By Will Martin
Samford vs. TCU
Saturday – August 30 – 6pm
Amon G. Carter Stadium
Saturday night at 5pm CST the 2014 Horned Frogs Football season shall commence in the triple digit heat of Ft. Worth against a rival not quite like what befell them to begin 2013 at AT&T Stadium in last year’s Cowboy Classic.
Indeed it was a sea of Purple, which is the true color of royalty in any language.
Last year a tough 27-17 defeat to Gary Patterson’s squad despite an electric debut to the campaign courtesy of a 100 yard kickoff return by B.J. Catalon.
That was one of a few highlights in a 4-8 season.
A season in which there were four losses by a grand total of 11 points.
August 30 the slate is washed clean and a new slate gets to be rewritten, and not without a delicious touch of irony with Samford as the opponent.
Consider the following: This shall be the first ever meeting between Samford and TCU.
HISTORY BETWEEN THE COACHES
Pat Sullivan (TCU coach from 1992-1997) is no stranger to Gary Patterson. Twice before Patterson and Coach Pat Sullivan have met when the current coach was on the New Mexico side of the football ledger.
In case you forgot, it was 1996 and 1997 when Pat Sullivan donned the purple and white while Gary Patterson coached the Lobos (as Defensive Coordinator) to victories over TCU 27-7 in Albuquerque and Ft. Worth.
It should also be noted that in 1994 Pat Sullivan led the Horned Frogs to a Southwest Conference Championship in the Independence Bowl over Virginia. That 1994 team will be honored at halftime to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the SWC title.
TCU SEASON OPENING HISTORY
For only the fourth time in fourteen years TCU opens the season at home under Gary Patterson’s watch. Under Patterson the Horned Frogs have gone 9-4 in season openers. This being the 118th opener in TCU’s history the overall record is 69-39-9.
If you take away the 27-17 loss to the Tigers last August 31, the Horned Frogs have won nine of their last ten season openers. This includes upset wins over No. 5 Oklahoma in Norman (2005) and No. 22 Oregon State (2010).
Ten years have passed since TCU played an opponent from the state of Alabama. Back in 2004 they played a game at UAB. A game they lost 41-25.
As for home openers, TCU has won 12 straight home openers under Gary Patterson. The defense in nine of those meetings kept the scoring at 17 points or less.
2-The number of times TCU leaves the state of Texas this fall to play…
9-The number of returning defensive starters returning to the Amon Carter gridiron in 2014, having led the Big 12 in yards per game (130.8).
4-The longest current streak TCU has for consecutive games played by a margin of four points or less.
5-The number of FBS coaches who happen to have a longer tenure at coach than Gary Patterson in Ft. Worth. Two of them come for a visit later in the season. Bob Stoops October 4 and Bill Snyder in early November (Kirk Ferentz, Larry Bakeney, and Frank Beamer complete the quintet).
100/100/200-The magical numbers Trevone Boykin (probable starter at QB?) reached last year in rushing in a game, receiving in a game, and passing in a game. The ONLY player to do so in 2013!
9-The number of interceptions Sam Carter has accrued for the Horned Frogs in the last two seasons.
While Doug Meacham and Sonny Cumbie both make debuts as coaches on offense, Meacham was a part of the Samford brass as offensive coordinator and line coach from 2002-2004.
It will be a sea of Purple for the #AmpItUp brigade of Horned Frogs. After Saturday they get a week off before preparing for a matinee game with the Gophers of Minnesota on September 13. Another week off before the Iron Skillet match takes place at SMU on September 27.
Defense has been a staple under Gary Patterson’s tenure. I look for the home opener to be a statement maker to set the tone for a memorable run at the playoffs system come December. If for any reason Baylor has difficulties this season after a stellar 2013 do not be shocked if the Horned Frogs return to prominence and get honorable mention in the rankings alongside Oklahoma in 2014.
NAMES TO GET FAMILIAR WITH
Trevone Boykin, B.J. Catalon, David Porter, Ja’Juan Story on offense.
Chucky Hunter, Ty Summers, Russell Williams, Sam Carter on defense.
Go Frogs! #AmpItUp and get ready for an exciting 2014 season of Big 12 football where TCU only leaves the state twice (West Virginia, Kansas)!