reasons. They want us to win, but as much as anything else, they want us to do right, so that makes it easier.

Q. You've had a lot of success with guys that were prototype size out of high school. Is that something that you're just guarding against. We're not worried about him being 220 pounds?
COACH PATTERSON: Yeah, because our last five linebackers are in the NFL, and not one of them weighed over 205 pounds. David Hawthorne, which is a starter for the Seattle Seahawks was 197, now he plays at 255. But he made plays and he was a banger. They call him the heater up there.
Darryl Washington who started for Arizona the other night, was 187 pounds, but he was 6'3" and ran 4.4, so he made plays. And Rob Harrison and Jason Phillips who plays for the Baltimore Ravens, all those guys were guys that we moved in that position to go make plays.

Q. Do you think other schools are tempted to say, oh, he's just not big enough?
COACH PATTERSON: Well, none of us want to -- we'd all like to get that guy that already looks the part or makes the plays. But for us to build our program at our place because of the way recruiting is in Texas, we've had to do it a different way.

Q. Along those lines, your profile has raised more kids that want to play for you. How have you avoided temptation to not do it the way you've always done it?
COACH PATTERSON: We keep of formula of who we want and how we do it. It comes down to recruiting a player. We're still looking for the frog factor. 20 guys that truly want to be at TCU that aren't just out there. So hopefully we won't get away from that mindset.

Q. The temptation of it --
COACH PATTERSON: Oh, yeah. You go nationally recruit. You do all of it. I think that's the mistake we've watched other people make. We're going to take kids that we think fits our profile and are going to be not only good players, but good character people.

Q. Is that hard to do?
COACH PATTERSON: Yes, sometimes. But you know what, there are a lot more good kids out there than what you give them credit for. They just need a little guidance.

Q. Do you have discussions with the staff on how kids carry themselves?
COACH PATTERSON: Yeah, sometimes we send kids home. Sometimes we didn't offer once they got there. You know, we make enough mistakes the way it is without knowing that we're making a mistake and keeping it.
Yeah, we're very serious about it. We have a lot more conversations about all of the other things. Usually the film speaks for itself. I mean, like Cory Grant. Cory Grant was an offensive tight end, but he was 300 pounds and ran 4.9 for us when we had him in camp.
D.J. Yendrey was a 4 by 100 and was a power lifter. He was 242 pounds, ran a 4.6. We moved him to defensive tackle and now he's 275, 280 pounds.

Q. Do they stack up now in the Texas landscape (Inaudible)?
COACH PATTERSON: I don't know. Every year's different. I'm one of those guys that if we're not playing a school in Texas, I'm rooting for them, because every team has players and families that we've recruited. So, for me, you could get into well, I hear we're the best team in Texas. This year maybe we are, but everything changes with recruiting classes.
So I kind of let everybody else talk about all that kind of stuff. But it's fun. Recruiting-wise it's helping us.

Q. Does it tip the scales for fundraising?
COACH PATTERSON: We just got done raising. You know, winning does that for you. We just got done raising $130 million that will be paid over five years for a stadium. So hopefully all my fundraising is done.

Q. Is that all for TCU?
COACH PATTERSON: Yes, six families gave us $15 million a piece, plus we sold $40 more million in suites. It will all be paid for by 2017.

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