The football team will try to start the season 2-0 for the first time since 2006 when they host the Stephen F. Austin Lumberjacks on Saturday.
Despite being glad to open the season with a 26-3 win against the New Mexico Lobos, head football coach Gary Patterson said his team could have played better.
“We are obviously excited to get through week one with a victory,” Patterson said. “We played hard and physical, but we need to play smarter. We had some penalties on special teams that I would like to resolve.”
The highlights from the special teams came from the collegiate debuts of kicker Ross Evans and punter Anson Kelton. Evans made two of his three field goal attempts. Kelton punted four times for an average of 41.8 yards.
“I was proud of our young kicker and punter,” Patterson said. “They were able to handle the pressure of being on the road. Ross Evans nailed a 50-yarder on our first kick and Anson Kelton did a good job of pinning them inside their own 20.”
Now the Frogs look ahead to Stephen F. Austin of the Southland Conference. The Lumberjacks started their season last week with a 56-19 win against the Langston University Lions.
“We now have to get ready to face a Stephen F. Austin team with an explosive offense,” Patterson said. “They might not have a lot of experience coming back, but they have some transfers and some real good young players. They are a lot like Texas Tech. They will throw it all over the place.”
Patterson said the best way to keep the Lumberjacks from getting on the board is to keep the ball in the hands of his offense.
“We have to hold on to the football and move it around,” Patterson said. “They can’t score if we have it. If anybody thinks that we are going to take SFA lightly, they would be sadly mistaken.”
One way the Frogs can hang on to the ball is by the play of sophomore quarterback Andy Dalton. The quarterback threw for 120 yards and ran for 56 more, while only throwing one interception.
“He only made one bad decision,” said Patterson, referring to a third-quarter interception by Dalton. “Outside of that, I thought he managed the game very well.”
The coach said focus is the biggest challenge facing his players going into the home opener.
“When it’s a first game in your stadium, it’s usually the first time they get to play in front of their parents, girlfriends and anyone else they know,” Patterson said. “You will see them doing things differently. They can get distracted and not do their job the way they should.”
FOR YOUR INFO
Who: TCU vs. Stephen F. Austin
What: First home football game
When: 6 p.m. tomorrow
Where: Amon G. Carter Stadium