FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) - Instead of getting overly defensive,
TCU coach Gary Patterson took a significantly different approach.
The 16th-ranked Horned Frogs spent most of the past decade building a well-deserved reputation as one of top teams outside the big six BCS conferences. Patterson's relied heavily on a dominating defense. Even when record-setting running back LaDainian Tomlinson was at TCU and Patterson was its defensive coordinator, the Horned Frogs were first-rate at shutting down opponents.
While scoring a school-record 56 touchdowns last season, TCU again led the nation in total defense.
Yet, one of the things that stood out was the inability to score when the Frogs really needed to in some of their most important games. Patterson hopes to change that when they open their season Saturday at 0-1 Virginia.
That 13-10 loss to Utah last November cost the Frogs the Mountain West Conference title and a shot at getting into the Bowl Championship Series. Instead, Utah got to do it again and TCU had to settle for its fourth 11-win season in six years.
So after the highest-scoring season in school history, TCU revamped how it will call passing formations. The plays really haven't changed, but the way they're called was simplified to provide flexibility and better utilize potential big-play receivers like Jimmy Young and Jeremy Kerley.
(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)