Patterson Talks Renewed Rivalry With Baylor

No. 9 TCU travels to Waco this Saturday to battle No. 5 Baylor in a battle of top 10 teams.

When fall camp began in early August, not many people envisioned a TCU team that would not only be undefeated through four games, but ranked in the top 10. That’s exactly what the Frogs have accomplished as they sit with a 4-0 record and No. 9 ranking in the AP Top 25 Poll.

The Frogs are coming off a 37-33 win over Oklahoma last week, which is their biggest conference win since joining the Big 12 two years ago. Now looms another top 5 opponent in the Baylor Bears.

Many have questioned whether or not the Frogs will have a letdown against Baylor after coming off such an emotional win over Oklahoma. TCU head coach Gary Patterson admitted that Sunday’s practice didn’t have much emotion but it’s increased with each practice.

“It was better today and I think it will be even better tomorrow,” he said. “It’s a long way until Saturday. They had nothing in them Sunday; it’s been gradually getting better every day.”

Of course, he also sees Baylor is prepared for TCU and understands the rivalry has heated up in recent years. Videos or not, Patterson said he must be doing something right for people to be talking about him.

“We’re not putting out videos of Art Briles like they are Gary Patterson,” he said. “I was on post office walls in Utah when I was in the Mountain West conference; Utah and BYU. It’s okay, I take all of that as a compliment. If they really like you that means you’re not playing very well. If they want to build me up, go ahead and do so. I’m just calling it. This is what football is all about.”

Patterson spoke of the tough task his team has this week in having to play another highly-ranked team. He likes the fact that Baylor is next on the schedule, but at the same time in the future he would like to see the renewed rivalry game moved to the end of the season.

“I don’t understand conference wise why this game doesn’t get moved to the end,” he said of the Baylor game. “That should be our rivalry game and played at the end of the year so we don’t have to play Baylor in the middle of the year. If people are trying to make this a rivalry, I don’t see why they don’t let us play until the end of the year like Oklahoma and Oklahoma State.”

While TCU’s new philosophy on offense has helped them in tremendous ways this season on the scoreboard, it’s also helped the Frogs’ defense in weekly preparations as they face that offense every practice. Baylor has one of the most prolific offenses in the country and are led by a strong group of receivers. However, TCU has a pretty decent set of receivers this season as well that have made plays through four games.

Patterson said on Wednesday that playing against his receivers is beneficial in preparing for a team that is loaded at the position like Baylor.

“That’s what happened to us in 2011; we had all freshmen receivers and they lost their legs about a week and a half before the first ball game and we couldn’t go good on good,” Patterson said. “If you don’t go good on good you don’t get good work and all of a sudden you’re going against guys like Terrance Williams.”

2012 REWIND

The Frogs were 4-1 and coming off a 37-23 home loss to Iowa State and Trevone Boykin was making his second career start on the road against Baylor. Many predicted a loss for the Frogs, but TCU won going away 49-21.

Boykin was a huge key to the win; completing 22-of-30 passes for 261 yards and 4 touchdowns. He also rushed for 56 yards and a score. Patterson said at the time neither he nor Baylor knew what to expect from the then redshirt freshman. They do now.

“We we’re going into a game and they didn’t know anything about him and neither did I,” Patterson said of Boykin’s second start. “It was on the road and he did a lot of good things.”

Boykin has had an up and down career since that brilliant game against the Bears two years ago. Many pegged him as a receiver this season when former A&M quarterback Matt Joeckel announced his transfer to TCU. But Boykin dedicated himself to quarterback by taking care of his body in the off-season, watching film and learning the nuances of the position. It’s all translated into his best season by far as he’s thrown for nearly 1,200 yards and 10 touchdowns to just 2 interceptions.

Patterson credits Boykin’s improvement to new coaches and the presence of Joeckel.

“Coach (Sonny)Cumbie and Coach (Doug)Meacham have done a great job (of teaching) ‘we’, not ‘I’,” he said. “I think that happens with quarterbacks; not just him. You come into the offense wanting to throw for a lot of yards and touchdowns but the only thing that should you happy is winning. I think that’s the thing he’s done up to this point. When he’s thrown the ball down the field he’s been smart about it and he’s made plays with his feet.”

FACING VERTICAL ROUTES

TCU had trouble in the first three quarters against Oklahoma and the deep ball. Sooners’ receiver Sterling Sheperd hauled in over 200 receiving yards on the day. Patterson said on Wednesday that he was pleased with his corners on the deep ball but the safeties could use some work.

Although Patterson didn’t call out free safety Derrick Kindred as being a player that needed work, he acknowledged that the junior did have some troubles against the Sooners. But, as the coach says, that’s something that has to be put behind you if you’re a defensive back in his system.

“You’ve got to learn; that’s what I told him on the sideline. I told him to get that look off your face; you’ve got to forget it,” Patterson said of Kindred. “If you want to play secondary here on this level you’ve got to have ice. You’ve got to go on.”

The Frogs will undoubtedly see several vertical routes against the Bears. Freshman receiver KD Cannon, who TCU heavily recruited, will likely be one of those players going deep all day.

“We know he’s fast and is a good player; he’s going to get even better as he gets older,” Patterson said of Cannon.

MORE TRICKS?

Patterson admitted on Wednesday that he had a little hand in some of the trick plays the Frogs unveiled against the Sooners last week; particularly the kickoff return where B.J. Catalon lay down in the “O” of Frogs in the end zone where he was virtually unnoticed. Video of the play quickly went viral.

Patterson admitted that there’s a few more tricks up their sleeves for the Baylor game.

“I had to do with the special teams, I didn’t have anything to do with the offense,” he said. “We’ve got a couple more tricks this week.”

INJURY FRONT

Junior defensive tackle Davion Pierson left last week’s game against Oklahoma late in the fourth quarter and did not return. His status looked questionable leading up to the Baylor game but Patterson reiterated on Wednesday that not only is Pierson healthy and ready to play, his whole team is good to go.

“We’ll have everybody,” he said.

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