2010 TCU Football Team
Confetti fell all around them as the crowd screamed, but they were not cheering for the Horned Frogs. TCU’s football team left the field of the January 2010 Fiesta Bowl in Glendale, Arizona, with the only loss of the 2009 football season. Although the seniors finished their career with a loss, many of the other upper-classmen knew that there was always next year.
Lead by a senior-laden team, Coach Gary Patterson and the Frogs began the 2010 campaign in Cowboys Stadium, handily beating the Oregon State Beavers. Before the end of September, the Horned Frogs also beat instate rivals Baylor and SMU. Even the most anticipated game of the regular season witnessed the Frogs dominate the University of Utah Utes in Salt Lake City, on November 6, 2010.
Under Coach Patterson and his unique defensive schemes, the Frogs finished the regular season ranked number one in defense among all college programs; it represented the third straight year that the Frog defense lead the nation. By going undefeated in the regular season, the Tournament of Roses invited TCU to play in the January 1, 2011, Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California, against the University of Wisconsin Badgers.
Pre-game pundits predicted that Wisconsin’s size advantage and hard-nosed straight-ahead style of football would wear down the defensive speed of the Frogs. Instead, the Horned Frogs played the game with heart. Four-year starting TCU quarterback Andy Dalton managed the game, making plays when the offense needed them. The defense also stepped up to help secure the victory.
Late during the fourth quarter Wisconsin drove down the field and scored a touchdown, brining the Badgers within two points. The key play of the game occurred on Wisconsin’s attempted two-point conversion, which would have tied the game. As the Badger quarterback threw the ball to seemingly an open receiver, middle linebacker Tank Carder suddenly leapt in the air and swatted the ball down, preserving the Horned Frog victory.
This time as the confetti fell, it was TCU players who cheered and cried. They had atoned for their loss at the previous BCS Bowl game!