Demanding Excellence

TCU coach Gary Patterson is happy with quarterback Casey Pachall's leadership.

Following Saturday's six-hour game against Texas in a game that TCU lost 30-7, TCU quarterback Casey Pachall spoke the truth. You could see the frustration on the senior's face, his answers to media questions were likely the loudest of any TCU player in the Patterson era.

Pachall was asked why the offense has seen so many struggles this year. There are plenty of reasons to go around depending who you ask; execution, play-calling, penalties – you name it. Pachall's reasoning caught many by surprise when he noted that it could be character, willingness to prepare and to play for the other guys within the team. He finished by saying whatever the problem is, it needed to be changed.

TCU head coach Gary Patterson liked what his senior quarterback said and wasn't surprised by his remarks.

"That's what older guys do," Patterson said of Pachall's comments. "They grow up. The difference between him is he's a fifth year senior and Trevone is a redshirt sophomore."

Seeing Pachall step up to the leadership role is not surprising to Patterson. He saw the same type of transformation from former TCU and current NFL Pro-Bowl quarterback Andy Dalton. Patterson saw the big difference in Dalton between his sophomore and senior years and he can see the similarities taking place with Pachall.

With a 3-5 record and a ninth consecutive bowl bid on the line, Pachall's leadership is more important than ever.

"A good leader is going to demand, not ask. That was the difference for Andy Dalton from his sophomore to senior year," Patterson said said. "His freshman and sophomore year he asked them what they were supposed to do. His junior and senior year he told them. He demanded what they're supposed to do. That's what great leaders do, especially quarterbacks. They demand excellence, they don't ask for excellence. The more guys you have on your team that wants to do that, the more chance you have to be successful."

Whether or not the team follows Pachall's lead is the biggest question. Everyone will see by Saturday against West Virginia if indeed the Frogs' offense has found an answer to the many questions. Patterson hopes his quarterback's leadership will make a difference.

"He's got a mission, he's got an objective," Patterson said. "Not only does he need to win games but he wants to play well and the way for him to do that is for the offense to play well so he can help himself going to the next level."

Aside from Dalton, Patterson spoke of former players who always went above and beyond to become a better leader and player. He pointed to seniors Jason Verrett, Jon Koontz and junior Sam Carter as guys who have stepped up to that role this season.

"Sam Carter watches as much film as I do; he comes up after practice, after he gets done with FCA and after he gets done with a night class. If I'm up at 10:00 he'll come back in," he said.


"TIMING IS EVERYTHING"

TCU scored their lowest season total with seven points against Texas last week. Patterson said there wasn't any good to come out of that game, even with Pachall under center.

"That was our worst loss of the season," he said. "We had at least rallied in the second half and we didn't rally in the second half last week. All I see is 30-7 to be honest with you."

Co-offensive coordinator Rusty Burns called his first full game of the season against Texas. Patterson said it's tough to judge how well his play-calling was when there was a lack of execution and penalties that thwarted drives.

"Anytime it's not going well you might as well throw it all in a basket. Timing is everything; you'd get a first down then there would be a holding call, a guy has a 3rd and 12 and Ladarius Brown drops a comeback route," he said. "Those things add up as you go through things. You've got to go make plays."


BREIFLY

Patterson said defensive tackles Davion Pierson and Chucky Hunter both practiced Wednesday. Pierson missed the Texas game with a bad ankle and Patterson said he is still questionable for Saturday's game against West Virginia. Hunter was injured against Texas.

Patterson also said receiver Cam White is expected to play this Saturday. He practiced at full speed on Wednesday.


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