Surging Wildcats welcome back TCU's Patterson

Associated Press  |  Last updated November 16, 2013
The road leading to town wasn't known as Coach Bill Snyder Highway the last time Gary Patterson exited north off Interstate 70 and headed toward the Kansas State campus. The football stadium didn't bear Snyder's name, either. In fact, when the current TCU coach and native of tiny Rozel, Kan., returns to his alma mater for the first time in three decades Saturday, the old Wildcat linebacker might be surprised at the building boom on campus and the expansive - and expensive - additions to the stadium. ''I don't think I'll have time to worry about it, except for probably standing before the game and maybe after the game,'' Patterson said. ''It's been a long time since I was on that field.'' Patterson began his playing career at Dodge City Community College in southwest Kansas, and transferred to Kansas State for the 1980 season. He played his final two years for the Wildcats, back when the program was mostly a laughingstock in the old Big Eight. It wasn't until Snyder arrived before the 1989 season that things turned around, and the entire school began a renaissance. For the past two decades, save for Snyder's brief retirement, he's somehow managed to keep Kansas State in the upper echelon of college football. ''Coach Snyder has done a great job,'' Patterson said, ''and there have been a lot of good coaches and good players who have come through since then.'' The job that Patterson has done at TCU has been impressive in its own right. The Horned Frogs were already on the upswing under Dennis Franchione, but reached new heights when Patterson took over. He led them to an unbeaten season a couple years ago, and that made the school attractive enough that the Big 12 snapped up the Horned Frogs during the latest conference reshuffle. Now, Patterson gets to travel over some familiar roads when he leads TCU (4-6, 2-5 Big 12) against the Wildcats (5-4, 3-3) in a game between two teams fighting for bowl eligibility. ''All of our players are interested in that,'' Snyder said. ''But you have to realize, too, that there is an equal amount of motivation on the other side because TCU is going through the exact same thing. They are fighting for their lives in a bowl game as well.'' The Wildcats, riding a three-game winning streak, can assure their spot in a bowl game with a win. The Horned Frogs need to beat Kansas State and then upset fourth-ranked Baylor. Here are five things to keep in mind as they meet at Bill Snyder Family Stadium: QUARTERBACK ROTATION: After struggling to find a balance between run-first QB Daniel Sams and pass-first option Jake Waters earlier in the season, Kansas State appears to have finally figured out its rotation. Both of them have been playing at a high level. ''We were so close at the beginning of the year and we're finally starting to put the pieces together,'' Waters said. PACHALL PRODUCING: Horned Frogs QB Casey Pachall threw for 245 yards in a close win over Iowa State, and 394 yards and three TDs the week before against West Virginia. His presence allows TCU to use athletic backup Trevone Boykin as a runner and wide receiver. ''Trevone is a great athlete and we need to get him the ball more,'' Patterson said. DEFENSIVE WILDCATS: Kansas State's defense was criticized when it allowed North Dakota State to march the length of the field for a winning touchdown in its season opener. But the Wildcats have been vastly improved the past few weeks, shutting down Texas Tech last week. HURT FROGS: TCU has weathered a litany of injuries this season, including one to running back B.J. Catalon. Fellow running back Waymon James is also expected to miss the game while serving a suspension, which means Nebraska transfer Aaron Green will likely get another start. MOMENTUM: The Wildcats are starting to look like defending Big 12 champions with three straight wins after a miserable start to the season, while TCU is trying to string together a second consecutive win for the first time this season. ''We just truly believe that we have been getting better and taking steps forward each day and each week,'' Kansas State linebacker Jonathan Truman said. ''So the momentum we are carrying into this game is pretty high.''
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Dwight Howard: ‘I have not asked the Rockets to trade me’

Nazem Kadri fined $5,000 for throat-slashing gesture

Hassan Whiteside suspended one game for elbowing Boban Marjanovic

Hornets’ Michael Kidd-Gilchrist has torn labrum

Report: Antonio Tarver suspended six months, fined $50,000 for positive test

Texans owner wants team to draft a top quarterback

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Subban undergoes larynx surgery, out at least eight weeks

Report: Raiders staying in Oakland for 2016 season

Cavaliers showing trade interest in Kings’ Ben McLemore

Report: Rockets shopping Dwight Howard

Jim Fassel takes issue with Cam Newton's warmup MVP cleats

Report: NFL upholds Vontaze Burfict’s three-game suspension

NBA to weigh adding advertisements to jerseys

ESPN, Stephen A. Smith and Little League International sued by parents of Jackie Robinson West

Kobe Bryant shoots down notion he wants All-Star MVP record

Justin Tuck will sign one-day contract to retire with Giants

Ronda Rousey returns to training

Von Miller likely to get franchise tag from Broncos

Barry J. Sanders transferring to Oklahoma State

Fantasy booking WrestleMania 32

USWNT start Olympic qualification in style by scoring in first 12 seconds

Magic Johnson wants Peyton Manning to join Rams

Unrestricted free agents each team must consider re-signing

Franchise tag has been a useful tool for John Elway, Broncos

The 16 best NBA All-Star Game sneakers ever

All Sports News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Fantasy booking WrestleMania 32

Unrestricted free agents each team must consider re-signing

QUIZ: Name the winners of the NBA Slam Dunk Contest

Thank you Daniel Bryan

The timeless greatness of Jaromir Jagr

The NCAAB power rankings

Report: Kings to keep coach George Karl

Was Alain Vigneault right about NHL's lack of punishment towards Wayne Simmonds?

Report: Knicks fire coach Derek Fisher

The best and worst commercials from Super Bowl 50

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker