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T-C-WHO? INTRODUCING THE TCU HORNED FROGS

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Although TCU and Utah have each played close to 1,000 games in the last century, they've never played a game against each other. Now that the two schools are in the same conference, they'll be seeing a lot more of one another, beginning Saturday when they meet at noon in Rice Stadium.

So here's a quick primer on TCU, which stands for Texas Christian University. The school is located in Fort Worth and its nickname is the Horned Frogs. TCU has a long football tradition that dates back 100 years with glory years in the 1930s with Sammy Baugh and Davey O'Brien and the late 1950s when the Horned Frogs won three Southwest Conference titles.Soon after that, the program fell into a deep abyss - 20 losing seasons in 23 years - Jim Wacker briefly turned things around with an 8-4 record in 1984. Wacker had one more winning season in 1991 before Pat Sullivan took over. The Horned Frogs had back-to-back winning seasons the past two years and many expected them to make it three in a row this year.

But after opening with a 20-7 win over Oklahoma, the Horned Frogs struggled in three convincing losses before coming back last week with an impressive 18-0 win over UTEP, a team Utah barely beat in its last outing two weeks ago. Despite the defeats to Kansas (by 35), New Mexico (by 20) and Tulane (by 28), the Horned Frogs are feeling confident after their shutout win last week.

"That was our best overall effort of the season," said Sullivan. "It was important because we needed to taste some success in order to start believing in ourselves. The effort has been there all along, but against UTEP we also had unity."

The TCU offense has struggled all year as the Horned Frogs have yet to score more than 20 points in a game. Their best offensive player may be their kicker, Michael Reeder, who is one of the best placekickers in the nation. Last year, he won the Lou Groza award and this year is 6-of-8, with all the makes coming from more than 40 yards - and three from beyond 50. In his career, he is an astounding 40-of-48 in field goals.

Fred Taylor, the 1995 national junior college player of the year, has taken over as the starting quarterback for Jeff Dover, who was one of three players suspended for their involvement in an altercation at nearby SMU. Two other players were suspended - Gaylen Hyder, for missing practice and Daryl Johnston for "violating athletic department policy." Both players happen to play defensive end, which leaves the Horned Frogs thin on the D-line, with three other players questionable for Saturday because of injuries.