TCU Head Coach Gary Patterson met with the media Tuesday afternoon in the Four Sevens Team Room. Here are a few highlights from the press conference:
Pachall still learning
Patterson was hesitant to give TCU quarterback Casey Pachall too much credit, but he said he’s pleased with how the sophomore has handled the starting role two games into the season.
“It’s a learning situation right now,” Patterson said. “And up to this point he’s handled it well.
Pachall was named Mountain West Player of the Week Monday after completing 20 of 25 passes for 206 yards and two touchdowns in the Frogs’ 35-19 win over Air Force Saturday.
Despite Pachall’s early success, Patterson said the first-year starter still has a long way to go to get anywhere close to his predecessor Andy Dalton’s career achievements.
“(Dalton) ended up winning 44 ballgames,” Patterson said. “Casey’s won one so he’s got a long way to go from where we are right now to where we need to be.”
Patterson not paying much attention to conference realignment talks
Patterson hasn’t paid much attention to recent conference realignment talks, but the veteran head coach knows one thing about the rumors swirling around college football.
They won’t stop.
““I hadn’t really thought about the conference alignments but I’ve just about decided that the one thing that is constant is change,” Patterson said Tuesday at his weekly press luncheon. “This is our fifth conference in 14 years so TCU has been a part of all those changes.”
Regardless of who goes where, Patterson said the biggest concern of schools should be ensuring success on the field rather than making economically-driven moves.
“The biggest thing is to make sure you make decisions not about money but what gives you the best opportunity to be successful,” Patterson said.
Beyond that, Patterson hasn’t given much thought to the issue.
“If it doesn’t have to do with the deep ball or how to run the read option then I’m probably not thinking about it much,” Patterson said.
Patterson emphasizes protecting home field
TCU opens up its home slate this Saturday when they host Lousiana-Monroe and Patterson said even with a home crowd advantage his team has to be ready to play.
“This is another ballgame you got to get up for and get ready to play,” Patterson said.
Patterson said the distractions of playing at home as opposed to going on the road concerns him at times.
“I always worry about the first ballgame of the season when we play at home,” Patterson said. “People are calling my kids on Friday nights asking them for tickets …you know, all the things that go along with playing a home game.”
That’s why he’s been emphasizing to his team all week the importance of protecting their home turf.
“I talked to them after the (Air Force game) about being able to get focused in and being able to come back out with the same concentration we play with on the road,” Patterson said. “If you want to be a great team you have to be able to protect the home place.”
Walk-on Koontz comes up big
Walk-on defensive end Jon Koontz contributed in a big way Saturday when he sacked Air Force quarterback Tim Jefferson on a fourth and 3 on the Falcons’ first drive of the game.
Patterson said Koontz, a sophomore from Aledo, had been playing well despite being a bit banged up.
“He’s been coming along,” Patterson said. “He’s battling through a little bit of an injury, too, but he’s been playing every week.”
Fellow defensive end and former walk-on Ross Forrest said TCU’s starters are supportive of walk-ons and second-stringers, like himself, and don’t view them as a downgrade when they get playing time.
“The first team guys are so supportive and so proud of us when we get on the field,” Forrest said. “It’s so family oriented and so much chemistry out there that it’s easy for us to go out there and play when they don’t see us as a drop off.”