Frogs plan to tackle learning issues

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    The football team is gearing up for its home opener, Saturday at 6 p.m., against the Texas State University Bobcats.

    Coming off a win last weekend against the University of Virginia, head coach Gary Patterson said the team understands what needs to be worked on.

    In Tuesday’s media luncheon, Patterson talked about the upcoming game and the challenges the Frogs’ will face against Texas State.

    “This week we’ve gotta get better,” Patterson said. “We are going to play a really good passing team.”

    The Bobcats’ quarterback, senior Bradley George, broke the Texas State school record last year with 26 touchdowns and 2,660 passing yards.

    As part of the Southland Conference, a Football Championship Subdivision conference, Texas State won the conference title and advanced to FCS national playoffs, according to the Southland Conference official Web site.

    “At any point in time their team can completely change because they can take a Division I transfer right away,” Patterson said.

    He mentioned a loss TCU suffered in 2001 to Northwestern State University, a Division I-AA opponent, who had Division I transfers. The Horned Frogs lost 27-24 in overtime.

    Patterson also said that the fact that Texas State had two weeks to prepare for this weekend’s game gives the Bobcats another advantage.

    “(Texas State is) very consistent defense and offensively, they can win it,” Patterson said. “For us, it’s going to be a great challenge.”

    There are some learning issues that need to be tackled for Saturday’s game, he said.

    “To be ranked 15th in the nation and to a be a program established like that, you need to come out and practice on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday and play on Saturday, Patterson said. “If you think you want to take the day off and you don’t think you have to play hard, then you won’t be that.”

    Senior offensive tackle Marshall Newhouse said the focus for the offense this weekend is getting better and executing a strong performance against Texas State.

    Patterson said senior quarterback Andy Dalton, despite a slight injury in the Virginia game, is not on the injured list and practiced this week.

    The Horned Frogs’ defense faced some struggles at the end of the game against Virginia, giving up two touchdowns in the final minutes of the game, he said.

    “I was practicing things to see if they could do them, and it wasn’t a good thing. I turned the last three minutes and 50 seconds (of the game) into a fiasco,” Patterson said.

    Although the Horned Frogs have a younger team this year, the team would not take Texas State lightly, he said.

    “They won’t be surprised at how well Texas State will play on defense and how well they throw the ball on offense,” Patterson said.

    Newhouse concurred with Patterson.

    “We don’t take anyone lightly. And we know if we don’t come prepared that they can beat us,” Newhouse said.

    Going into the second week of play, Patterson said that it is a challenge for younger players to prepare in three days for the next game.

    “It will be interesting to see how they handle today (Tuesday), as a younger football team,” Patterson said. “Last year’s football team didn’t have a problem coming into week two.”

    With a week of experience, the younger players are more prepared going into the second game, he said.

    “Our younger players… now know the speed of the game,” Patterson said. “Hopefully this week we will play faster.”

    Newhouse said that the main focus of this weekend’s home opener is winning against Texas State.

    “It is definitely a big game for guys, trying to play at home in front of their family and friends, but that can’t be our main focus. It has to be winning the game ,” Newhouse said. “We appreciate our fans support, but we also know that they won’t support us as much if we aren’t out there taking care of our business.”