TCU is eager to see the atmosphere for the first night kickoff of the season at Amon G. Carter Stadium.
Senior cornerback Kevin White remembers the last one he saw.
“The last time Utah came here, I came to that game as a recruit, and it was a different feeling,” he said. “It was really crazy that night. It showed. TCU, they just put a whipping on Utah that game. So it’s a different feeling at night. It really is.”
That is the idea coach Gary Patterson has been trying to get across.
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“The Carter is a special place at night,” he said.
In 2009, with ESPN’s College GameDay in town, No. 4 TCU defeated No. 16 Utah 55-28 in front of a record 50,307 fans to stay unbeaten and eventually win the Mountain West Conference, going on to a Fiesta Bowl matchup against Boise State.
“The energy lifted us off the floor,” Patterson said. “It was an unbelievable experience.”
If that atmosphere can be replicated Saturday night, Patterson believes there is no doubt it will be an advantage.
“When we’ve played in this stadium when it’s been like that, we’ve done some incredible things,” he said.
Following the worst performance of the season for Trevone Boykin, his teammates still gave him credit for a positive personality.
“First of all, he’s friends with everybody,” cornerback Kevin White said. “He’ll go around and dap up everybody right before the game: ‘Man, have a good game, let’s go out here, let’s do this,’ to every single player in the locker room. He’s a guy who wants everyone to do well, not just himself.”
Receiver Kolby Listenbee remembers when he wasn’t a starter that Boykin, who was a starter, still interacted with him.
“He talks to everybody. He respects you. He’s not an arrogant person,” Listenbee said. “He treats you like you want to be treated, basically. It’s cool having somebody with a personality like that lead you. He gives everybody confidence, so everybody else believes in him, too.”
The Horned Frogs’ 26 takeaways is the most in the country, but even that pace is just shy of the team-record 40 in 12 games in 2005. TCU would finish with 39 in 12 games this year.
Patterson called this year’s defense “probably one of the better ones” at TCU at producing turnovers.
The team record for interceptions in a season is 26 in 2005. This year’s team has 15.
“It always goes in cycles,” Patterson said. “It just always goes in cycles.”
The Frogs were glad to have safety Chris Hackett available for the West Virginia game after it appeared he might have to sit out the first half because of an ejection the previous week. A video review by the conference cleared him, however, and the junior delivered an interception and a forced fumble before halftime.
“He was just everywhere, so it was great having him back there,” cornerback Kevin White said. “Especially being a corner, it’s great having a guy back there that has that much range and who’s going to come up and play the run as well.”
But White said the backups would have been capable, too.
“We’re confident in the next guy. The next guy is going to step up and play well,” White said. “Especially with Coach P; he’s going to have you prepared, regardless. So we weren’t thinking about it too much.”