FORT WORTH, Texas -- TCU coach Gary Patterson ticked off the reasons why his team should not suffer an emotional letdown one week after trouncing Utah in the most anticipated game of the season. With the San Diego State Aztecs, hungry for a share of the Mountain West Conference title, at Amon G. Carter Stadium on Saturday, Patterson has harped that there's just way too much in front of his Frogs for a letdown.
"They have a lot to prove," Patterson said of the upstart Aztecs, "and we have a lot to hang on to."
That starts with remaining unbeaten, moving to 11-0 and one step closer to securing a second consecutive berth in the BCS, which would be a Rose Bowl appearance. Of course, the third-ranked Frogs still believe they're in play for the national championship game if either No. 1 Oregon or controversy-riddled No. 2 Auburn slip.
Here's what else this team has going for it entering Saturday's 3 p.m. kickoff:
*To commemorate the final game at the 80-year-old stadium before it undergoes a $105 million renovation, several hundred letterman who played at the old yard over the decades are expected to be on the field.
"It's probably going to be crazy, probably going to be folks crying -- not necessarily the team -- fans and family," senior nose tackle Cory Grant said. "For the guys that were here way before us and played in that stadium when it was first built and for people to come back it is going to be emotional for them...To come here and not really knowing much about TCU and to be part of a program that has gone above and beyond what people expected that makes it all the more emotional and something to remember. And so, palying in that stadium will be something special for one last time."
*The nation's No. 1-ranked defense can become the first in college football history to lead the nation in three consecutive seasons. Allowing just 8.5 points a game, the Frogs are on pace to for the NCAA's lowest-scoring defense since Auburn in 1988.
*The senior class (26 players) is 41-8 and needs two wins to become the school's all-time winningest class, a mark Patterson continually brings up.
*The Frogs expect to play in front of the fourth home crowd in excess of 40,000, an unfathomable mark not long ago. Including the crowd of 46,138 at Cowboys Stadium for the season-opener against Oregon State, three crowds have eclipsed the 46,000 mark. TCU is averaging more than 41,000 through five home dates at Amon Carter.
"Going from 17,000 people in the stands to where we have a chance to maybe average around 42,000 people this year for our six home games," Patterson said, "all of it coming together is what really has been cool for me because I've been part of the process the whole way."
Patterson, who prepared his team to play at Utah's noisy venue last week, has a message for Saturday's big home crowd in the rickety old stadium's final stand.
"What I want to do is I want somebody else this Saturday to have to worry about going silent count. That's how I want the crowd to be," Patterson said. "I want it to be so loud that they have to go silent count for the whole four quarters at Amon Carter Stadium, the last game that we'll ever play [there as currently constructed]. That would be a goal of mine, how the crowd can be involved, [that] they [San Diego State] have to take a timeout because they can't hear their signals."