Gary Patterson got the perfect motivational material last weekend when little ole Jacksonville State went into Oxford and beat Ole Miss. Jacksonville State hails from the Ohio Valley Conference, the same league that will send Tennessee Tech to Fort Worth on Saturday to face No. 4 TCU.
"We're trying to make sure we're not one of the people they're talking about in upsets," Patterson said. "I told them in the Sunday meeting that we didn't need to be the next Ole Miss."
It would make for the ultimate let-down after TCU defeated then-No. 24 Oregon State in a nationally televised game at Cowboys Stadium to put the highly anticipated season-opener behind them with an important 'W.'
"I'll be honest with you, I'm concerned about this ballgame," Patterson said. "Historically here, we have not played our best football the second game of the season, especially when it's at home. We got beat by Northwest Louisiana, which was our first home game back in my first year here. If you think that I'm taking any of these games; and if you want to know about memories, I still remember how I felt about that one. I thought I was going to be cleaning my office out that Sunday."
Patterson has additional motivation as well. His coaching career got started at Tennessee Tech, back in the mid-1980s with another coach named Dennis Franchione under head coach Gary Darnell.
And then there's the story of Tennessee Tech junior running back Jocques Crawford.
"He committed here. He de-committed, then went to KU [Kansas], now he's there," Patterson said. "They keep saying he's a junior. I don't know how he's a junior. He played two years of junior college at Cisco, then he played at Kansas. It's something I'll ask a question about since he left us without a running back. Most things I leave alone."
The Tennessee Tech website does list Crawford as a junior, but also says he has one year of eligibility remaining.
Whatever the case, the TCU defense, which allowed 73 total rushing yards in the opener, will be prepared for Crawford after limiting Oregon State star Jacquizz Rodgers to 75 yards on 18 carries. Crawford will try to become just the 21st running back in what will be Patterson's 115th game as head coach to gain 100 yards on the Frogs.