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Star-Telegram.com

TCU eager for Boise State challenge

Posted Sunday, Nov. 06, 2011

By Stefan Stevenson

sstevenson@star-telegram.com

The week is finally here.

TCU's showdown with Boise State has been circled on the schedule since the Mountain West Conference switched the game from Amon G. Carter Stadium to the blue turf in Boise, Idaho, last winter.

The Horned Frogs (7-2, 4-0 in the MWC) are more than two-touchdown underdogs against the Broncos (8-0, 3-0), who are No. 5 in the Bowl Championship Series standings.

Even if TCU, which entered the USA Today coaches' poll at No. 24 Sunday, were coming into the 2:30 p.m. Saturday game at Bronco Stadium undefeated, Boise State likely would still be favored. The Broncos have won 35 consecutive games at home, the longest current streak in the nation, and are 72-2 at home since 2000. TCU coach Gary Patterson wouldn't have it any other way.

"This is what you play for; this is why you coach," Patterson said after Sunday's practice inside the Sam Baugh Indoor Practice Facility. "You always want to put what you do up against the very best."

The teams have met twice in bowl games the previous three seasons but this will be the first and last conference meeting. TCU heads to the Big 12 next season and Boise State appears headed for the Big East.

TCU beat Boise State and freshman quarterback Kellen Moore 17-16 in the Poinsettia Bowl after the 2008 season, but Moore and the Broncos came back the next year to beat the Frogs 17-10 in the Fiesta Bowl. Last year, the Broncos appeared destined for either a National Championship shot or the Rose Bowl until they lost at Nevada in overtime in late November.

"It's basically the same team that came within an eyelash of playing for the National Championship or going to the Rose Bowl instead of us a year ago," said Patterson, who isn't concerned about the BCS standings. "We have three games to win. If you win three then [I'll care], but right now we have to take care of our business."

Quotable

"We've been taking it a week at a time and now it's here. We have a week to prepare for Boise. Boise has a great program and they've got a great thing going for them this year, and we're going to do our best to go in there and see what we can do."

-- TCU linebacker Tank Carder

"You didn't see me arguing it. It's not my business, it's theirs. They called a game to protect everybody and I thought they did a good job. I thought all three of them [were correct calls]."

-- TCU coach Gary Patterson on three 'above the shoulder' personal foul penalties (two against TCU) called by officials at Wyoming.

Key stat

21Consecutive games in which Boise State quarterback Kellen Moore has thrown at least two touchdowns. He has thrown for multiple scores in 41 of 48 career games, including five Saturday at UNLV, the fifth time he has thrown five in a game. He has 28 games with three or more and nine with four or more TD passes.

Moving up

TCU offensive line: It blew open holes at Wyoming in a season-high 390 yards rushing. The running game likely will loom large against Boise State, which has, at times, been susceptible against the run.

Moving down

Fumbles: Four against Wyoming (two each by running backs Matthew Tucker and Ed Wesley) would surely doom the Frogs chances at Boise State. Neither has struggled with turnovers in the past; TCU as a team only had lost six fumbles before Wyoming.

Up next

TCU at No. 5 Boise State, 2:30 p.m. Saturday, Versus

For TCU news and updates, follow beat writer Stefan Stevenson on Twitter @FollowtheFrogs

Stefan Stevenson, 817-390-7760

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