Monday, August 31, 2015

TCU's Quest Towards The National Championship Starts At Minnesota

                                                      Photo Credit: TCU Football

NOTE: This is part one of a two-part series previewing No. 2 TCU at Minnesota. TCU will be the focus in part one today.

In the midst of swamped media coverage over National Championship and potential Heisman Trophy hopes for star quarterback Trevone Boykin, the No. 2 TCU Horned Frogs will have a chance to live up to the preseason hype as it will travel to Minneapolis to take on the Minnesota Golden Gophers.

In front of a national television audience watching in primetime on ESPN, coach Gary Patterson knows his team must remain level-headed and take each game as its own challenge.

"My job is to build the best football team I can and to make sure their mindset is where it needs to be understanding it is so hard to win at a high level in college football," Patterson said in Monday's Big 12 conference call. 

"The thing for us is we have to try and keep guys as healthy as we can keep them and hope they get stronger as the season starts."

Despite losing multiple starters on the defensive side to graduation, Patterson feels confident about the development of his younger players to fill the void.

"Defensively, we lost six starters [from last season] so we have to grow from that standpoint," Patterson said.

"We will find out how if they can put it together against a team who is as physical as Minnesota." 

Bond Between Patterson and Minnesota coach Jerry Kill:

Despite being long-time friends and never working on the same coaching staff, Patterson considers Kill to be a coach in which any player would want to play for.

"Jerry Kill is the ultimate football coach and he is tough as nails and his team shows that," Patterson said.

"The unfortunate thing about playing [Jerry] is that I don't get as much time as I have in the last two seasons to see him."

Staying Humble:

After being left out of the College Football Playoff last season as Big 12 co-champion, TCU knows every game is an essential must-win and can use the scenario as a way to avoid the same fate again.

"I can't do anything about the [polls] and the only thing I'm saying is that you have to pay attention to the writers and football coaches who make a living doing what they do," Patterson said.

TCU's Players To Watch For- Quarterback Trevone Boykin:

If the Horned Frogs are to make a run towards a championship, Boykin will be a vital piece of the puzzle.

The reigning Big 12 Offensive Player of the Year and preseason Heisman Trophy candidate put up gaudy numbers last season with school records in passing yards (3,901), touchdown passes (33) and total offense (4,608).

Wide Receiver Josh Doctson:

Like Boykin, Doctson also set single-season school records in 2014 for receiving yards (1,018) and touchdown receptions (11).

Doctson, along with Boykin will receive a lot of consideration once more for the Earl Campbell Tyler Rose Award and barring injury, should be Boykin's top target going into the Minnesota game.

Game Planner:

No. 2 TCU Horned Frogs at Minnesota Golden Gophers

Location: TCF Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, MN

Time: Thursday, 8 p.m. CT

TV/Online: ESPN/WatchESPN

Line: TCU -14.5

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Follow Geno Green on Twitter @GenoSportsguy.