After a difficult loss to SEC-power LSU on Saturday, TCU will have a chance to record its first win of the season when it faces Southeastern Louisiana University Saturday at 11 a.m.
TCU head coach Gary Patterson said Tuesday that he wants to use this week as a chance to improve on his team’s performance in week one. The team’s focus should be on itself, he said, not the ranking of Southeastern, an FCS team.
“This is not about them,” Patterson said. “It’s about us.”
TCU will likely be without preseason All-American defensive end Devonte Fields for the second straight week. Patterson suspended Fields for two games in May for an unspecified violation of team rules.
Patterson said Tuesday that he has considered playing Fields Saturday, but for now, the sophomore’s status is unchanged. If he did decide to play Fields, Patterson said he would speak to Chancellor Victor Boschini first, and Fields would have to serve the second game of his suspension later in the season.
The defense felt Fields’ absence Saturday as LSU converted 13 of 19 third downs and gained 448 yards of total offense. Getting Fields back next Thursday for the Big 12 opener against Texas Tech would give the defense a boost, but Patterson said he wants his team concerned with playing well Saturday, not dwelling on the loss to LSU or looking ahead to Texas Tech.
“The biggest thing for us is to understand is they all count one,” Patterson said. “It’s not what anybody else thinks about them. They all count one.”
Offensive guard Eric Tausch said on Tuesday that the team needs to treat every opponent like an LSU.
“Never overlook an opponent because as you can see from the first week, we saw a couple teams fall to [FCS] schools," Tausch said. "You never want to take them for granted.”
Seven FBS schools suffered losses at the hands of FCS teams last week, including defending Big 12 champion Kansas State, which lost to FCS champion North Dakota State 24-21.
As a result, Patterson paid proper respect to SELU on Tuesday, particularly their defense.
“Defensively, they’re all over the place,” Patterson said. “We’re a young wide receiver group. [SELU] zone blitz…It’s really hard to tell how they do things. They cause people a lot of problems.”
TCU’s offense will be looking to turn in a better performance against SELU than it did Saturday, when it managed only 259 yards of total offense and 145 yards passing on 28 attempts.
Casey Pachall will start at quarterback for the Frogs after being pulled for Trevone Boykin in the second half against the Tigers. Patterson said Saturday that Boykin will continue to see playing time because of his athletic ability, but Pachall has earned the starting job.
At quarterback for the Lions will be transfer Bryan Bennett, who spent the last two seasons as a backup at Oregon. Bennett ran for 106 yards and three touchdowns last week against Southeast Missouri.