It’s week 10 of the 2018 college football season. The TCU Horned Frogs travel to Morgantown, West Virginia to play the 7th ranked Mountaineers. Here are the notes from Coach Gary Patterson’s Tuesday press conference.
Coach Patterson Talking West Virginia:
- West Virginia is playing awfully well. It’s always tough to play them in Morgantown. The fans are great, they are rowdy. They are in the championship hunt. The fans will be out in force.
- Will Grier is a good player. West Virginia has a good scheme. Grier has good people around him.
- Coach Patterson is not sure that TCU has played anybody up to this point who throws the ball as well as West Virginia does. They have a lot of weapons. They have three or four wide receivers that are really good players. He said, everyone, talks about David Sills. They have good running backs. They are really physical up front. Their blocking tight end is probably the best blocking tight end TCU will face.
- West Virginia is very physical. Their defense has really helped them. West Virginia has always had exciting offensive teams. This season they have a really good defense too.
- Coach Patterson was asked what he thought about Dana Holgerson going for two to win the game against Texas? He said he does the same thing, when he is on the road, go and take the game.
- Coach Patterson said that TCU needs to win two out of three to get bowl eligible. That is what the goal is. They are getting ready for West Virginia. They understand that it is quite a task. It’s probably no more of a task than in 2012 when West Virginia had Geno Smith and Tavon Austin, they were a good football team then too. They have always had good football teams. They are always physical. Coach Patterson likes their game and their kind of players. Coach Patterson also likes Dana Holgerson. He likes the way he rolls.
- This week is no different than when they were getting ready for Kansas State. They are trying to win by one. They did that. Now they have three more chances to do it.
- Coach Patterson said the Kansas State game says a lot about the program. They fought and found ways to get things done.
Coach Patterson Talking Injuries:
- Coach Patterson said it has been a hard year for TCU. They are up to about 36 guys who have missed time. They have had 20 guys go down with season-ending injuries. He is not sure he has ever been down 7 safeties in a 3 safety system.
- Its probably hard for West Virginia to game plan because TCU doesn’t have the same safeties every week playing the same position. That would be one advantage to all the injuries.
- Coach Patterson was asked with the new redshirt rule if there is anybody they want to look at? He said they have already used them because of all the injuries. They have 85 scholarship players. They are at almost 40 guys, almost half the team, who has missed over four games or are out for the season. He has never had an injury season like this.
- Coach Patterson was asked what it’s like with all the injuries? Coach Patterson said it’s next man up. Freshmen say they want to play. Here they go. Jeff Gladney was hurt he fought back. Hopefully, some of these other guys will be able to fight back and play too.
- Coach Patterson was asked if offensive lineman Cordel Iwuagwu can medical redshirt? He said, no.
- Coach Patterson was asked if Cordel Iwuagwu will play again this year? He said it’s up to him and if he feels he can go. They don’t think there is anything unstable about it. Cordel just doesn’t feel good about it.
- Coach Patterson was asked if it’s easier said than done with the next man up philosophy? Is it hard to keep morale up? Coach Patterson said, do we look like we have a problem with morale? They just have to find a way to win. People don’t understand teams. What a normal person does, how they get their highs and lows is so much different than inside a sport and inside a team. Coach Patterson said it’s kind of like when people come to his video test and they walk out thinking they don’t know anything about football. Everything they thought they knew about football, they know nothing about football. What’s done, how you look at things, how you call things. He said it’s really interesting, listening on Saturday morning when they are not playing. Listening to announcers and everybody call games. How they look at it compared to how a coach or a player looks at it.
- Coach Patterson was asked if he thinks that is why his live breakdown of the national championship game on ESPN was so popular? He said he doesn’t know. He is just trying to keep this job.
- Coach Patterson was asked about struggling in short yardage situations on third and fourth down? He said they have struggled a little bit running the football when people get big. When people don’t mind playing man across the board and putting everybody in the box, they struggle with it. He said on one of them, last week, Mike Collins should have pulled the ball on a read and he would have gone a long way. But, he handed it off and they tackled the back, coming off the edge.
- Coach Patterson was asked if older offense lines are usually better in short yardage? He said, just stronger, more physical, more mature players, period, are better players.
- Coach Patterson said they had a ton of injuries in the 2012 season. They had to play a lot of freshmen and that helped them when they grew up. That year they played 3 new freshmen safeties in the Baylor game. The one they lost 51-50. The safeties went 0-12 on tackles. They didn’t make a tackle. They missed 12 tackles. It’s new people getting used to the speed of the game. One of those safeties came back and became the all-time interception leader at TCU. Sam Carter started Strong Safety. He said, its kind of like throwing a new guy into a new business or a new job that he has never done before. It’s tough at first.
- Coach Patterson said the growing up is going on every day in practice. With a season like this, with all the injuries, nobody is standing on the sideline. The starting offense was helped early in the year when they had to face L.J. Collier, who was out, but playing scout team. He was giving the starting offense a good look. Now, they have a kicker playing scout team defensive end. When they get into the game, it takes a while for the starting offensive line to adjust to the speed of the game.
- Coach Patterson said when they have all these players out, it hurts the scout team. At practice, they won’t do pass rush drills, and they won’t do one on ones. They are just trying to get everybody to Saturday.
- Coach Patterson was asked, with all guys being out, will he travel the injured players? He said it’s up to the numbers. They only get to travel 70 players. They have to take the guys who can play first, then take some of the injured players.
- Coach Patterson was asked if it hurts not traveling older injured players? Not having them there for the younger players? He said, yes, but when they get to game day, it is what it is. Coach Patterson tells people all the time, it’s the closest thing to Wall Street. They are making decisions fast. Especially against West Virginia.
- Coach Patterson was asked with all the injuries this year, does it make him look at changing things in the offseason? He said, no when you are young, you have a lot of injuries. Most of the injuries have been non-contact.
- Coach Patterson said they will get a lot of rest if they don’t make it to a bowl game. They will get about a month and a half. Sometimes, that’s a good thing. They get more time to go out and recruit. With the early signing day, when they are getting ready for a bowl game, it’s hard to do as much. They want to go to a bowl game. But, if they don’t, he will be on the road everyday recruiting. He wouldn’t be doing that if they were getting ready for a bowl game. For every weakness, there is a strength.
- Coach Patterson said John Stephens is going to be a really good player. He said Michael Collins didn’t play as well last week as he did the week before. He said Sonny Cumbie will tell you that.
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