TCU’s football team is preparing in every way possible this week as it gets ready to take on the LSU Tigers Saturday night in the Cowboys Classic.
The team practiced outside Tuesday in the scorching heat, with temperatures in the high 90’s. Then the team had a walk-through indoors Wednesday while the speakers blared crowd noise.
“We’re blasting where you can’t hear anything,” head coach Gary Patterson said Wednesday afternoon.
The team has two practices and four walk-throughs remaining before kickoff Saturday night. They will practice Thursday and Friday, then go to AT&T Stadium Friday afternoon in preparation for the game.
The team will watch film Friday evening and then have another three walk-throughs on Saturday, all leading up to kickoff at 8 p.m. that night.
Patterson said such preparation is critical given the fact that his team is still young. The team is slated to start up to ten underclassmen in the opener.
“You’ve got to prepare for the moment,” Patterson said.
Praise for LSU WRs:
LSU is known for its running game and physical style, but Patterson said he doesn’t take their receivers lightly either and specifically noted the depth the Tigers have at the position.
“Their wideouts are really good players,” the coach said. “All four of them.”
While the two that get the most attention are juniors Odell Beckham Jr. and Jarvis Landry, Patterson had specific praise for two receivers that are lower on the depth chart. Patterson complimented the strong hands of Kadron Boone, and said James Wright is able to run by defenders.
LSU will likely use its power running game to draw attention away from those receivers and create opportunities for Wright and others to run vertically down the field.
The receivers will be matching up against a TCU secondary that returns all five of its starters from 2012, including All-American cornerback Jason Verrett, whose 6 interceptions led the Big 12 last season.
In other news:
Coach Patterson remained mute Wednesday about whether defensive end Devonte Fields would play against LSU. If Fields does not play, however, Matt Anderson will get the start in his place.
Anderson tore his ACL in high school but he chose to continue to play football. He played his freshman season in 2010, but had another ACL injury in the final regular season game and did not play in the Rose Bowl. After having ACL surgery twice during his time at TCU and missing the past two seasons, he will have the chance to finally take the field again Saturday.
One player who will not be returning from a similar injury is defensive tackle David Johnson. Patterson said Wednesday that Johnson has chosen to stop playing football. Johnson had a major knee injury against West Virginia in 2012.