FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) -TCU coach Gary Patterson insists he didn't hear the fans chanting his name during the game.
''No, I heard Air Force. Dive, quarterback, pitch,'' Patterson said. ''You should stand next to me. I don't pay much attention
to much else.''
OK, what about the chants of ''Gary! Gary! Gary!'' - from those fans who want to make sure he stays - that started again after
the No. 15
had defeated triple-option Air Force 44-10 in their regular season finale Saturday?
''I was looking for my wife to kiss her,'' Patterson said.
Patterson's name has already been linked to the coaching search at Kansas State, his alma mater. And there could be other
opportunities with several prominent jobs also open.
''It's all flattering,'' Patterson said. ''The bottom line to it. ... Every time we have a great season, people come calling.
They always have. It's 11 years now, and I'm still here.''
In Patterson's 99th game as the Frogs' head coach,
threw two touchdown passes and ran for two more scores and the defense mostly smothered Air Force's usually potent rushing
attack for another 10-win season.
The Frogs (10-2, 7-1 Mountain West) have their fifth 10-win season in seven years. The senior class won its 40th game, matching
the 1932-35 TCU squads for the most in a four-year period, with an undetermined bowl still to play.
If not for a 13-10 loss at Utah in their last game 16 days earlier, the
would have been in contention for a spot in the Bowl Championship Series. But they rebounded strong.
''We couldn't let that carry over into this week,'' Dalton said.
TCU drove 60 yards on six plays on the opening possession and led for good after
scored on a 3-yard run only 2:22 into the game.
Dalton, who finished 21-of-27 passing for 321 yards, had scoring runs of 8 and 7 yards that sandwiched 22-yard TD passes to
to put the Frogs up 37-3 at the end of the third quarter.
Air Force (8-4, 5-3) was held to 150 yards rushing - 111 of that coming on only two runs. The Falcons were averaging 279.7
yards per game, fourth-best among FBS teams.
''It was tough, very frustrating as well,'' quarterback
said. ''We just couldn't move the ball at all against them.''
TCU had only five 10-win seasons before Patterson was promoted from defensive coordinator in December 2000, including that
season before he replaced Dennis Franchione and coached only the bowl game.
The other four 10-win seasons came in a seven-year span in the 1930s when Sammy Baugh and Davey O'Brien were playing for the
Because of success like that, Patterson's name is certain to come up for other jobs. Athletic director Danny Morrison has
repeatedly said he will be surprised if Patterson is not on the list of schools looking for a coach.
Patterson, whose contract at TCU is through at least 2012, quickly extinguished the talk two weeks ago that he was set to
replace the fired Ron Prince. Patterson and Morrison are expected next week to meet as they always do to review the season
and talk about the future.
The only people Patterson said he has spoken with in Kansas recently were two old friends, including a fraternity brother.
''All Coach has said is he's here to stay,'' defensive tackle
said. ''I trust him. He's speaking from his heart. ... He told us straight up, 'I'm here to stay, this is my place, there
is where I love to be.'''
Air Force got its only touchdown in the fourth quarter when
busted through the middle of the line into a wide-open gap for a 57-yard run.
The only other significant run for the Falcons came in the second half when
took a pitch right and rambled 54 yards. That set up a 36-yard field goal by
Take away Clark's run, and the Falcons had 19 carries for zero yards at halftime. That included a 16-yard loss on the final
play when Clark fumbled and there was a scramble for the ball before the running back recovered at the Air Force 2.
''Coach Patterson started when we got ready to practice, that this game shows what kind of character we have,'' linebacker
said. ''Because not everyone can lose a game like (Utah) and come back and win.''