For most football teams, a defense prepares all week for the opposing offense, but head football coach Gary Patterson said he has been preparing his defense for Air Force’s offense all season.
Air Force runs the triple option offense, a run-heavy scheme that helped them become the best rushing attack in the nation. This is the best Air Force offense since
TCU joined the Mountain West Conference in 2005, Patterson said in his weekly media luncheon. He said the Frog defense prepared for Air Force in the spring as well as practicing against the triple option as well as at the end of practices for the past few weeks.
“What a triple option offense does is it makes you get better with your eyes and your feet,” Patterson said. “You can’t take false steps and you’ve got to get your eyes in the right place.
The defense practices against the scout team, a group of backups that simulate the offense of the team TCU will play. Freshman quarterback Matt Brown and redshirt freshman quarterback Rick Settle are fast quarterbacks on the scout team who have done well running the triple option, Patterson said. The Frogs played against the triple option during the Tennessee Tech game and also had experience against a similar run-heavy offense when they played Wyoming. While this gives the defense experience against the triple option, Patterson said it also allowed Air Force coaches to see how TCU defended it.
Defense hasn’t been a problem for TCU lately. The Frogs haven’t given up a touchdown in the last three games, propelling them to the No. 1 ranked defense in the nation.
One of the reasons for their success is how players have filled in for last year’s starters. Patterson said he thought senior cornerback Jason Teague has only allowed one catch this season as a starter. Junior safety Tekerrein Cuba was a TCU player of the week last week after filling in for injured safety Alex Ibiloye.
Another reason for the success on defense is junior linebacker Tank Carder. A preseason All-American, Carder said the sky is the limit for this year’s defense, but Air Force will be a tough game against good athletes. Arder also said the scout team has done a great job simulating Air Force’s offense in preparation for the game.