Time to break some hearts....
We're rolling this week to live blog the TCU football weekly press conference, with Gary Patterson. Recapping Grambling State and previewing the Kansas game are the main topics. The show starts at 12:30 central time; check back in frequently for updates. (Updates after the jump)
Coach is at the podium.
He's excited to start Big12 play. Our kickoff team had 9 or 10 true freshmen on it, and they played very well. CGP says his mom could have gotten 30 or 40 yards on some of those. Skye Dawson will be back, adding another dimension.
The level of competition is going way up. CGP expects KU to play its best game against TCU. Kansas has been saving for its first conference game.
Lots of good things at the Grambling game-- success in all three phases. TCU has to keep getting better. Lots of young guys played; not just the 12 true freshman, but another 10 or 11 redshirt freshmen and sophomores. KU has senior leadership in positions-- something TCU doesn't. And 35 players from Texas.
How to prepare for a team with new coaches and lots of turnover?
Do the best we can; we see two games; their wide receivers and runningbacks are comparable to any in the Big12. QBs have some rust, but we expect them to play better and better. They'll play up to the competition.
Do you look at Weis's games at earler stops in his career?
Yes; we've watched Florida, Notre Dame.
How challenging to come off a good looking victory to face a team coming off a bad loss?
Once our kids watch the film-- we played hard and we played fast. Like in John Wooden's book, we wanted to look quick, but not look like he's in a hurry. That's what Boykin's fumble was; he was in a hurry. We got a chance to grow up our football team, which you can't do in a close game. Boykin got to play a half; we played 71 players. To be able to do that, to give the first teams most of the 2nd half off; we only played 40 plays on (first team?) defense total. It's good (to play a little less). The weather is giving us a break; it'll be in the 70s in Lawrence.
Are the players practicing well, after such a good game?
Who said they played well? You didn't hear that coming out of my mouth. We keep things in perspective; the players know they have to take their own emotion on the road. Home teams don't give you ballgames; we gotta be able to take the game. Last year the best teams we had to play we had to play on the road. KU might have looked passed Rice, but they won't be looking past us. My uncle is in the hall of fame at KU; I have a lot of history going back that direction. I played at K-State. I was more of a Kansas fan growing up, KU going to the Orange Bowl. A lot of my friends went to K-State, so I ended up walking on there. My family is split, about half KU and K-Staters, kind of like OU and OSU.
How well do you know Dave Campo?
I don't know what we're expecting; we've only seen so much film. He's smart, been around the business. He's been in college, a lot of different places. He's a great teacher; they've done a good job improving. It's always interesting getting into the 2nd, 3rd game. They're trying to change the mentality; we've already got it.
This week's interesting, we've played a game, we were sore on Sunday. Now we're back in classes; we still have practice, study hall, and for football we're off Monday, but in class. It's a grind. Freshman have to learn to study for tests after practice. They have their first tests Wednesday and Thursday; I know that because that's how I graduate 'em. Off the field stuff gives you more insight into how they're going to be on the field-- do they go to bed early, go to class, etc.
Casey did what he needed to do; KU's defense is better-- no disrespect to Grambling. GSU was intimidated a little; they're a young team. They gave us some easy throws; is that us playing well, or them playing bad? We watch film; not everybody played well. But we'll take it.
Weis says we're a defensive team, but have a good offense. I agree with him; we have a lot of growing up to do, but we've been that way the last couple of years. We gotta keep growing up at linebacker; our front and secondary have a chance to be better than they were a year ago. We've got a game under our belt; we can't tell how good our coverage was because the GSU QB didn't have much time to throw.
Skye Dawson probably will start instead of Deante' Gray. I said in practice, don't be surprised if Gray returns one for a touchdown. He'd probably have 100 yards more if he'd return where his return team was. He went the wrong place a few times. Young guys do that. For him it was exciting; he has a lot of ability. Most impressive was how many tackles he broke-- he's strong for his size. We wanted to play Gray at WR, but when Garrett was out, he had to move to corner. Maybe he'll move back to receiver when Garrett comes back. He's explosive; he's a 10.42 laser. I asked him how he got caught on one return. Maybe we need to get in better shape.
We look at the Big12 teams having crowds like Utah or BYU in the MWC. Loud, big. We expect a good TCU travelling crowd. We're all excited about that.
We can't say everything we've done up to joining the Big12 didn't mean anything; we've played Big12 people in the past. We understand it's a higher level of play on a day-to-day basis; it's the next of 11 games we've gotta play well. We haven't played up north; we haven't played Iowa State, KU, KSU in a long time. It takes 2 years for all your kids to have a feel about the locker room, field, all that stuff. It's the one advantage all the other Big12 teams have-- they know what it's like to go to Manhattan, Kansas, for example. It takes a couple years. No different than what it'll be like for WVU, Mizzou, A&M. That's why we studied it so hard; we'll be more tired at the end of the year. It's a really big deal-- the meeting rooms, do they prank call at hotels? Is the food good? Do they try to do wake up calls all night, or drive around the hotel honking horns? When you've played at these places before, you already know. We won't know.
I would rather have played all my non-conference games before starting conference play. It's OK; KU also has to play us early.
Trenton Thomas won't make the trip, and Ross Forrest is probably out for the whole season (knee).
It's easier to improve your team when you win, but didn't play well. The mentality is more teachable. We had a good Sunday night practice; it'll be interesting to see-- we had 2 weeks to get ready for Grambling; we have 4 days to get ready for Kansas. We'll give them the whole gameplan today. How does a younger guy handle it today? Can he still play fast? Now we see how the younger team grows up, how they handle it.
Rice is a one-back team; they ran a little option against Kansas, but no more than we do. They throw the hitch, the post; it's a good ballgame for us to watch and get out of it what we need. Kansas gets the chance to play against the same kind of offense two weeks in a row. Weis pointed out that we play the same kind of defense Rice does; they've already played against it. They'll find out what they liked, and then put all the new stuff.
Having both OCs upstairs together has been good. The organizational part-- getting kids on the sideline, etc.-- needs to get better, especially with the twos. The coaches have been together a long time-- Dan Sharp, Eddie Williamson, etc. The improvement we need really is more on the defense than offense.
The future is bright at TCU; Boykin gives us other dimensions that Casey doesn't. Boykin is strong enough to play wide receiver tailback, but he has a rocket for an arm. We'll just keep developing him. His development is why we felt like we could move Matt Brown to receiver. You can't get three guys ready for QB.
Both KU tailbacks are very athletics; they get the third guy back (from suspension). They're as good as any int he conference; they have some older O-linemen. Kale Pick was a QB out of Dodge City-- you gotta understand a lot of their skill players and secondary guys are seniors. We're playing with freshmen and sophomores. They have some good players; their left tackle is good, they've done a good job o-line wise.
On any given day anyone can beat anybody; you gotta get ready to play. I sent Todd Berry a congratulations because I know how hard he works, and I know how hard his kids play. I'm excited for him. Every week you better get ready to play. Anybody who thinks it's any different; I'm surprised we went up 3 or 4 spots in the polls after beating Grambling. We'll know more about our team after this week.
When you have freshmen, every day is a new day. Matthew Tucker had a great spring, fall, but we didn't see much from him the other night. All our young players are much stronger-- Jon Lewis benches over 400. LaDarius Brown went from a 225 bench to over 350. It shows work ethic, maturity, all the other things that go along with being a good program, and staying healthier. We've improved, but we still got a long way to go to be what we wanna be. The goal is to get to the top of the pyramid. We have a lot of work to do. If we're happy to beat Grambling 56-0, then we're gonna be disappointed down the road.
(and now Patterson has stepped away; I think he's at the Pyramid chart, but I can't tell.)
(The show's over. Fuller and more correct versions of some of these quotes will be available at gofrogs.com later today; the video of the press conference is at gofrogs.com, behind the paywall.)