Freshman's new role at fullback will give TCU offense more options

Posted Sunday, Dec. 09, 2012  comments  Print Reprints
A

Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl

TCU (7-5) vs.

Michigan State (6-6)

9:15 p.m. Dec. 29,

Tempe, Ariz.

TV: ESPN

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TCU freshman Jordan Moore moved to fullback from linebacker over the weekend to help shore up the Horned Frogs' backfield.

Frogs coach Gary Patterson said the move gives the offense another "big back" option for short-yardage situations, along with Laderice Sanders. The move also will help fill the void if running back Matthew Tucker is less than 100 percent for the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl on Dec. 29 when TCU plays Michigan State (6-6) in Tempe, Ariz.

Tucker has suffered from back spasms, Patterson said, along with other nagging injuries throughout the season.

"We're going to try to get him ready for the bowl game," Patterson said of Moore, who has played a limited role in 11 games but has no tackles.

"He's just athletic," Patterson said. "We needed another big back. [Michigan State] is big and strong. It's a powerful group."

Sanders has three rushes for 4 yards and two touchdowns in four games.

Patterson said there's plenty of time to get Moore ready for the bowl. Moore played receiver and safety at Martin Luther King High School in Lithonia, Ga. He was a two-time state champion in the 110-meter hurdles and will compete on TCU's track and field team this spring.

"He about ran over somebody in middle drill today," Patterson said after Sunday's practice. TCU resumed practice Saturday after a one-week break. The Frogs are off for finals the next three days and resume practice Thursday. TCU has 12 of 14 practices remaining before Michigan State.

"[Saturday] was like pulling teeth getting back in the swing of things," said Patterson, who added that Sunday's practice was better. "It is every year."

These early practices will be more physical, he said. By the time TCU leaves for Tempe on Dec. 24, the game plan will come into focus.

"You've got to get good on good so you start moving at the level you've got to move at playing in a bowl game with this caliber of an opponent," Patterson said.

Verrett's validation

TCU cornerback Jason Verrett has received numerous postseason awards, including All-Big 12 first-team honors. It's quite a turnaround for the junior since he transferred to TCU before the 2011 season.

"I told him to keep his nose down," Gary Patterson said. "Don't let the football gods get him. He doesn't need to think anymore than what he's been doing. Just get ready to play. That's what he's been doing every week and it has paid dividends."

Patterson on punch

Gary Patterson said he told the Big 12 that he disagreed with its assessment that Oklahoma offensive lineman Tyrus Thompson did not punch TCU's Stansly Maponga during the Dec. 1 game.

"They need to have an onsite adviser, because there were five punches thrown," he said. "I saw it myself. I was standing right there. It's our job to protect student-athletes."

Quotable

"I think it shows we do have some talent. And there's some young talent. We have better talent on offense than what we showed on the All-Big 12 team, but that's really good for them to understand there's a lot of other good players. If you're a wide receiver in this league and you want to be all-conference you have to show that you're special, because there's a bunch of special ones. It's just the way it is. Same with running back."

-- TCU coach Gary Patterson on seven Horned Frogs, including six on defense, being selected to the All-Big 12 team

Stefan Stevenson

817-390-7760

Twitter: @FollowtheFrogs

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