Josh Carraway and Jeff Gladney were also banged up in Saturday’s win over Iowa State. Patterson is hopeful that they will be ready to play on Friday night.
It would be two big losses if they’re unable to get on the field.
But he expressed optimism Tuesday that two other players shaken up in last week’s 41-20 victory over Iowa State, defensive end Josh Carraway and cornerback Jeff Gladney, could return to action in Friday’s game at SMU (7 p.m., ESPN).
Gary Patterson has been really pleased with how Deante Gray has played in all three phases of the games this year.
“I told him that the more variety, as far as positions, that he could play, the better opportunity he has at the next level,” Patterson said, acknowledging that Gray has less “wiggle” to escape defenders than most top NFL slot receivers. “But it’s all about being fast if you’re a corner. If they can’t run by you, then you have an opportunity to do it.”
The Frogs will have to find a way to shut down a team’s star receiver for the second week in a row. Jeff Gladney was key in stopping Lazard in week 3, so his health may be critical to slowing down Courtland on Friday night.
Wide receiver Courtland Sutton, SMU's greatest offensive weapon, is a big body that "has gotten faster as he's gotten older," Patterson said. Both the head coach and Sammy Douglas mentioned him by name as a threat, and after TCU's success shutting down ISU star receiver Allen Lazard, the Frogs will be keying in on Sutton. Still, he's not the only potential troublemaker in the passing game -- wide receiver James Proche can also put up yards in bunches.
The injuries are piling up yet again.
This season, the Frogs are 2-1 despite losing freshman receiver Isaiah Graham in Week 1, linebacker Montrel Wilson in Week 2 and receiver KaVontae Turpin, defensive end Josh Carraway and cornerback Jeff Gladney in Week 3. That’s on top of running back Shaun Nixon, corner Julius Lewis and backup offensive linemen Trey Elliott and Bryson Henderson missing the season.
Kyle Hicks is definitely becoming a leader for this team.
“We always talk about bringing your own energy,” Hicks said. “I would hope emotion’s not an issue in that game. It’s definitely a rivalry game. We have to come with it because we know they’re going to come ready to play. We’ll definitely be ready.”
TCU will face a Matt Davis-less SMU team, and getting pressure on the new kid will be a great start to slowing down the Mustangs’ offense.
Matt Davis went off against TCU last year, matching Trevone Boykin stride-for-stride until the fourth quarter, but he'll miss this season's matchup. Davis tore his ACL in the season opener against North Texas and is out for the rest of the year, although SMU will apply for an extra year of eligibility. In his place is Ben Hicks, a redshirt freshman, who was thrown into the fire when he made his first start against the Baylor Bears. Hicks is less mobile than Davis and much less experienced, but he does have an arm that can make plays.
Patterson noted in his Tuesday press conference that he worked the guys too hard last year the week leading up to SMU. On a short week, he’s working to keep that from happening again.
"Last year I hurt us against SMU," Patterson said Tuesday. "I ran them into the ground, and so we're not going to do that this week. We were a tired football team going into that ballgame, so I'm going to make sure we're not a tired football team."
The game against Iowa State was so hot (HOW HOT WAS IT) that Gary Patterson even noted that it was an extremely hot day.
Patterson said the Texas heat made him appreciate the fact that Amon G. Carter Stadium has natural grass, rather than an artificial turf surface.
“Can you imagine how hot it would have been Saturday if we had been on turf? It was already hot enough,” Patterson said. “I just want good grass turf (on TCU’s home field).”