This team has to be able to score in the red zone going forward.
Part of it happened because TCU ran a fairly vanilla offense all night. The Frogs didn’t want to show too much with a matchup at Purdue looming on Sept. 14, but more points should’ve been scored.
“We’ve got to play better in the red zone,” Patterson said. “A little bit is on the coaches. We have to do a better job of what we want to be in. We didn’t want to show a lot of what our offense is before going into the [Purdue] week.
“We had run/pass stuff and we checked to passes when we probably should’ve stayed with the runs. You’ve got to be able to pound the ball. You’ve got to be able to run it down there and you’ve got to be able to get it in the end zone.”
Max impressed in his first action.
“I thought they stayed pretty composed,” said TCU senior receiver TreVontae Hights, who set a career high with eight catches for 108 yards. “Their leadership was great. I feel comfortable with either one of them.”
Patterson didn’t heap praise on either quarterback, but pointed out that neither threw an interception. TCU didn’t make either quarterback available for comment after the win.
Patterson wasn’t happy, however, that five TCU drives stalled inside the red zone.
”That was the place I thought we have to get better,” he said. “And the best way to get better there is we have to run the football.”
This is far from over.
Or, as Patterson mentioned, junior Mike Collins is progressing from a foot injury that sidelined him much of fall camp and Ohio State transfer Matthew Baldwin won his fight with the NCAA for immediate eligibility.
“Mike Collins is going to keep getting better too, and Baldwin’s appeal was approved,” Patterson said. “So that’s a whole new conversation, and you can weave five of them into your conversion.”
Patterson joked that he’d keep the storylines coming until the Purdue game, too, possibly moving a couple quarterbacks to safety or maybe even nose guard.
All joking aside, this isn’t a bad problem for TCU to have after what it went through last season. Delton and Duggan had their moments on Saturday night, and Collins has the most experience in Sonny Cumbie’s offense of anyone in the group.
Plus, Baldwin is a former four-star recruit and signs point toward redshirt freshman Justin Rogers is getting closer to his old form.
You can imagine how Coach P’s rewatch went.
So as quarterbacks Alex Delton and Max Duggan -- both newcomers to TCU and the latter a true freshman -- shared playing time, the big question was whom coach Gary Patterson will stick with for the bulk of the time moving forward.
The answer to that question may still require a healthy amount of football to be played before it can be provided.
”Until I rewatch (the game), I don’t know,” Patterson said when asked about initial impressions of the passers. “As a general rule I think we have to speed up our tempo ... and outside of that we didn’t throw a pick and we fumbled two punts.”