TCU will use this as motivation

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- If there’s one thing that TCU could learn from Boise State after Monday’s Tostitos Fiesta Bowl, it’s that losing is a powerful motivation.

The Broncos lost to the Horned Frogs 17-16 in the Poinsettia Bowl last year and spent the entire offseason using “one point” as motivation. Several players said their goal was to use that loss and turn it into a positive the following season. The Broncos did with a 17-10 win over the Horned Frogs in the Fiesta Bowl.

Now, it’s TCU’s turn to use this game as motivation for 2010.

“We played a very good Boise State team tonight,” TCU coach Gary Patterson said. “We came up short. For me, I don’t think that we backed down the mountain at all. It would been nice for us to win. That was our intention. But for me to say that we fell, that we stumbled and fell down, that football team there has only lost one ballgame in two seasons.

“We have a lot of young players. We are losing some good players. If you want to be a great program, not just a great team, which I think is what we’ve become, then we’ll regroup, we’ll move forward and we’ll get ready to go.”

The Horned Frogs lose six starters off this year’s team, but all of the players behind them have playing experience and some have even started games this season. One of those returning players is quarterback Andy Dalton, who had one of the worst games of his career on Monday.

Dalton had been the reason the TCU offense came into the game averaging more than 40 points a game. He ranked fifth in the country in passing efficiency.

But on Monday, all of those stats went by the wayside against a Boise State defense that confused Dalton with several different fronts and looks.

Dalton said losing the Fiesta Bowl doesn't take away from an otherwise great season. The Horned Frogs won the Mountain West title, were ranked higher than ever before and became just the second TCU team to start 12-0.

“We did a lot of good things this year,” Dalton said. “We understand that, but we also have a foul taste in our mouth that we have after this game. All these underclassmen, we’re going to take this and just make it motivation for next year. And hopefully we can really improve and win a big game like this.”