Frogs need to break offensive rut

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    TCU head coach Gary Patterson said Tuesday that his offense needs to play with urgency earlier in games, a problem that has persisted over the last few seasons.

    “Offensively, we need to get in our groove,” Patterson said in a press conference. “But if you kind of look back at it, I think…we’ve started slow offensively the last three years, and we need to get out of this rut. So, we need to get going.”

    Slow starts have been TCU’s downfall this season. The Horned Frogs have been outscored 63-34 in first halves this season, and 39-10 before halftime in their three losses, so picking up the pace in the second half has been the norm for TCU’s offense in 2013.

    TCU fell behind 13-0 against Oklahoma before halftime on Saturday, but then outscored the Sooners 17-7 in the second half. Patterson said the key to the turnaround was less about the tempo of the offense and more about the unit’s attitude.

    “We try to go fast and we try to have tempo,” he said. “And we seem to be making more mistakes. But at the end of the game, when we have more sense of urgency about how we do things, we seem to play better.”

    The youth on the team is one reason for the lack of urgency early in games, the coach said. Older teams usually start faster. More than half of the players that have seen playing time for the Frogs are underclassmen, including 26 sophomores.

    Patterson says that his offense is very talented despite that youth. Some young players like sophomore running back B.J. Catalon and freshman wide receiver Ty Slanina are already contributing. Catalon leads the team in rushing yards and rushing touchdowns while Slanina led the team in receptions Saturday with six catches for 38 yards.

    The key, Patterson said, is to get all his young, talented players to show what they can do on Saturdays and get them to do so consistently.

    “They’ve probably given [our defense] more problems [in practice] than a couple offenses we’ve played, to be honest with you," he said. "They did it in the spring, and they did it in the fall. The key is, for us, to do it on game day.”