TCU football looks for redemption in Arkansas

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One year ago this week, the Arkansas Razorbacks visited Fort Worth, beating the Horned Frogs 41-38 in a double overtime thriller. The Frogs get their chance to return the favor Saturday in Fayetteville.

Despite the loss– which was a turning point in TCU’s worst season since 2013– senior wide receiver John Diarse said it doesn’t carry over.

“It’s a different team on both sides, both here and there; new schemes, different strategies,” Diarse said. “It’s not really about last year, but what we can do to be better this year and how we can come back 1-0.”

Since last season, Arkansas has promoted former Iowa State head coach Paul Rhoads to defensive coordinator, and he has changed to a 3-4 defensive scheme.

“They are running similar to what Iowa State has been doing, just because their coach is there now,” senior offensive guard Austin Schlottmann said. “I’ve been looking at some Iowa State film to try and see what they are doing.”

Patterson said Arkansas’ personnel fits the new three lineman, four linebacker and four defensive-back scheme.

“They have guys that can run around on defense,” he said. “They like [the 3-4] for the people they are going to play as far as passing groups. It keeps leverages, and you don’t have to take on as many double teams in the scheme. They have good players to go along with it.”

Diarse said the new scheme does not alter the traditional expectations of a strong, fast and physical defense from front to back for the Razorbacks. He said the team will go, play their game and trust the coaches have put them in a situation to succeed.

“It’s Arkansas, they play hard from the first whistle to the last whistle,” he said.  “We expect that going into that type of atmosphere. On film, their secondary is just as aggressive as their up front, and that’s what you expect out of their defense.”

Diarse said an SEC atmosphere should not be a problem for a team that went 4-1 in away games last season. The Frogs are ready for it; they prepare for it every week.

“Every Thursday, we go in the indoor, and we blare music so loud that you can’t hear,” Patterson said. “They have to communicate without talking, defense and offense. You have to be able to communicate without talking. It’s very important.”

Patterson mentioned his defense has their work cut out for them, as Arkansas has a deep playbook that will challenge the Frogs in a variety of ways.

“They are going to trick play, they are going to play action,” Patterson said. “They are going to run the ball at you and then try to throw the ball over your head. They do a great job with draws, and they do a great job with screens. You have to tackle well and play leverage.”

The game is scheduled for Saturday at 2:30 p.m. in Fayetteville and will be aired on CBS.