TCU football has a home date with cross-town rival SMU next Saturday, but don’t expect the Frogs to look ahead too far.
First, they’ll have to get past Portland State tomorrow at Amon Carter Stadium.
Head coach Gary Patterson said his team had to focus on the task at hand, not on next week’s rivalry with the Mustangs.
“We have to get through Portland State first,” Patterson said. “Our kids know who they’re playing this week.”
TCU is coming off a 38-17 home-opener win over Louisiana-Monroe last weekend. The Frogs held the Warhawks scoreless in the second half, but only after giving up 17 points in the first quarter.
Patterson said his team played well for three quarters, but they have to learn to put together a complete game.
“I told them on Sunday, we need to get where we play a complete ballgame as a group,” Patterson said. “You can’t just play three quarters. For three quarters against Louisiana-Monroe, we played really well defensively compared to what we’ve done.”
Portland State, a Football Championship Subdivision program, enters Fort Worth looking to remain undefeated and notch its third win of the season after beating Southern Oregon and Northern Arizona.
Patterson said for his team to beat the Vikings and have success the rest of the season, they were going to have to mature, especially on the defensive, where they gave up big chunks of yards to ULM through the air Saturday.
“Two games before we won the Rose Bowl, we gave up several touchdown passes to San Diego State,” Patterson said. “We didn’t have a bad defensive backfield back then. We won the Rose Bowl. For us, you’ve got to keep growing up.”
Of course, the Frogs have not been at full strength lately either. The defense has been without Tanner Brock the last two weeks, and Tank Carder was recovering from surgery last week.
Being healthy is another thing Patterson said the Frogs have to be.
“If you look across the nation, you have to be a healthy football team,” Patterson said. “For us, that’s the biggest thing. We need to be where we can rest a little bit, and we’re not going to get that until after San Diego State.”
Kickoff for tomorrow’s game is scheduled for 1 p.m.