Time To Finish

TCU will host SMU this Saturday in the Battle For The Iron Skillet.

TCU practiced both outside and indoors on Wednesday afternoon as they continue preparations for SMU in the Battle for the Iron Skillet this Saturday at Amon G. Carter Stadium.

Horned Frogs' head coach Gary Patterson met with the media following the workout and according to the coach there has been both good and bad moments on both sides of the ball this week of practices.

"It was great yesterday, not as good today," Patterson said. "It was great yesterday on defense, best since two-a-days. Today was below average. It will probably change when as soon as I watch the film and I'll find out it's not as bad as I think it is. We'll find out on Saturday."

Much of the talk during the Frogs bye week has been the multiple questions surrounding the ineffectiveness of the offense. TCU managed over 400 yards on the road at Texas Tech and actually put up more total yards than the Red Raiders. However, the Frogs mustered just 10 points in losing their conference opener 20-10.

Fans will see somewhat of a change with co-offensive coordinator Jarrett Anderson moving back to the booth starting this week against SMU. Patterson said Anderson's presence on the field the first three games was originally thought of as a possible advantage for the offense but knew a change was needed after a subpar performance in Lubbock.

"We had already talked about it the week before, that's where he was a year ago," Patterson said of Anderson. "We wanted with the two-minute stuff to go faster so we thought it was possibly better with him downstairs but we're not seeing the way we need to see it so we're putting him back upstairs."

Patterson is quick to point out that all the blame shouldn't be directed at his offensive coordinator. While Anderson's move back to booth could benefit the offense, the head coach says it comes down to execution which is something he says his offense hasn't been consistent in. They've worked to improve the execution the last two weeks.

"Obviously throwing and catching and trying to be more patient with Trevone and running the football (more)," Patterson said of what his offense is working on improving. "We just need to run our offense better. You play two out of three teams that are pretty good on defense. Everyone is giving Coach Anderson a hard time but you can't drop balls, you have to run the right routes, block the right people. If you win you're happy and if you lose nobody is happy; we've just got to find a way to win, going back to the one-point theory."

Aside from Anderson, quarterback Trevone Boykin has also drawn some criticism for his performance at Tech. Patterson mentioned last week that Boykin was the team's quarterback moving forward and a change would only be made if it was necessary. That change would be redshirt freshman Tyler Matthews, who was considered as one of the top quarterbacks in the nation from the 2012 class.

Patterson said on Wednesday that he's seen great improvement from Matthews from a year ago and even reminded the media that he stated before the season that he felt he had three good quarterbacks. However, Matthews hasn't received first team reps, but Patterson noted his second team players receive as many reps as the starters and says the coaches are preparing the freshman quarterback.

"Our two's get as many reps as the one's do, in our practice everyone gets the same reps," he said. "We're preparing him to go do what he needs to do."

While the offense has had their struggles, the defense has played well through three games. TCU held Texas Tech to just 13 yards in the second half all the way until the fourth quarter and intercepted Baker Mayfield three times. They also held All-Big 12 receiver Eric Ward to no catches. While Jason Verrett has received a lot of praise this season for his play, Patterson said Kevin White has come up big in key situations as well and has overall been a good player this season. The coach says the junior corner has stepped up his game especially with teams challenging him every week.

"I think he has, he's getting most of the throws," Patterson said of White. "He pulled the ball out of the receiver's hands last week but he was also the guy that gave up the fade. He knows every week that he's going to be the guy that's going to get challenged."

While White received some praise from Patterson on Wednesday, it's a fellow defensive back who the coach says could be a very special player; Derrick Kindred. Patterson lauded the sophomore safety's play at Texas Tech, admitting he was the reason the Frogs were able to slow down the Red Raiders offense in the second half. Patterson expects only big things from Kindred in the future.

"He's playing really well, he's going to be a special player," Patterson said of his sophomore safety. "In the Tech game he was our nickel guy, he's the reason why we shut them down in the second half. We put him on the tight end all over the field and the tight end didn't catch a ball when he covered him. He played just about like Verrett did. He's playing free, strong and nickel for us."

TCU has two losses by a combined 20 points to two teams with a combined 8-0 record and were either tied or down by one score late in the fourth quarter in both games. Patterson says the difference between this year's team and teams of the past is the ability to finish games. The Frogs are favored by nearly 19 points against SMU, but Patterson doesn't see it that way. If they don't finish, they could easily be looking at a 1-3 record.

"They've made everybody work, even A&M had a situation where Manziel had to scramble around and find people open," he said of SMU. "They make you earn everything that you're going to get. I saw somewhere that (the spread) was 19 points, I don't see how anyone can see that."

PATTERSON ON Garrett Gilbert

Gilbert is averaging 338 passing yards per game
Last season TCU was able to force Garrett Gilbert into throwing five interceptions in the Frogs' 24-16 win in Dallas. Gilbert completed just 15-of-40 passes on a rain-soaked night, but he's shown some improvement three games into the 2013 season. So far the senior is averaging 338 passing yards per game.

"The last four or five games he's thrown for a lot of yards," he said. "He threw for over 300 in the A&M game and Tech so you're talking about a situation where they're scoring points and he's throwing for a lot of yards. That's what that offense is going to do."

Patterson said the Frogs also have to be aware of Gilbert's ability to move the chains with his legs. He leads the Mustangs with 103 yards on the season.

"That's the different thing from any other quarterbacks they've had at SMU," Patterson said. "That's the one thing you've got to worry about them and Tech, the scramble and draws."


Patterson declined comment on TCU defensive end Devonte Fields when asked of the sophomore's status for the SMU game.

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