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TCU's Patterson banishes some 3-letter words

Published: Thursday, Oct. 23 2008 12:04 a.m. MDT

At TCU, coach Gary Patterson is banning the use of certain three-letter words that start with the letter B.

That would be: BYU and BCS.

After the Horned Frogs vanquished the Cougars, 32-7, halting BYU's 16-game winning streak and knocking off the two-time defending Mountain West Conference champions, Patterson has tried to refocus his team.

"For us, the three-letter words, we're not talking about them anymore," he said. "We're not talking about BYU, and we're not talking about the BCS. Our biggest thing is Wyoming."

Patterson should have no problem getting his team's full attention. The Cowboys defeated the Frogs last season in Laramie, 24-21, as Wyoming rushed for 232 yards against TCU's defense.

"We're playing a Wyoming team that embarrassed us a year ago," Patterson said, whose team climbed to No. 15 in the polls and debuted at No. 14 in the BCS standings.

Turns out, Patterson also knows something about teams experiencing a big letdown after a big win. The week after losing to the Cowboys, TCU traveled to Stanford, which had upset USC the previous week. The Frogs defeated the Cardinal, 38-36.

Applying the lessons learned from a year ago, Patterson is insisting that his players and coaching staff not dwell on last week's victory or on the BCS. "We're just trying to get to 5-0 in the conference," he said.

After facing Wyoming, TCU travels to UNLV. Then comes its showdown with Utah on Nov. 6 at Rice-Eccles Stadium.

HIGH ON HUGHES: TCU defensive end Jerry Hughes earned MWC defensive player of the week honors after recording four sacks — three in the first half — and forcing two fumbles in the win over the Cougars. The four sacks tied an MWC single-game record and were just short of the school record of 4.5 sacks.

Hughes was also named the Walter Camp Football Foundation national defensive player of the week. He leads the nation with 11 sacks and is tied for first in the country with four forced fumbles and three fumble recoveries.

Hughes, who played tailback in high school, was converted to the defensive side at TCU. "He's having a dream season," Patterson said.

THAT 70 SHOW: San Diego State's nightmarish season got even worse last week with a 70-7 whipping at the hands of New Mexico.

"We're going through a tough time right now," said Aztec coach Chuck Long.

SDSU (1-6, 0-3) has been decimated by injuries this season. Long said he's lost nine starters for the year, and 20 players total have gone down to injuries since fall camp started. Due to the injuries, the Aztecs have three true freshmen playing on the defensive line.

SDSU hosts Colorado State this week.

"There are some things we have to address, like the team demeanor and coming out with a sense of confidence," Long said. "We have a lot of youth in there. It's hard to yell at those guys when they've been thrown into the mix."

New Mexico coach Rocky Long said he felt a little uncomfortable with the lopsided nature of last week's game.

"The score itself makes everyone stand up and think," he said. "It was one of those games where everything we did went right and everything they did went wrong."


E-MAIL: jeffc@desnews.com

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