AUSTIN (KXAN) — The Texas Longhorns jumped a big hurdle when they beat Kansas State on the road Saturday 34-27, but now, a bigger one stands in their way Saturday night at DKR-Texas Memorial Stadium.

The TCU Horned Frogs come to Austin and the Longhorns will try to do what no one has been able to do this season — beat them. TCU is 9-0 overall and 6-0 in the Big 12 Conference, leading the league by two games ahead of a logjam of teams that Texas is in the middle of.

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TCU is No. 4 in the latest Associated Press Top 25 rankings and the Longhorns haven’t beaten a top-five team at home since 1999 when they topped No. 5 Nebraska. While he said the team “has plenty to work on,” to prepare for the Frogs, Longhorns head coach Steve Sarkisian said a lot of good things came out of Saturday’s victory in Manhattan.

“Defensively, we minimized their run game, and to keep them well below their average was a really good job by our defense, and creating the two turnovers when they had only lost five all year,” Sarkisian said. “That was a really good win in a great environment.”

Texas linebacker Jaylan Ford was named the Big 12 defensive player of the week for the second time this season after another double-digit performance with 10 tackles, plus an interception and the fumble recovery that sealed the game late in the fourth quarter. Coupled with the play of the defensive line against the potent Wildcats offense, Sarkisian said it was the type of performance he was looking for.

But the one not-so-secret weapon the Longhorns have on their side going into Saturday’s game is former TCU head coach Gary Patterson. A defensive mastermind, Patterson coached the Horned Frogs for 22 years before being somewhat unceremoniously let go by the school last year. He’s now a defensive analyst for Sarkisian and helped recruit a lot of the players on TCU’s current team. At Monday’s press conference, Sarkisian knew what question would first come from the group of reporters.

“I was going to see who would ask the first question about Coach P,” Sarkisian said with a laugh. “We’re lucky to have him on our team. That program is in the place it’s in because of the work he put in, and that shouldn’t go unnoticed. He’s doing his normal deal throughout the week to help get us prepared.”

In his analyst role, Patterson can’t technically coach the team during the game, Sarkisian explained. But Patterson “works 24/7 to beat anybody,” and serves as a valuable “sounding board” for Sarkisian while the team prepares for opponents each week, he said.

“He’s got a great deal of discipline in his approach and how he does it, and he does a great job at advanced scouting for every opponent that comes,” Sarkisian said. “The one thing I think Gary doesn’t get enough credit for, at least in these parts of Texas, is the team guy that he is. He has a great rapport with our staff and players, and people just like to be around him. The presence he brings has been very beneficial.”

Continuing to run the ball as they did against Kansas State is critical to Saturday’s matchup. Texas’ Bijan Robinson leads the conference with 125.4 rushing yards per game and 1,129 total rushing yards. After his first 200-yard game of the year against the Wildcats, Robinson’s focus is carrying the energy he and fellow back Roschon Johnson had in the Kansas State to Saturday’s matchup.

“The offensive line understood the assignment, and me and Ro did, too,” Robinson said. “It was a blessing to see us just go out there and punch it down their throat.”

While young and fairly inexperienced when they started the season, the Longhorns’ offensive line is now just young. With true freshmen Kelvin Banks Jr. and Cole Hutson integrating with returners Jake Majors, Christian Jones and Hayden Conner, Sarkisian said they’ve matured considerably throughout the year, and not allowing a sack while rushing for 269 yards against the Wildcats showcased that.

“We’re playing really physical right now up front,” Sarkisian said. “I think there’s a level of physicality and commitment to that we’re trying to the play with, and it all starts with those guys. It was a big challenge for them against a good rush defense, and we’re going to need them to perform well the rest of the way.”

Sarkisian also mentioned that in assistant coach Kyle Flood’s second year guiding the offensive line, there’s some continuity there and the returners have been able to teach the younger guys the system.

“There’s a real understanding for the older guys of what to do and training the younger guys, and they’re applying it,” Sarkisian said.

With Saturday’s 6:30 p.m. kickoff, the game will be in primetime on ABC and ESPN’s College GameDay will make its second trip of the season to Austin to hype the game up that morning. Sarkisian said he’s excited to get back in DKR and he hopes the students show up with three weeks worth of energy since the last home game.

“I’m looking forward to a great environment, and we’ve created something here at DKR that’s getting better and better,” Sarkisian said. “I love walking into the stadium when I go for my pregame walk and the students are already there, chanting, taking pictures with them. I think that’s what college football is all about.”