FORT WORTH, Texas — TCU head coach Sonny Dykes spoke about the national championship matchup against Georgia, the legend of Hypnotoad and much more during a radio appearance on Tuesday.
Dykes went on 96.7 The Ticket Tuesday morning, just days removed from the thrilling College Football Playoff semifinal win over Michigan.
Out of the gate, the Dallas-Fort Worth-based radio show asked Dykes what he would have said if you told him before the season that TCU would be playing Georgia for the national championship.
"I would have thought they were pretty optimistic," Dykes responded. "Especially the first year going into a program. When you take over a program, you never really know how all the pieces are going to fit together."
Dykes and the TCU Horned Frogs improved their record from 5-7 to 13-1, with the lone loss coming to Kansas State in the Big 12 Championship.
"I think that's kind of the magic of this football team this year is all the pieces have fit together," Dykes said.
Dykes told The Ticket that a key lesson learned in the Kansas State loss that the team applied better in the Michigan game was their short yardage situations and red zone defense. Dykes noted how Michigan got the ball inside their 5-yard line and didn't score, then turned the ball over on the second possession courtesy of Bud Clark's interception return for a touchdown.
Listen to the full interview here:
Dykes also spoke on the death of Mike Leach, who Dykes coached with at Texas Tech in the early 2000s.
"Mike really taught me the Xs and Os of football," Dykes said. "Got to coach with him for a long time, and then has the pleasure of coaching against him for four years at Cal (Berkley). We had four crazy games when he was at Washington State. Mike was just one of those very unique people. He had a great way of connecting with players."
When asked about playing Georgia for the national championship, Dykes said the Bulldogs looks a lot like Michigan (physically), but said they're "quite a bit faster" than the Wolverines. Dykes also credited Georgia's effort put forth in games, regardless if the score is close or if it is a blowout.
As a nice little bow on the conversation, Dykes was asked if he's superstitious. He, jokingly, said he wears the same shoes for games, but denied being overly superstitious. If there were a superstition, however, it might be centered around the illustrious Hypnotoad, the cartoon character adopted as TCU's unofficial mascot this year.
"You know what's strange, they played that video the other day in the game and we had a big play like two plays later and scored a touchdown," Dykes joked. "At the end of the season, you do all these studies: how'd you do on first down ... how were you on third and long? We're going to do a study on how we did after they played the Hypnotoad video. I really do think there's something to it."
TCU and Georgia will square off for the national championship at SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles on Monday night.
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