With his team set to face SMU on Saturday, TCU head coach Gary Patterson spoke Wednesday about the troubles that the Mustangs can cause for the Horned Frogs’s defense.
“You’ve got to be able to match their precision of how they run [their offense],” Patterson said. “They have their schemes, their route structure of how they run things. And can you, within all your zone coverage and man coverage, can you match them all? How fast do you do that?”
The Mustangs’ “run and shoot” attack uses a number of receivers to spread out defenses. SMU senior QB Garrett Gilbert has executed the offense well in 2013, completing 65 percent of his passes for the season and throwing for over 300 yards in each of the team’s three games.
To limit Gilbert’s production, one player on defense that will need to play well is CB Kevin White, who Patterson said has played very well this season opposite All-American Jason Verrett.
Patterson said that White has been targeted more this season because quarterbacks are not throwing in Verrett’s direction. The junior has responded well, despite some difficulties.
“He’s getting most of the throws,” the coach said. “He pulled a ball out of the wide receiver’s hands [against Texas Tech], but he was also the guy that gave up the fade [pass for a touchdown in the fourth quarter]. But he knows every week he’s going to be the guy that gets challenged.”
Sophomore Derrick Kindred (who Patterson calls “Peanut”) earned high praise from his head coach, who compared the safety’s ability to cover and shut down receivers to that of Verrett.
“He’s going to be a special player,” Patterson said.
Kindred has been practicing at multiple positions, including strong safety, free safety and nickel back, according to Patterson, and the sophomore will see increased playing time this Saturday. Kindred’s talent should provide quality depth in TCU’s secondary, which is already an area of strength for the team.
Fields still out:
Sophomore DE Devonte Fields was the defensive star of last year’s Battle for the Iron Skillet, recording two and ½ sacks and seven total tackles against the Mustangs, but Patterson would not comment on if he would play Saturday.
Fields injured his foot in the fourth quarter against Texas Tech and has not been in practice since that game, Patterson said. The coach said Fields was ineffective against the Red Raiders because of the playing time he missed during his suspension.