Patterson on Oklahoma

TCU head coach Gary Patterson talks about his Horned Frogs and Saturday's matchup with the Sooners.

Below are quotes from TCU head coach Gary Patterson's conference call with the Oklahoma media and press conference Tuesday in Ft. Worth.

On Dusty Dvoracek getting a second chance and becoming a captain

"No. 1 I believe kids need second chances. As coaches, that's kind of what our job is in life. We're supposed to win ballgames, but I think it's also for us to help kids mature and grow up and have a chance to be successful in life.

"I've watched Dusty Dvoracek play. He's a great player, like a lot of the Oklahoma players. I would lean from knowing coach Stoops that by making him a captain, he also shows that he thinks he has an opportunity to lead the team and be a positive inspiration to those out there that maybe haven't gone down the right paths. To know that you can change your life and still have success later on."

On Paul Thompson replacing Jason White

"I think what you do is have him manage the game. You don't win it with him. They have a lot of weapons. Anytime you have an Adrian Peterson or Kejuan Jones in the backfield, you've got a chance to hand it off, get them on the edge, move them around. And then you have somebody like Travis Wilson to throw the ball to. They're not depleted with weapons."

On if he thinks their defense will be back to the dominating units they had prior to last season

"Well, we hope so. I know that here in the fall, and even in the spring, we showed signs and have probably dominated these two-a-day practices. For us, you don't ever know because when you play against each other it's one of the things when you get to know the players of your offense and the offense knows your defense. You never really know until your first game.

"One of the things that hurt us last year was just the depletion of depth and inexperience. Hopefully, we've helped ourselves. We're a lot deeper depth-wise, as far as special teams is concerned. We ended up the season with just two linebackers left and two corners. We're seven strong their at linebacker and we're back to five corners.

"We have a little bit of inexperience, but we've got a lot of guys back and hopefully that makes a difference. When you play a guy like Adrian Peterson, you better be able to tackle and keep fresh bodies in the ballgame."

On who stands out for the Horned Frogs defensively

"I don't think we have any great ones. I think we have seniors — Ranorris Ray at defensive tackle is a guy that's been a leader. Jermey Modkins (free safety) has also been a leader.

"I think one of the things that we're very excited about is this is a team that I really like. It doesn't have any agendas. Ever since we started two-a-days, we made them practice in the heat, even starting in our first five one-a-days, and really pushed them through and they got their legs back. It's been kind of fun watching them. It's been a group that really doesn't have a lot of egos, but they're playing with a lot of confidence.

"We've always been really good on defense when we've had a mainstay corner. With two seniors coming back, especially Drew Coleman, who we feel like has a chance to be a great player on the national scene."

On their a multiple run and pass offense and which players to watch for on Saturday
"Being a defensive-minded guy, I've always felt like you need to run the option.

"We've had three receivers who have been starting since their redshirt freshman year. All of them have good speed and do a great job catching the football. Corey Rodgers, Quentily Harmon and Michael DePritest, to go along with some others guys that we have.

"We've got two tailbacks (Robert Merrill and Lonta Hobbs) who have both, in different years, been 1,000-yard rushers.

"I still think it will come down to the five senior offensive line guys that have started, who were listed as starters a year ago but have started some games for us, and how well they play and move around.

"And the tight end position could be a wild card out there with the improved play of Shae Reagan along with Chad Andrus."

On the chances of quarterback Tye Gunn having a breakout season if he can stay healthy

"If he stays healthy he has a chance because we have some weapons, some guys who can run.

"The difference a lot of times between our league and the Big 12 or Southeast conference, is the size of the offensive and defensive lines. But as far as skill players are concerned, we have some good ones — probably as good as anybody in the country. The key is going to be if we can protect him and do some things.

"Right now his health is great. He made it through spring ball and hasn't had any problems in the fall."

On what kind of feel they have for Oklahoma because of how many players they lost from last year's team

"One of the things that helps is the Big 12 broadcasts all their spring games. Being able to watch it, you can kind of see how their personnel move around and where people are.

"For us, I don't know if it will be an advantage but it definitely is nice to be able to watch people where they've shifted positions. You're not really going to get any schematics because, obviously, Adrian Peterson didn't play in the spring and you have some other changes.

"You can tell that Oklahoma is very athletic. You can tell that on both sides of the ball they have a chance to be successful again."

On the effect on Oklahoma playing their first game with so many new players

"It's hard to tell. We've all gone through it. It's up to the coaching staff to to get people a chance to be in position to be successful. Coach Stoops has won a lot of football games and his staffs' done a great job of changing people around, and I don't think this year will be any different than any of the rest of them.

"It's hard to replace the three or four wide receivers that you had, but when you have a go-to-guy like Travis Wilson that makes a difference. I think the wild-card on offense is anytime you have an Adrian Peterson, it makes it a lot different because he makes so many yards after contact you don't have to block everybody. He makes one miss and runs one over, it makes a difference."

"Defensively, they don't look any different. The linebacking group's great, great team speed up front. People will talk about a secondary that's young and inexperienced, but the problem is you've got to have time to throw it against them.

"From watching the little bit I've watched, I don't know if people have a lot of time to do that. They do a great job with the zone blitz scheme along with everything else, so I think they have things in place."

On Adrian Peterson

""I don't know how you prepare for him. You have to pay notice to what he is. The game plan is different with each running back. We have to know which tailback is in the game."

On Paul Thompson

""We haven't gotten much film on him. We need to keep him from scrambling. I've heard rumors he's running the option up there, and we've prepared for that."

On his concerns

"I'm concerned about the inexperience of the second-team offensive line. I'm somewhat pleased with their progress. They will play at Oklahoma; they have to if we're going to be successful. I don't know how fast they can play against the speed of Oklahoma."

On playing Oklahoma

"I feel better playing this game than I did when we opened at Nebraska in 2001. We just didn't play very well offensively that day. We played exceptionally well defensively. I like my chances knowing I have a senior quarterback, two great running backs, experienced wide receivers and most of my defensive guys back.

"Oklahoma lost a lot from last year but still has a lot. Neither team knows what it has until the ballgame is over. I think the kids are excited about it, and they understand it's only one game. We let Texas Tech a year ago be more than one game.

"I read today that Bob Stoops is 36-1 in Norman. That means the odds are against us. I wouldn't mind being (the second team to win in Norman). We're going up there to win not to play well."

On what they need to do against Oklahoma

"I thought the Northwestern and Southern Miss games were the only two last year where we came out and took the fight to someone. We need to meet Oklahoma full charge. We won't like the result if we don't.

"Offensively, I want to see us move the football and gain confidence as we go. We have more expectations offensively than we have had in the past. The key for us is we have to have patience. We're playing a good defensive team, so we must capitalize on mistakes and make our chances count and score. We're not going to start at the 20 and march 80 yards down the field to score every time. Oklahoma is too good of a football team to let that happen.

"We need to make some things happen on special teams. We have good coverage guys and they have good returners. Punting could be key. Both teams have new punters so field position will be critical."

On what Oklahoma thinks about TCU

"Oklahoma has more question marks, I think. If I'm them watching film I'm not sure what kind of TCU team I'm getting. Last year was an uncharacteristic year for us defensively."

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