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TCU Midweek Update – Looking Ahead To Oklahoma

Coming of a 33-3 victory over longtime rival SMU, the No. 21 TCU Horned Frogs (3-1, 1-0 Big 12) now shift their focus to Saturday’s home contest against Bob Stoops and the Oklahoma Sooners (1-2).

TCU head coach Gary Patterson along with WR John Diarse and DE Josh Carraway addressed media members Tuesday.

RAMPING UP THE EMOTION

While TCU held SMU to only three points the entire game Friday night, shutting out the Mustangs in the second half, it was another slow start for TCU’s offense, as they maintained just a 6-3 lead at halftime.

Patterson said Tuesday the slow starts are an indicator that the emotion is still not entirely there for the Frogs, something he first addressed after the team’s 41-20 win over Iowa State in week three.

“We played on our heels at first coming out of the gates. I’ve got to do a better job at helping them avoid that. When everybody has more emotion than I do, I pull it back, and when it’s the opposite, I have to turn up the dial,” Patterson said.

Patterson added that the issue is partially players looking ahead to bigger opponents.

“If you want to win a lot of ballgames, you have to get ready for the teams you are supposed to beat. Everyone wants to beat teams like Arkansas and Oklahoma,” Patterson said.

One of the biggest concerns against SMU were the vast amount of dropped balls, which Patterson also attributed to emotion.

“Mostly it has been Aviante Collins. He needs to clear up his emotions,” Patterson said.

Patterson added that while external factors can ramp up the emotion, it ultimately comes down to the players entering the game with the right mindset.

“Kids get the emotions from the fans, the media, people across town…they feed off that more than the things I tell them. The home crowd can give you emotion, but you have to have it.”

DIARSE CLIMBING THE LADDER

Highlighted by a 75-yard touchdown reception in double coverage Friday night, his first as a Horned Frog, LSU transfer WR John Diarse appears to be on the rise as one of the go-to receivers on the Frogs’ offense. And with KaVontae Turpin sidelined, we could see a lot from him against Oklahoma Saturday.

“After having a performance like Friday, you need to repeat it,” Diarse said. “It gave our team a spark, and motivated guys to make similar plays.”

The receiver has now brought up his season totals to 16 receptions for 290 yards.

Diarse said as impressive as the touchdown may have appeared, it was simply status quo for the offense.

“It was my responsibility to make a play when my number was called. I just did what was expected, and I think every player is expected to make great plays when their number is called” Diarse said.

Patterson said Diarse’s play Friday night could earn him honors as one of the team captains for Saturdays’ contest against the Sooners.

NEXT ON THE LIST: OKLAHOMA

The Sooners may not quite be the No. 3 preseason team that everyone thought they would be, but that doesn’t change the fact that the Frogs have a big game in front of them as they enter the heart of conference play in 2016.

“They’re a talented team and well coached,” Patterson said. “It seems like every season the road to the Big 12 title goes through Oklahoma.”

Patterson said that size is the most prevalent factor entering Saturday afternoon’s contest against the now unranked Oklahoma squad.

“They’re big and physical,” Patterson said. “Defensively they’re athletic and they move around. They surround you.”

And it’s not just OU’s size that could be a challenge for TCU. The offense comes back largely the same from last season, returning stars such as quarterback Baker Mayfield, receiver Dede Westbrook, and running backs Joe Mixon and Semaje Perine. The only notable omission is former wide receiver Sterling Shepard, who was lost to graduation after the 2015 season.

Diarse said that he expects anything when the Frogs take the field to face the Sooners.

“Anything they may throw, any curveball they have, we have to be prepared. We need to do a better job of focusing on detail and perfecting everything we do, because they’re a great team,” Diarse said.

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The last three games between TCU and Oklahoma have all been close one, each being decided by one possession. The home team has prevailed in each of those contests, as the Sooners were victorious in 2013 and 2015, while the Frogs upset the then No. 4 team in the country at home 2014.


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