Just to make it clear, TCU coach Gary Patterson is playing to win Friday against Georgia in the Liberty Bowl.
Not look at younger players. Not experiment for spring football. Not pick up some nice gifts and go home.
Nope, just win.
“Everybody does it different. It is a reward for your players. But I’ve never been to a bowl game that when it’s all said and done that if you didn’t win it, that you had a great feeling leaving it,” the veteran Horned Frogs coach said Thursday at his press conference. “You may have had a great experience, but you didn’t have a good feeling. We’ve lost a Fiesta Bowl, we’ve won a Rose Bowl. You go down the years, there’s no substitute for winning, I don’t think. Because that’s what your kids leave with and what they take into the spring — what you did and what you got accomplished at your bowl site.”
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Patterson, whose team enters the 11 a.m. kickoff with a 6-6 record, was asked the difference between 6-7 and 7-6.
“Makes a lot of difference to me. Winning, there’s no substitute for winning,” he said.
149 Victories for Gary Patterson as head coach, including nine in bowl games. His first bowl victory as the Horned Frogs’ head coach came in the 2002 Liberty Bowl.
Patterson said TCU will go into the game with 12 practices, less than he preferred because the Armed Forces Bowl schedule at Amon G. Carter Stadium eliminated one day. He said he also would have liked three practices in Memphis rather than two, but that Wednesday’s work in cool, misty weather was very good.
“We’re playing to win here,” he said. “Whether we can or not, I don’t know. Definitely that’s the whole goal, the way we set up practices — and it’s always been the way we set up practices. Early, it’s going to be very physical and later you pull them back and get your legs and shoulders ready to go.”
TCU has won eight of its past 10 bowl appearances and is 9-5 in bowls with Patterson as head coach.