REBELS FOOTBALL:

TCU immediately forgets about UNLV, looks to next week’s clash with Utah

Quarterback Andy Dalton leads TCU to victory with 252 passing yards and two touchdowns

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Sam Morris

TCU head coach Gary Patterson argues a call during their game against UNLV Saturday, October 30, 2010. TCU won the game 48-6.

UNLV vs. TCU Football

UNLV head coach Bobby Hauck puts his hand on his head during the second half of their game against Saturday, October 30, 2010. Fourth-ranked TCU won the game 48-6. Launch slideshow »

UNLV vs. No. 4 TCU

No. 4 TCU stormed into Sam Boyd Stadium on Saturday night and maintained its perfect 2010 season with a 48-6 victory over UNLV, who dropped to 1-7 under first-year coach Bobby Hauck.

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TCU’s preparation for next week’s game against Utah started the second they walked off the Sam Boyd Stadium field with a 48-6 victory over UNLV.

TCU coach Gary Patterson told his team in the locker room to get cleaned up, board the bus and start thinking about Utah. He even made his players unavailable to the media.

“We didn’t talk much about this game,” Patterson said.

Why would they? No. 4 TCU (9-0, 5-0) won its fifth straight Mountain West Conference game by at least four touchdowns.

It was another Horned Frogs beat down in a season that has been full of them. But the yawners stop next Saturday afternoon in Salt Lake City. The Utes are no defenseless prey for the Horned Frogs to devour.

“There’s no hiding in this ballgame coming up,” Patterson said. “It’s two good football teams playing for a championship.”

And possibly more. While the winner will take the Mountain West championship barring a total collapse, it will also have an inside track to reaching a BCS bowl game and maybe the national championship.

It’s the biggest regular season game in the history of TCU’s football program. Therefore, it would have been understandable if the Horned Frogs weren’t focused on the Rebels Saturday night. That wasn’t the case, as TCU never allowed UNLV to have a real chance.

“I don’t think we played that well, but we did what we needed to do on both sides of the ball,” Patterson said. “We understand what we’ve got ahead of us.”

Patterson’s main gripes revolved around turnovers. The Horned Frogs lost two fumbles.

Running back Matthew Tucker lost the ball at the one-yard-line in the second quarter and UNLV recovered it for a touchback. It was the kind of play that didn’t matter against the Rebels, but could serve as a game-changer against the Utes.

Patterson was also disappointed that TCU gave up its second touchdown of the conference season on a 10-yard pass to Michael Johnson.

“We let them go down the field running on us and let a few play action passes,” Patterson said of the scoring drive. “I wasn’t happy during the game.”

TCU has not lost a regular season game since the last time it traveled to Utah in 2008. The Utes won that contest 13-10 under eerily similar conditions as this year’s game.

Both teams were undefeated in the conference and basically playing for the championship. TCU was playing its second straight road game after beating UNLV by 30 points at Sam Boyd Stadium the week before.

Patterson said everything felt a bit off that week after TCU left Las Vegas immediately after the UNLV game late at night. So, he decided to switch the itinerary around this time around. TCU will not leave town until Sunday morning.

“We’re doing it to give ourselves the best opportunity to be successful,” Patterson said. “I’m always looking for every angle I can possibly get.”

Although some coaches shy away from the hype surrounding big games, Patterson embraces the excitement around next Saturday’s showdown with Utah.

“Why would you want it any different,” Patterson asked. “This is how you win championships.”

Case Keefer can be reached at 948-2790 or [email protected]. Follow Case on Twitter at twitter.com/casekeefer.

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  1. As a UNLV fan first and a MWC fan second, I cannot wait for this game.

    Even all of you MWC-Bashers (you know who you are, ESPN) must admit this is the college football game-of-the-week.