Inside Slant

The Sports Xchange

September 12, 2018 at 9:19 am.

Patterson says Ohio State game will not define season

There’s no doubt that Saturday’s game at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas between No. 15 TCU and fourth-ranked Ohio State is big for both teams, nor is there any question that the contest could have an influence on just who gets a spot in the College Football Playoffs.

But Horned Frogs coach Gary Patterson said Monday that the game, win or lose, will not define his team’s season.

“It’s win or lose, and then your season is going forward or getting over with,” Patterson said about the Ohio State game. “The worst thing we could do at TCU is put all of our balls in one basket. If you can win it, you’re going to be part of that (playoff) conversation. If you don’t win it, you don’t.

“But we’ve got Texas next week, start of Big 12 Conference play, then Iowa State before we get a break.”

TCU (2-0) struggled to put away Metroplex rival SMU last week before rolling to a 42-12 win on the road. The Horned Frogs’ KaVontae Turpin had a 78-yard punt return for a touchdown, caught a 42-yard pass from Shawn Robinson for another score and made a critical tackle after a Robinson interception that kept the SMU defender from a pick-six.

“We’ve got a lot of work to do,” Patterson said after the win over SMU. “We’ll keep working. Just gotta keep getting stronger, keep getting better. Obviously this is a great win.”

With the eyes of the college football world on this week’s game, TCU understands the importance of this game even as it downplays it.

“This is going to be a great benchmark as far as where we’re at,” Patterson said. “We have a younger football team than we did a year ago, and we’ll find out what we can do. I think we can build off (this game) one way or another.”

The Horned Frogs are a 13-point underdog but are unfazed by that aspect. Patterson and his staff will have the team prepared. They’ve been through this kind of pressure before.

“We’ve got quite a task, quite a task this week,” Patterson said. “But you know what? We’ve been the underdog before, so this is not going to be our first rodeo.”