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Monday, September 13, 2010
MMQB: No. 4 TCU gains on Boise State

By Jeff Caplan

In the latest AP Top 25 poll released Sunday, the TCU Horned Frogs remained at No. 4, but cut into No. 3 Boise State's lead by half. The Broncos were idle while the Frogs hammered FCS-school Tennessee Tech, 62-7.

TCU entered the weekend trailing Boise by 143 points in the poll. Heading into this Saturday's big home game against hungry Baylor -- while Boise is on the road at Wyoming -- TCU finds itself just 71 points behind the Broncos. (TCU also remained No. 5 in the USA Today coaches poll.)

Yet, with good news comes bad. No. 1 Alabama and No. 2 Ohio State both handled threats from ranked opponents and increased their points margin over Boise and TCU.

Back to the Frogs' romp over Tennessee Tech, where coach Gary Patterson got his start and earned his master's, TCU was nearly a 50-point favorite. I immediately picked Tech to cover, not because I didn't think the Frogs could win by 50 or more, but because I didn't think they would allow the score to get that out of hand.

Apparently neither did Patterson. But, you can only do so much.

TCU scored its final touchdown with 4:09 left in the fourth quarter. Running up the score? Playing for style points to gain votes?

"I want to publicly apologize. I didn't mean to score the last touchdown. We don't do style points," Patterson said after the game. "We didn't throw the ball in the fourth quarter. That's not the program we are, period. I did not want to score 60. I'm not unhappy. I'm just not going to come in here jumping up and down."

Patterson went on to say that he didn't think Tennessee Tech coach Watson Brown was too pleased with him (yes, Mack's brother).

But, if the Golden Eagles can't make a tackle late in the game, then what choice did fifth-year senior and seldom-used fullback Ryan Hightower have but to take it to the house?

Hightower, playing in just his fourth career game and after hundreds of career practices, found daylight from 16 yards out and took it in the for the score to crack the 60-point barrier for the second time in three seasons (67-7 over Stephen F. Austin in 2008).

"I was really excited for Ryan Hightower," Patterson said. "We were just running a fullback for a couple of yards, but he cut back. It was not called to get a touchdown. I'm happy for him. He's been doing it for five years and never gets any credit. But I've been on the other end of it and I just don't like those kinds of games."