Dykes: ‘Battle-hardened’ TCU put pieces together
No. 3 TCU goes into the College Football Playoff Championship Game on Monday versus No. 1 Georgia as a 12.5-point underdog, but first-year coach Sonny Dykes said Tuesday that the Horned Frogs think they shed the label of a Cinderella team weeks ago.TCU was chosen to complete seventh in the Huge 12 conference and is now in position to win the program’s first nationwide title given that 1938. Dykes yielded that a lot of within the program would confess this previous summer season they didn’t believe they ‘d be betting the nationwide title.It wasn’t
that they didn’t believe they can it, Dykes stated, “we just had not done it together.”
That mindset began to change, he said, following a three-game stretch that consisted of wins against West Virginia, Texas and Baylor.
“I think that point, our guys began to believe, ‘OK, we’re a real football group and we’re a battle-hardened group and we’ve needed to get rid of some difficulty,'” Dykes said. “And you understand what? We have a chance to make a run.”
TCU, which went 12-0 during the routine season before losing in overtime to Kansas State in the Big 12 championship game, has proven doubters wrong all season, and will have one last opportunity to defy the odds on the sport’s biggest stage. TCU could become the first team given that Georgia in 1990 to win the nationwide title after being unranked in the preseason Associated Press survey, which started in 1950.
“When you hear about how you will lose to a team, or nevertheless lots of points you’re going to lose by, it just fuels us as a group,” LB Dee Winters said.Georgia coach
Kirby Smart said Tuesday that TCU’s capability to come back in the fourth quarter “reveals what your mental makeup is.” TCU won 5 games this season when routing after halftime and won seven straight games by 10 points or fewer.
“Their kids think,” Smart stated. “They have, I seem like simply checking out and listening about them, a great deal of similarities to our kids in terms of the culture created there, the method they play, the way they believe.
“Their conference has been in a great deal of tight ballgames, and they’ve won those tight ballgames, and done an extraordinary task with what they do. And they develop truly difficult circumstances defensively, do an extraordinary job on unique teams. Have among the very best returners I’ve ever faced in the return game and score a great deal of points on offense with the Heisman Trophy-candidate quarterback. So it’s a recipe to be betting the national championship.”
Dykes stated his team has actually matured throughout the season, but the message when he was employed was “we suffice.”
“We suffice to compete,” he stated. “We have all the pieces here. We just need to put them all together and we have actually got to do things the right way. We need to want to pay the prices. And those men believe that. They really have. They believed it from day one.”
Still, they understand not everybody is persuaded– even after Saturday’s 51-45 win against No. 2 Michigan.
“We use it as motivation, due to the fact that why not?” stated star receiver Quentin Johnston. “It’s one of the main points I feel like has driven us to the success we’ve concerned this year. So honestly, there’s going to be a lot of outside noise, individuals projecting us to lose by nevertheless numerous points, but we’re going to keep doing what we’re doing and prove them incorrect from week to week.”
TCU’s possibilities at an upset will increase if running back Kendre Miller is healthy, however Dykes said his leading rush is “most likely questionable” after hurting his knee in the first half of the Fiesta Bowl.
“I believe he’s feeling pretty good,” Dykes said, keeping in mind the coaching personnel got “a pretty good evaluation on him” when the group returned house from Phoenix. “He was pretty sore. Got up yesterday, felt a little much better. I just saw him a bit ago. He’s feeling better today. … We’ll see how he progresses through the week, see how he feels, and we’ll attempt to make a decision as we get closer to game time whether we think he’s going to be all set to play or not.”