What has been overlooked as Utah enters Saturday's contest is the fact these Utes have been here before. Nearly every player on Utah's roster should easily remember last year's game against TCU. It was a game very similar to this one and the end result was a Utah victory.
You can't dismiss it because it's all about attitude in a game like this. The Frogs just have not been in this position. Now I'm not suggesting it will be the ultimate factor in a Ute victory, but it certainly will play a role. Especially if the game is extremely close entering the final quarter.
There is nothing more important than understanding the pressures of a big game. So much focus has been on how the Frogs let one get away from them last season and that isn't exactly the case. They didn't just fumble a win away. Utah didn't luck into victory. The Utes stepped up and took that win from TCU. That's what good teams do and it's why, - when January 2nd rolled around - Utah was taking the field against Alabama in the Sugar Bowl and not the Frogs.
TCU also wilted away their chances in that fourth quarter. You can say that's giving the game to the Utes, but I think it's indicative of a bigger problem. When the stakes were at its highest, only one team took it to the next level. In a close game, you've got to wonder if the thought of last year's meeting will creep back into the minds of both teams. If that's the case, Utah will be in a better position to leave Fort Worth with a victory.
Of course, this won't matter if TCU comes out and hits the Utes hard from the start. I suggested a few days back that Utah couldn't fall behind 10-0 like they did last season. If that happens, they're doomed to a blowout loss and no amount of history or confidence is going to resolve a deficit of that margin.
That should be the key for the Frogs. They can't let the Utes hang around because every close contest then suddenly comes down to mental toughness. In this regard, Utah has an advantage because they've been here before and most importantly, they've won games like this before.
TCU hasn't and until they actually do, that will be their biggest weakness in a game like this.