- David Ubben, College Football
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Gary Patterson saw the final score, favoring his Frogs by 56 points and featuring a smile-inducing shutout against FCS Grambling.
He also saw Oklahoma State lose by three touchdowns on Saturday, a week after beating an FCS team, 84-0.
"You can’t take anything for granted when you play a 1-AA school," Patterson said. "Look at the Oklahoma State win. ... We’ve got to get better."
Urgency is now, and Patterson doesn't need any help to know life will be much different in his team's second game.
Anytime you get into conference play, the stakes always go up, and the physicalness of the game always goes up.
"There’s a big difference between playing a conference school and playing Grambling," Patterson said, "so we understand that and know that we’re not taking the win that we had for granted -- we’re not too excited about it."
The Frogs play their first Big 12 game against the league's last-place team a year ago, Kansas. The Frogs are three-touchdown favorites, too, but Oklahoma State was a double-digit favorite that lost to Arizona by three touchdowns.
TCU's entering a strange, new world in the Big 12, but Patterson's well-educated on what to expect in the league.
"The little I watched of Kansas a year ago, they play a lot better at home than they do on the road, so with a new head coach, the first conference game, I’m sure coach Weis saved quite a bit of stuff for us," Patterson said.
Kansas went without a Big 12 win in 2011 and finished just 2-10, but two of the Jayhawks' three close calls came in Lawrence. Ten-win Baylor was down three touchdowns in the fourth quarter before Heisman winner Robert Griffin III rescued the Bears and engineered a comeback win in overtime.
Texas Tech trailed by three touchdowns early against Kansas, too, before rallying for a 45-34 win at Memorial Stadium.
Patterson knows the dangers, but he also knows early games are about working on his own team's deficiencies, even if he's not divulging what he saw on tape in a win that looked nearly flawless, albeit against low-level competition.
"If I told you that, I'd be telling the whole conference," he said.
TCU can rest assured every game won't end with a 56-0 win.
"Reality is somewhere in between, now that you’re gonna have to step up a large step in competition level. For us, now you’ve got to get ready to play," Patterson said. "We got all the first-game jitters out of the way, but they know what what you see on film is what you coach, and there were some things we saw on film that we didn’t coach."
This week has been about fixing it. The first Big 12 challenge in TCU's history awaits.
"We’re going to get both guns blazing," Patterson said.
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