Horned Frogs hope to gain BCS attention
FORT WORTH, Texas -- They're tied with Oklahoma for the nation's longest winning streak and they're one of only five teams without a loss. They're also the highest-ranked team from the state of Texas.
Yet the No. 16 TCU Horned Frogs -- the lowest-ranked of the undefeateds -- know they're a longshot to get a BSC berth. So coach Gary Patterson is trying to keep his squad focused on the task at hand, which on Saturday is beating UAB.
Instead of talking about their current streaks, which also include a 10-game home win streak, Patterson is reminding his team about the physical whipping they took in a 38-17 loss the only other time TCU played UAB.
"They really harassed us two years ago," Patterson said. "We couldn't run the ball and they wore us down defensively and threw the ball over our heads."
TCU (6-0, 3-0 Conference USA) should have a festive atmosphere at Amon G. Carter Stadium. It will be homecoming and there will be a halftime tribute to Jim Wacker, the Horned Frogs' coach from 1983-91 who died of cancer in August. He was 66.
Another former coach stricken by cancer might be there, too. Pat Sullivan, who led TCU from 1992-97, is offensive coordinator for UAB (3-3, 2-1). He recently began treatment for cancer. Coach WatsonBrown said he hoped Sullivan would be able to make the trip.
"He wants to win this game real bad," quarterback Darrell Hackney said. "He talks to me every day about this game."
TCU has won 16 of its last 17, but is likely to be lagging when the BCS standings are released next week because of its schedule. Playing in C-USA and facing non-conference foes such as Navy and Vanderbilt make it difficult to gauge how the Horned Frogs would fare against the likes of Oklahoma, Miami and other top-tier teams.
Their strength is a defense led by end Bo Schobel.
Since allowing 35 points to Tulane in the opener, TCU has given up a total of 37 in five games. Their per-game average of 12.0 is fourth in the nation, making it easier for an offense that's faced injuries to the starting quarterback and top two running backs.
"Until the right guys are healthy, we have to go the long way and take advantage of our opportunities and not turn the ball over," Patterson said.
UAB has won two straight since losing three in a row. The Blazers need all the momentum they can get as they'll face No. 4 Georgia next.
"We just love the opportunity to try to get UAB football on the map more and more," linebacker Zac Woodfin said. "It's a big opportunity for us and we're going to take full advantage of it and be fully prepared to play these two games."
This story is from ESPN.com's automated news wire. Wire index
MORE COLLEGE FOOTBALL HEADLINES
- Lawsuit challenges NCAA amateur model
- Alcohol sales not planned at Michigan Stadium
- Police wrongly identify UF's Debose as attacker
- Auburn recruit hit with 'probationary status'