FORT WORTH, Texas --With one month and counting until their teams meet at Cowboys Stadium, TCU's Gary Patterson and Oregon State's Mike Riley were in good spirits on a conference call Tuesday, trading compliments for each program's most valuable player.
Oregon State running back Jacquizz Rodgers and TCU quarterback Andy Dalton are both hoping to contend for the Heisman trophy this year, and both Texas-bred standouts will have to overcome a major obstacle in the Cowboys Classic on Sept. 4.
For Rodgers, it's TCU's rangy linebacking corps. For Dalton, it's disruptive Beavers' defensive tackle Stephen Paea. But the veterans will be ready for whatever according to their coaches.
"Young quarterbacks ask people to do things, and old quarterbacks demand people do things," Patterson said. "Finally we've gotten to the point in the last two years that [Dalton] demands."
Meanwhile, Riley said Rodgers, who was born in Richmond, Texas, near Houston was proud of his Texan background and excited for a homecoming.
"It is an important game, in a lot of ways," Riley said. "But as far as what [Jacquizz] will do, he'll do the same as he always does, which is get as ready as he can to play."
The coach went on to say Rodgers "takes great pride in what he does."
Jacquizz Rodgers, along with older brother and Beavers receiver James, attended Lamar Consolidated High School. The brothers are the top offensive threats for the Beavers, which will be led by a new quarterback, sophomore Ryan Katz.
Oregon State's young signal caller might have Riley more nervous than usual entering a season-opener. The Beavers coach said "there was nothing like having a quarterback who has been there," like the Horned Frogs' Dalton.
"You're talking about a guy that first of all, has the production and the resume to stand out," Riley said. "He has... leadership quailities, and is also the product of a program that Gary [Patterson] has worked hard at, and I admire the work that he's done."
Patterson said the Katy product's intangibles and how he handles himself off the field set Dalton apart.
"The team comes first [with Dalton,]" said Patterson. "And all the personal accolades will come with winning, and I think he understands that."