The TCU Horned Frogs won’t be taking the field this weekend as they get to enjoy their first bye of the 2016 season, but head coach Gary Patterson made his appearance after Tuesday’s practice to give us the latest updates and thoughts. Here’s what you need to know as the Frogs get an extra seven days to prepare for their West Virginia road trip.
The roster is getting healthier
The biggest news from Tuesday’s interviews was wide receiver KaVontae Turpin has a “possibility” of being back in playing shape when the Frogs take on the Mountaineers on October 22. Turpin has been absent since exiting the game against Iowa State when he suffered an apparent knee injury on the opening play of the second half. Patterson said Turpin was starting to run again as of Tuesday’s practice. If he is back, it would be a huge boost to the Frogs receiver corps and kick-return unit, as Turpin led all TCU receivers in yardage when he went down against ISU.
In addition to Turpin’s possible return, Patterson noted that center Austin Schlottman also has a chance of returning for the West Virginia game. Patterson also said that outside tackle Trey Elliot is back in playing shape, which he called a “huge addition.”
While the Frogs committed more turnovers than anyone would care to count in Saturday’s scare against Kansas, Patterson said the offensive woes were more the result of receivers failing to live up than expectations than Kenny Hill’s play. Patterson said no receiver was graded well following the contest.
“People see catches, but how do you run the routes? How do you get off the press?” Patterson asked. “On one of them Deante (Gray) was supposed to sit down, he didn’t sit down, Hill threw it like he was supposed to, and it got picked. On another one we had a slant, but our guy didn’t run a slant, and the same thing.”
The bye week may have come at just the right time
With an ugly win now behind them and one of toughest road games lying ahead, the Frogs could use some extra time to regroup, and they got it. Patterson said he hopes the team will test out some “new ideas” during the extended time of preparation.
Patterson added that he thinks the bye will help not just for the game against West Virginia but for the rest of the year.
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“What I’ve told them is that it’s now two separate mini-seasons,” Patterson said. “You have three games, two on the road, and then another bye, and then you have three more all in-state to close out the season.”