Patterson: Done with bye weeks, time for SMU

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    TCU head coach Gary Patterson said Tuesday that the Horned Frogs’ second off-week in the last three weeks gave the team extra preparation time for SMU, but the Frogs are eager to return to the gridiron.

    “Defensively we improved quite a bit [this last week] and we were able to teach packages and work on things that needed improving,” Patterson said.

    However, Patterson said the second bye week was not as productive as the first.

    “The first off week was really beneficial, the second was a struggle,” Patterson said. “But we had some tough practices and we’ve bounced back.”

    Patterson said TCU’s unusual schedule of two bye weeks in the first four weeks has its drawbackssuch as the offense not being able to establish a rhythmbut the team is also mentally-prepared for the tough schedule ahead.

    “We’re not mentally-drained going into the meat of the schedule,” Patterson said. “Sometimes if you play a really tough schedule in September, you’re beat up and not as focused in October.”

    Running back B.J. Catalon said that the Horned Frogs can’t underestimate an SMU team that has lost its last three games by a combined score of 146-12.

    “SMU is our big rivalry so they’re always gonna play us hard, regardless of how they’re doing,” Catalon said. “The next game is always the most important, so we won’t take them lightly.”

    Defensive end James McFarland added that the team is ready to get back on the field.

    “We’re pretty antsy [to play again], but we’ve gotta get ready for this game and come prepared because we know we’ll get their best game,” McFarland said.

    Patterson said that since the SMU game is a morning kickoff he will be able to immediately start preparing for the Oklahoma game Saturday afternoon.

    “Being an 11 a.m. game, by 2 I will already have my laptop out getting ready for the next ball game against Oklahoma,” Patterson said.

    Oklahoma has a bye this week, so Patterson is looking to make up for the extra week of preparation that the Sooners have heading into the Oct. 4 matchup at TCU.

    “You’ve got to make up the time that Oklahoma already has had working on you, and make sure we’re ready for the next ballgame,” Patterson said.