Gary Patterson gave a fiery opening statement to the media after Wednesday’s practice, which is something we haven’t seen from the head coach since fall camp.
He made it clear that his team isn’t taking its game against Kansas lightly, but he said he needs his team to practice better.
“If we don’t practice, if we don’t get ready to play, we get our ass beat,” Patterson said.
Patterson usually avoids giving specific information to reporters when it comes to his thoughts how certain players have been practicing. And we he does, it’s typically positive or generic. But on Wednesday, he said that may change if his defense continues to play poorly, as they did against Oklahoma State.
“As you can tell, I wasn’t happy with the practice today,” Patterson said. “So they better get their asses ready to play, or it won’t be me taking blame for us playing bad. I’ll start using names, which I’ve done here before. So, my advice is, they better come ready to go tomorrow.”
However, Patterson defended his 4-2-5 system, even though no reporters in attendance questioned its effectiveness. He said the injuries are what have caused the inconsistencies.
“Not anymore than I ever have.” Patterson said after being asked if he was paying more attention to the secondary in practice after it gave up five touchdown passes, four of which were from 40-plus yards out, in Stillwater.
“I mean, we’re the No.1 defense in the league on third downs. This defense, if you want to study history, go look. We smother people then when we don’t play deep balls we get our self in trouble. That’s the way we’ve been playing. They told me in 2004 this defense was washed up. Since then, it’s been to two BCS games, it’s won a Peach Bowl, it’s won a Rose Bowl and games. Bottom line to it is we got a lot of people hurt, a lot of young players and when they play well, they play well, and when they play bad, we ain’t playing very good. They need to find out how to do it themselves, simple as that.”
While Patterson said some good things about his defense, he didn’t hold back from pointing out its struggles. He noted that Nick Orr, who was tasked with covering Oklahoma State’s James Washington, is banged up. He also noted that the competition that the Frogs are facing this year is capable of taking advantage of his defensive backs’ mistakes.
“I hate to tell you guys this, we’ve been coaching every one of their asses up.” Patterson said. I mean, they’ve come a long way, they’ve come a long way. But the problem is you’re playing in a league where you got NFL wide receivers and you got to go play and you got to get ready to go. And if you’re not ready as a freshman, and you make a 6-inch mistake, it’s a touchdown.’
“I mean, [Nick Orr], I shouldn’t have put Nick in the game when Nick wasn’t full speed. He’s a guy that we trusted, and bottom line is that he wasn’t ready to play – he got beat twice. So for me, another comes down, and he can do it, some of these others guys got to step up and get ready to go. And, as frank as this would be, they were all getting reps, so guess what? We’ll be better next year. [Ranthony Texada] comes back, and recruits coming in, and we’ll go. But the key to it is, as bad as everybody thinks it is, we still got to 8-1.”
Even though there have been a few Frogs who have come back from injury this season, such as Davion Pierson, Kolby Listenbee, KaVontae Turpin, Montrel Wilson and Terrell Lathan, Patterson said there are still a lot of guys who are banged up.
Left tackle Halapoulivaati Vaitai, who played during a few snaps on Saturday, will be questionable against Kansas. Vaitai appeared to suffer a knee injury against West Virginia, and he did not look like he was playing at 100 percent against Oklahoma State. Right tackle, Joseph Noteboom has had to step in to protect Trevone Boykin’s blindside.
On a more positive note, Patterson said wide receiver Ty Slanina status should be “probable” after the Kansas game when TCU will travel to Norman to play the Sooners. Slanina suffered a broken collarbone against Texas Tech in Week 4. It was previously reported that he would likely be out for the remainder of the season, but it seems like he’s on his way to make it on the field. Patterson said he has he’s been practicing, but is not making contact.
As reported earlier, it looks like wide receiver Josh Doctson will be in action soon. Like Slanina, Doctson also hast been limited in practice. Patterson did not say if Doctson will play against Kansas, but seemed optimistic that he will be back soon. Doctson had to come out in the second quarter against Oklahoma State after landing on his wrist. The injury appeared to be a nasty one, but according to our sources, his X-rays came back negative for any breaks in his tendons. However, it does not seem like Patterson is willing to risk putting his senior wide receiver in a game that they should be able to win without him.
Though Patterson never brought it up after practice, there’s a good chance that wide receiver Emmanuel Porter will get back on the field soon, according to one of our sources. The sophomore wide out hyperextended his knee against Texas Tech and has not played since.
Preparing for Kansas:
The Jayhawks are terrible this year, as their 0-9 record shows. But Patterson didn’t say anything negative about his upcoming opponent.
Patterson said the Jayhawks are hard to blitz because they have to get the ball out quick due to the youth on its offensive line. He complemented the Jayhawks experienced backfield, which includes senior running backs Taylor Cox, De’Andre Mann and junior Ke’aun Kinner, who leads his team with 457 rushing yards and five touchdowns.
“They got a young offensive line and a young quarterback and good skill set,” Patterson said. “And really, I mean the running backs, you put all three together they’re probably close to as good as any we’ve ever seen this year. I mean it’s…you got a young junior college guy and then a senior and they’re all pretty good players. They all catch the ball. Wide receivers are good. They’re really hard to blitz because they get the ball into their hands quick. You can tell they worked on it because they have a young offensive line so they’re hard to get to. If you watch film of them against Baylor, and you watch film of them against Oklahoma, they move the football, and they’ve done things.”
Although David Beaty has implemented an up-tempo offense in his first year as the head coach of the Jayhawks, Patterson said the offense they run isn’t all that similar to the fast-paced attacks teams like Texas Tech and Oklahoma State run.
“No, everybody’s personality is different,” Patterson said in response to being asked about the similarities between the Jayhawks offense and the others the Frogs have faced. “And they’re not like what we are because they got a young quarterback. They’ll someday get there, but they’re not like us, they’re not like Tech.”
The Jayhawks’ futile season can be partially credited to losing their starting quarterback Motell Cozart to a shoulder sprain he sustained early in October. The team also announced that its back up quarterback Deondre Ford would miss the rest of the season due to torn ligaments in his thumb. Those injuries move freshman Ryan Willis to first-string.
Patterson said that Willis has been hurt too, but noted that the Jayhawks have been able to move the ball through the air. He also noted that Kansas was without its two leading receivers, Tre’ Parmalee and Steven Sims Jr. last week. The two wide outs were suspended last week against Texas for violating team rules. The Jayhawks were blown out by the Longhorns by a final score of 59-20.
“I mean, I’ve watched [Ryan Willis]. But they say his groins have been hurt, so it is hard really to tell. But, I mean, they move the football. Like I said on Tuesday, they have a good skillset. Their two best wide receivers didn’t play last week because they got suspended for the game. So has it’s been since the beginning of the season, we get everybody’s best game.”
Patterson did not have much to say about the teams No.15 ranking in the latest College Football Playoff rankings. He didn’t seem pleased, but he it appears his focus is on TCU’s remaining schedule.
“Three or 15 or eight,” Patterson said. “I mean we’re going to play Kansas, and we got to play Oklahoma, and we got to play Baylor. I know we’ll make it to the bowl.”
Despite the low ranking, Patterson said he hasn’t overeacted to the Oklahoma State loss as much as the media has.
“I mean, we just lost one game, fellas,” he said. “Heaven forbid what happens, we’d be 1-8 right now. I mean, you guys are acting like the sky keeps falling, and I keep telling us, I haven’t gotten to high when we lose and I haven’t got too high when we lost.”