Patterson Wednesday Recap

TCU will host Texas for the first time in Ft. Worth since 1994 this Saturday. Frogs' head coach Gary Patterson met with the media on Wednesday to discuss the matchup.

TCU is just days away from hosting the Texas Longhorns inside Amon G. Carter for the first time since 1994 when the Frogs prevailed 23-14.

The Frogs won a share of the Southwest Conference title that year. This season, they're looking to add their second win in the Big 12 with a 1-3 record. It won't be easy with a much improved Longhorn team that has won three straight games and is in a three-way tie atop the conference standings with a 3-0 record.

Texas has seen a boost on both offense and defense during their winning streak. Mack Brown made an early season change on the defensive side of the ball when he fired Manny Diaz and hired "consultant" Greg Robinson as defensive coordinator. The change has definitely been beneficial and the Longhorns looked their best nearly two weeks ago as they beat Oklahoma 36-20 in a game no one gave them a chance to win.

TCU coach Gary Patterson has seen the change in how Texas is playing the last three weeks, especially on the defensive side of the ball which is led by a strong defensive line.

"Obviously you're playing a really good front, the two d-tackles for Texas are good; really all four of them are," Patterson said. "Their front four is as good as you'll play but the two d-tackles have been playing exceptional. They'll be the best d-tackles we've played up to this point except for the guy at LSU. They're very physical and dominant."

While a mid-season change isn't always the recipe for success, Patterson noted that Greg Robinson was already an advisor for Texas and had worked with Mack Brown and defensive backs coach Duane Akina before which ultimately has made the transition to a new defense much smoother.

"They went from a 50-defense to a four-man front defense," Patterson said. "What they've done is quit slanting and more gap secure. They move some linebackers around and they run very well in the secondary so what that allows them to do is keep what we call a 10-personel look. They can play man-free which that allows them to keep more people in the box and do the things they need to do."

With an improved defense for Texas, what does that mean for TCU and an offense that has averaged just 12.3 points in their three conference losses?

Last week against Oklahoma State the Frogs made a change at halftime by sending Jarrett Anderson to the sideline while Rusty Burns called plays from the pressbox. The move seemed to work as the Frogs outscored the Cowboys in the second half and doubled their total yardage from the first half. Meanwhile, they racked up fourteen first downs compared to just three in the first half.

Patterson said on Wednesday that Burns will again be the lead caller for the offense this week but says Anderson will still provide plenty of input from the sideline.

"They've always made calls together, he's the lead caller but that doesn't mean the other guy doesn't have a suggestion," he said. "My whole thing was to find a different attitude about how he puts calls together. The other thing that helps us is when Jarrett was down (on the sideline) it was hard for him to run the organization and call plays. With Burns being the lead caller that's why it went a lot smoother in the second half getting people in and out. It was just a lot better circumstance."

Patterson said it shouldn't come as a surprise that Anderson will still have an input on the offense. The head coach admitted it's been that way ever since he's been at TCU for a guy to call plays and the others to keep giving suggestions during ball games.

"We've been that way for sixteen years, there's always been a guy upstairs with suggestions," he said. "When Justin (Fuente) was calling plays, Rusty was the guy giving all the pass suggestions. I played Rusty at Cincinnati and SMU, they always scored 30, 35, 40 points a ball game."

Another reason for the change in play-calling comes from what Patterson described as Anderson trying to do "too much". Patterson himself knows the feeling as he's tried to juggle head coach, defensive coordinator and special teams before. It's a big reason why he doesn't get too heavily involved in offensive play calling during ball games to this day.

"I don't get involved on gameday except for fourth down and certain things," he said. "But, I can always tell them as I watch things you need to speed it up or slow it down. When I listen, I just give back suggestions. You can't be the guy that knows everything; it just doesn't work that way."

While the offense has received plenty of criticism, quarterback Trevone Boykin has received his equal share. Patterson said Boykin has played his two worst halves of college football against Oklahoma State; the second half from 2012 and the first half from 2013. Patterson said on Tuesday that he wouldn't trade Boykin for another quarterback and he echoed that statement again on Wednesday.

He also acknowledged that his young quarterback needs more help.

"I've played against him and practice and I've played against everybody else; we've got to do things to give him more help," Patterson said of Boykin. "I'm not saying if he doesn't get done what he has to get done that we won't make a change, all I'm saying is I haven't played anyone as big and strong or a stronger arm than what he does."

Patterson says he understands the frustration Boykin has received simply because the Frogs aren't winning ball games right now. It's easy to point the blame at the quarterback.

"If they find a way to win everyone forgives them, if they don't make the play you need to win, then you can't play," he said. "It's been that way before Trevone, it'll be that way after Trevone or any other quarterback."

Patterson said if there is one thing he'd like to see different from Boykin in the weeks ahead are less runs from him on pass plays. Some of that could stem from bad snaps from the center which Patterson also says it's tough for quarterbacks to see down field if they have to pick up low snaps.

The coaches have worked on the center to quarterback exchanges this week and Patterson said there has been a change but he's not letting Texas know ahead of time what that change is.

"We made a change but I'm not telling Texas," he said.

Notable

Patterson said defensive tackle Davion Pierson tweaked an ankle on Wednesday but said he should be ready to go on Saturday.

Boykin had a banged up shoulder after the Oklahoma State game but Patterson says he's looked fine this week in practice.


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