Coach Patterson met with the media on Tuesday to discuss the Horned Frogs’ upcoming showdown with the Minnesota Golden Gophers on Saturday. HornedFrogBlitz.com was on hand to hear what Coach P. had to say and if his demeanor is an indicator, the man in charge feels good about Saturday’s matchup.
”The off week was good for us I think. I was worried about it but I think it really gave our kids a chance to catch up and catch their breath. Sunday was probably one of our better practices we’ve had and I’m talking spring and fall, both sides of the ball. That was a Tuesday practice for us getting ready for Minnesota but we’re glad to get a chance to play another football game. It’s hard to watch everybody else play but in some ways it was a little bit of a relief and we got a chance to catch our thoughts. We got some good on good done and we had a chance to evaluate our football team and got some guys back, Aviante Collins being one of them back in the lineup, it gives us more depth on the offensive line. It allows us to move Matt Pryor inside to guard so you get a 350 pound guy inside and gives us more depth and gives us a chance to do more things that we need to do.”
When asked if the defense facing the new offense in practice was helping the defense improve, Patterson responded, “I don’t know yet, we’re going to find out what the plusses and minuses are. It’s hurt us in the fact that we don’t get as much tight end play and option play so we’ve had to work really hard. It was good having two weeks to get ready for Minnesota because they do a lot of this and they’re a lot like playing an Air Force. Not just in schematics, but they’re one of those teams that want to break your will and lull you to sleep and all of the sudden the game is over and they’ve beaten you. They’re very physical on both sides of the football, both offensive and defensive lines are very physical. They have a very good tight end, in fact they have a couple of very good tight ends. Their wide receivers are big and physical, not necessarily going to outrun you, but they out jump you, so you’ve got to get ready. The tailback is as good as anybody we’ll play in the Big 12. Cobb is a good player and the first guy never tackles him so you’ve got to gang tackle him and get ready to play on defense.”
Patterson was asked to evaluate the offensive line now and where he ultimately wants them to be. “I don’t know. I don’t know with Samford, even though they had eight starters back and they were a playoff team, they’re not Minnesota. No matter what happens, they (offensive line) haven’t played the speed of the game like (Minnesota). It’s the kind of offense where the offensive line has to play yourself into shape to do things the way they do it.”
Patterson was asked if the new offense still allows for physical play by the offensive line. “Oh yeah, to be honest with you, you look at other teams in the league that are going fast, Baylor, Oklahoma State, those guys are running for yardage. I still think that you have to be able to run the football if the numbers are the way they are. If you can’t run the football, and they’re only putting five in the box, then you’re going to have a hard time throwing it so running the football is very important. Getting the ball in the hands of your tailbacks, and we have some good ones, is very important. Whether it’s throwing it to them or handing it off to them, either way.”