Gary Patterson held his first weekly press luncheon Tuesday afternoon. Here's a few highlights from the coach’s 30-minute session with the media:
Time to grow up
Seven of the 11 starters listed on the Frogs’ depth chart are either sophomores or freshmen. Ethan Perry and Jaden Oberkrom, both true freshmen, will likely be relied on in special teams, Perry as at punter, Oberkrom at kicker. And, on offense, true freshmen Aviante Collins and Halapoulivaati Vaitai will see action at right tackle.
Point: The Frogs are kind of young.
Patterson even went as far to say Tuesday his defense is probably be the youngest one he’s had. Not that that really matters, of course.
“I’m not going to treat them like a young football team,” Patterson said. “Young football teams lose.”
Every player, whether he’s a freshman or a senior, should be prepared for the same thing, Patterson said.
“Hopefully they came to TCU to win championships,” he said. “That’s why they chose this place. Yes, it is a good education and you want one, but you can do that without playing football. If you want to win a uniform, this is not the place to be. You come here to win championships.”
Frogs adjust to potential early starts
Playing in the Big 12 means some of the Horned Frogs’ start times will be a bit earlier than what they had in previous years in the Mountain West. Last year, their earliest kickoff time was 12:30 p.m. at Boise State. This year, TCU will open up its conference schedule with an 11 a.m. start at Kansas.
Patterson and his coaching staff took steps in the offseason, and in fall camp, to prepare the team for this adjustment.
“Every scrimmage we had, was a 10:30 (a.m.),” Patterson said. “Every scrimmage we had here in the fall was always an early practice. Most kids are going to be ready later in the day, but you got to get up and be ready to go.”
Team a bit “antsy” after having first week off
TCU was one of only four teams in the country to not play last week, and will be the only top-25 team opening up this weekend. Still, the Frogs treated the off week like a game week, holding a pregame practice Friday, complete with the standard team meal afterward and a walk through in the stadium on Saturday. The only thing the team didn’t do – that it would have done for an actual game – was stay in a hotel the night before.
“Our kids are excited,” Patterson said. “Like anybody else, we’re a little bit antsy because we didn’t play. We kind of kept them busy enough on Saturday that they didn’t get too much time to think about all that stuff.”
TCU not looking past Grambling State
Grambling State is a Football Championship Subdivision (formerly known as Division 1-AA) program, and the Frogs will likely open as multiple-touchdown favorites.
That doesn’t mean the Frogs will do any looking ahead, though, even with their Big 12 debut the following week in Kansas.
“This is (Grambling State’s) Super Bowl,” Patterson said. “This is the ball game they want to go play.”