Coaches can use just about anything as a teaching tool for their players. Whether in a win or loss, there are usually a bunch of moments in a game that can be viewed and reviewed incessantly to help a coach drive home a point.
But it's so much more fun doing it after a win. And TCU's 38-28 win over BYU provided ample learning experiences for his team, coach Gary Patterson said.
"That game couldn't have turned out any better from a coaching standpoint," he said. "Some of the things we've been telling them, happened, but we still won and we didn't have to learn from a loss, we learned from a win. That's great for us,because we'll go out this week and work on some of those things."
The Horned Frogs played hard and emotionally, Patterson said, which probably accounted for his seemingly unlikely positive postgame reaction Friday when he said it was one of his team's best-played games of the season. After watching the film, he was no less happy with the win, especially against a BYU team that had in many ways built its season around trying to snap a three-game losing streak to the Horned Frogs (6-2, 3-0 in Mountain West). TCU plays at Wyoming (5-2, 2-0) at 1 p.m. Saturday.
"As far as physicalness, that was a play for the championship-type game," Patterson said of BYU. "They wanted that ballgame very badly. They put a lot into that game. It's one of those games when you're just glad we won, especially when we didn't think we played that well.
"There's a lot of positives that can come out of something like that, because who knows what you can play like [when you play smart and disciplined]. With this game you can watch the film and you can say, 'I told you.' And you learn from it. It's a good thing."
Thoughts on Paterno
Gary Patterson was happy to see Joe Paterno become college football's all-time winning Division I coach Saturday with Penn State's 10-7 win over Illinois. Paterno, 84, won his 409th game, breaking Eddie Robinson's record.
"It's awfully cool," Patterson said. "The man has always stood for the right things."
Paterno is in his 49th season at Penn State, which Patterson finds hard to fathom.
"Right now I can't see me coaching to the end of this season the way it's going," he said, joking. "Because every Saturday, 30 minutes before you go out, it's like you're going into surgery. You have that pit in your stomach and you're on anesthetic and they're telling you everything is going to turn out all right, but you don't really know. That's 12 weeks out of the year, 13 if you get to a bowl game, you sit in a locker room waiting to see how things are going to go down."
Paterno has been forced to coach from the press box after suffering injuries when one of his players accidentally ran him over during preseason practice. Patterson hasn't been up in the box since he came to TCU in 1998. He never liked being up there.
"You're behind a wall and it's not the true football experience, at least I don't think," he said. "Some guys like it."
Patterson, 51, has deep respect for Paterno, but can't comprehend coaching for 30 more years.
"As long as you have people playing the game and not a computer, then there's always going to be that X factor," he said. "Everybody I've ever talked to has said if you ever lose that then you better get out of it. Because if you're a competitor you're always going to have it, but it's a sick feeling. You're just sitting there. You don't want to walk in front of the kids and look like you're nervous. You just have to sit there and take it."
Safety Tekerrein Cuba did not practice Sunday after leaving with a strained knee against BYU. Gary Patterson said Cuba is feeling better than the team expected and "he may be able to practice Tuesday or Wednesday."
Patterson said Cuba's game status will likely not be determined until Friday.