Gary Patterson said his team had a good week of practice, but a few of his guys are banged up. Some are still practicing, while others may not see the field on Saturday against Oklahoma State. Another may be out of the rest of the season.
Injuries according to Patterson:
Derrick Kindred: He’s banged, but he’ll keep playing. He’s been hurt most of the year, so he hasn’t been making contact in practice. We haven’t been able to confirm the details about Kindred’s injury with the head coach. We were told he hurt his collar bone early in the season, but we do not know if he’s any more banged up since he left late in the West Virginia game.
“He’s going to be a guy who makes it through non contact all the way through practice and play the ballgame, Patterson said. “You know, unless something changes, that’s the way he’s been for seven weeks. It’s seven weeks, don’t touch anybody, bang on people on Saturday, be sore for three days and get ready for the next Saturday. He’s a trooper.”
Montrel Wilson: It seems like the linebacker should be good to go this weekend. He’s been practicing this week, Patterson said. We don’t know the specifics about his injury, either.
JaJaun Story: We’ve been saying since last week that a shoulder injury could sideline Story for the rest of the season. Patterson mentioned that the wide receiver will likely be out for the season, but did not tell us the specifics about the injury.
Emmanuel Porter: No real word on Porter, but he seems doubtful for the Oklahoma State game. The sophomore wide receiver is still recovering from a hyperextended knee he suffered last month against Texas Tech.
Halapoulivaati Vaitai: The senior left tackle appeared to roll his knee on Saturday, but there is still no official word on the extent of his injury. When asked if Vaitai will play, Patterson said, “We’ll see.” Patterson talked about Matt Pryor practicing a lot since he has to come into to replace Joseph Noteboom at right tackle as Noteboom is filling in on the left side. So, it looks like Vaitai probably won’t play on Saturday, but his injury probably isn’t season ending.
True freshman Julius Lewis got the start over Corry O’Meally against West Virginia, but he was pulled after Shelton Gibson burned him on a post route for the Mountaineer’s only touchdown of the night. But Patterson said he still has high hopes for the young defensive back.
“Good,” Patterson said when asked how Lewis has responded to being benched. “Julius is going to be a really great player. You got to get him to understand that the speed of this game in this league, you don’t get a chance to ease yourself into anything. And, you know, especially when you’re young, they don’t waste much time finding out if you’re ready for the ballgame. That’s the name of what we do in this conference. You got all the last four teams that can throw it vertical, even Kansas. Everyone one of them has got a really good player.”
Preparing for OK-State:
Oklahoma State uses a two-quarterback system with Mason Rudolph as its primary passer and J.W. Walsh as its dual=threat option. But even though Walsh is mostly used as a rusher, he can throw too. The senior has attempted 23 passes this season, nine of them have gone for touchdowns. Patterson said his team has to be smart about defending both the run and the pass when Walsh is in the game.
“There is a certain set of skillset plays they run, and [Walsh] comes in a lot in on third-and-short and he comes in a lot on the goal line,” Patterson said. But as he did against Texas Tech, he came in the middle of the game and at the end of the game, and they played everyone up, and he threw the ball over their heads. So, you got to be smart about all of the above.”
Earlier in the season while preparing for teams with dual threat quarterbacks, TCU has practiced with some its faster players in at quarterback. Patterson said he’s no longer using that approach.
“You know I did that, and I hurt my team. We put scramblers back there, and I wore my defense out in practice and they weren’t ready to play on Saturdays. So, we went back to our old ways: He’s a scrambler. Get ready to start chasing, but we’re going to chase on Saturday.”
When asked about preparing for going to another tough road environment, Patterson said he is more focused on preparing for the Cowboys themselves.
“Oh, I mean it’s tough.” Patterson said. “Lubbock’s tough, Manhattan’s tough, Iowa State’s tough – the difference is this is an 8-0 football team. You’re not playing the fans, you’re playing the football team. Both sides of the ball well coached, attitude, all of things you of exactly what you want in undefeated football teams.”
The College Football Playoff committee ranked TCU No.8 on Tuesday, but Patterson said he wasn’t paying attention.
“I didn’t even look at it,” Patterson said. “I mean, to be honest with you, I wish we were a little bit lower.
“The odds of playing three teams that are 21-1, two of them you got to go on the road, so, if we get to that final game, that Friday night and win all four of these last ones, I’ll have more to say. But right now, it’s not like last year when you clear the tougher ones early and winning the last couple. This is meat and bones for everybody.”