TCU Football is down 26 scholarship players as they prepare for their sixth game of this somehow very long and far too short season. Between injuries, opt outs, the transfer portal, and guys flat-out quitting, the Horned Frogs’ depth will certainly be tested the rest of the way. But Patterson has shown a willingness to get creative on the defensive side of the ball, something he mentioned specifically in regards to the shallow depth at cornerback, and is happy with the team he has. “I like the guys that are here. They really want to win, and going back looking at film, they played their tails off [against Baylor].”
As per usual, Texas Tech will test that depth; this rivalry is almost always weird and won by a different team almost every year. Patterson paid special attention to the offensive line, which he called “big and talented”, and the insertion of Henry Colombi at quarterback, saying “the new QB can do some things. He can run, scramble, extend plays with his feet.” Patterson’s game plan for Saturday is to make the Red Raiders throw the football and find ways to attack Tech’s very good offensive line. “They do a lot of things in their protection to help them. We were able to cause a lot of problems last year, protection-wise; we have to keep working on it.”
On the offensive side of the ball for the Frogs, the head coach continued to focus on the running game, and how getting out of the gates strong in that department is his team’s recipe for success. “Obviously, this year, we’ve had better chances of winning ball games when we ran the football.” Patterson addressed that while fans may want to see more of the vertical passing game, it’s about more than just putting the ball in the air. “We want to do that, but we have to get people open. We have to handle man coverage, have to get guys open.” Patterson expects Daimarqua Foster to miss Saturday’s game and calls freshman Kendre Miller questionable, but has seen positive signs from true freshman Zach Evans, who had a breakout game in Waco. Despite his success running the ball, though, Patterson still wants more from his young star in the making. “Being a running back isn’t just about carrying the football. It’s about pass protection, running the right route, all of those things.”
On the good news front, LB/DE Marcel Brooks has returned to the team, putting on pads for yesterday’s practice. After a social media blast that made it appear he was leaving the program, Brooks appears firmly back in the fold, and that’s a good thing for the Horned Frogs, who have struggled to get to the passer this season — aside from their five sack day at Baylor.
The Big 12 football season is always a grind, and at 2-3, nothing is getting easier for TCU. With Tech up next — always a tough rivalry game — and a trip to Morgantown on the docket, the next two games will be critical for the win column. The Frogs have to play at Kansas and get Oklahoma State at home, making all four of their remaining games far from gimmes.
Okay, Kansas is pretty hapless, but still.
Patterson has seen how well the rest of the league is playing, with WVU upsetting a top 25 Kansas State team, and Oklahoma beginning to turn the corner and look like themselves. “Like every week in this league, everybody is playing well. Every week in the Big 12 [is challenging]; everybody’s got a little of everything.”
The Horned Frogs hope they have a little bit of what they need when Texas Tech comes to town Saturday.