Dallas Colleges: Tennessee Tech Golden Eagles
The No. 4 TCU Horned Frogs and respect-seeking Baylor Bears will play in front of about 50,000 fans Saturday at sold-out Amon G. Carter Stadium.
TCU announced Tuesday evening that a limited number of standing-room only tickets, at $15 each, are available on-line at www.GoFrogs.com and at the TCU ticket office in the Daniel-Meyer Coliseum.
It's the second home sellout in the last three games at the 80-year-old stadium, going back to last season's November showdown against Utah that drew 50,307, a single-game home attendance record. More than 46,000 attended TCU's season-opening win over then-No. 24 Oregon State at Cowboys Stadium, and 37,117 watched TCU dismantle Tennessee Tech in last week's home opener.
"It just proves where we're getting as a program," 10th-year TCU coach Gary Patterson said, "and the amount of people that are getting excited about being Frog Fans and are liking to watch good college football."
TCU has sold 19,020 season tickets (not including the student allotment) for this season, obliterating the previous school record of 14,490 in 2007.
Saturday's kickoff is at 3:30 p.m. The game will be televised on Versus.
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."
*TCU won its 15th consecutive home game. Attendance was 37,117. TCU won for the 16th time in its last 17 games and is now 28-3 in its last 31 games.
*Senior quarterback Andy Dalton became TCU's career leader in pass completions with a 6-yard first-quarter strike to Curtis Clay. It was the 626th in his career, surpassing the Horned Frogs' previous mark of 622 by Max Knake (1992-95). Dalton was 6-of-7 for 79 yards in the first quarter and finished the game 15-of-21 for 182 yards, one touchdown and no interceptions.
*Dalton's 19-yard touchdown run was his third rushing score of the season, tying his total from last season. It was also the longest of his 19 career rushing touchdowns.
*Kicker Ross Evans' first-quarter extra point enabled him to break TCU career records for PATs made and attempted. Evans It was his 115th PAT, breaking Chris Kaylakie's previous mark of 114 (1998-00). It was his 123rd career PAT
attempt, moving past Chris Manfredini (122, 2005-07) for the top spot all-time at TCU. Later, Evans missed an extra point to snap his streak of 47 consecutive PATs.
*Senior receiver Bart Johnson Bart Johnson had two first-quarter receptions to give him a catch in 24 consecutive games, the longest streak of his career and tops among current Horned Frogs. He finished with seven catches, tying a career high, for 56 yards.
*Safety Alex Ibiloye forced three fumbles. No TCU defender forced more than two last season.
But, the model of consistency on the unit is Bart Johnson. Entering Saturday's home opener against Tennessee Tech, the steady senior has a reception in a team-best 23 straight games.
Against Oregon State, Johnson had three catches for 26 yards, including a nifty grab he made while twisting and practically picking the low throw off the turf. He and quarterback Andy Dalton clearly have gained a keen sense for one another.
"I definitely believe that," Johnson said. "As far as me and every other receiver, we've been here for five years. We've been doing a seven-on-seven in the summers for five years. We've been running a lot of the same plays for five years. It's just really neat. I know the other night when we were on the field, it's just like a sense of confidence, a kind of calmness about the group."
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