Playing on the big stage was something new for TCU football. Now we ll see how the players and how the program reacts to their loss to Boise State

I don t think it s a set back at all, says Head Coach Gary Patterson. We played the number six team in the nation and got beat 17-to-10. Somebody was going to lose tonight. Its like I told them in the locker room, these teams together were 48 and three(before tonight) and now the total record is 49 and four. Somebody was going to have to win and somebody was going to have to lose, and that s the way the game was going to go down.

Patterson s dream was to finish the season strong, perhaps finish as the No. 2 team in the country, then start the season this fall ranked high in the preseason polls and perhaps pave the way for a possible National Championship game. It didn t happen this year.

For me, I don t think we backed down the mountain at all, Patterson says. It would have been nice for us to win. That was our intention but for me to say we fell down, that football team in there has lost only one ball game in two seasons.

Missing a perfect season by one game is something Patterson and the players will be thinking about for a long time. It always happens when the season ends that way, but how the team handles the adversity could make them stronger next season and better prepared to handle the big stage.

You ve got to decide how you handle this, Patterson said. Just like when you re growing up and a kid knocks you down, how are you going to get back up? Are you going to get back up crying or you going to get back up, dust yourself off and get right back into it? That s what I intend this program to do is jump right back into it.

Patterson seems convinced that his Horned Frogs won t miss a beat. If you want to be a great program and not just a great team, which I think we ve become, then we ll regroup, go forward and get ready to go, Patterson says.

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