A couple of thousand TCU fans helped the football team close out spring practice Saturday during the school’s annual Spring Frog Fest.And just about everyone had an eye toward the coming 2013 season.That included players in the team’s final practice, which coach Gary Patterson said focused on two of TCU’s first three opponents. Fans were able to get a firsthand look at the defense working on how to stop LSU in the season opener Aug. 31.“We worked on LSU and Texas Tech today a little bit,” Patterson said. “A lot of the things they do we see from other people. We also worked on the triple option which, defensively, it helps us with what we need to do discipline-wise to get where we need to get to.”Patterson said practicing against the triple option helps his defense react to pistol offenses and forces each position to learn its responsibilities, at least the defensive linemen and linebackers.“We need to work on our eyes and our feet as far as where we need to be from a secondary standpoint,” he said. “We’re going to try to not ever lose a little bit of that discipline component.”Overall, Patterson said, the spring ended with no major injuries. The two biggest questions about the team, he said, remain the interior offensive line and depth at linebacker.Safety Sam Carter was in a boot on the sidelines after a recent foot injury, and running back B.J. Catalon has missed the Frogs’ last few practices after a minor injury Tuesday. Running back Waymon James, who is recovering from knee surgery, was back on the field taking most of the reps with the first team and looked crisp and agile.Statue dedicationAfter the morning practice, Gary Patterson helped dedicate the new Horned Frog statue installed near the east-side entrance to Amon G. Carter Stadium. The three donors responsible for the statue — Steve Gray, Bill Shaddock and Ricky Stuart — were on hand to present the statue to TCU board of trustees chairman Clarence Scharbauer III. Sculptor Paul Tadlock and his wife, Georgia, also were on hand for the ceremony.“We appreciate this more than you know,” Scharbauer told the donors on behalf of the board and administration. “You three guys will be commended forever.”Patterson told the crowd of a couple of thousand that during his 16 years at TCU, people stepping up “above the call of duty” makes him proud.“For these three families to do something like that is very special for us,” Patterson said. “And to know they didn’t just do it because they wanted their name on a Frog, they did it because they knew it was important to us and it represented something.”Tech showdownExcept for the season opener against LSU at 8 p.m. Aug. 31 at Cowboys Stadium, the rest of TCU’s game times have yet to be set. But the Frogs’ Big 12 opener at Texas Tech on Sept. 12 is slated for national television, so go ahead and assume a start time between 6:30 and 8 p.m.“It’s a TV game. That’s what you want,” Gary Patterson said. “They play well in front of their crowd out there. They’re always revved up. ... I expect we’ll get their best shot. Tech and TCU has always been a rivalry. I have a lot of respect for coach [Kliff] Kingsbury and the job he’s done everywhere else he’s been. Trey Haverty was part of our staff, is on their staff, so obviously they know a little bit about us. They’re trying to do what we’re trying to do. They’re trying to climb the mountain.”Earned scholarshipsTwo walk-ons from Aledo — defensive end Jon Koontz and linebacker Joel Hasley — will be given full scholarships, Gary Patterson said. Koontz, a senior, has four career starts and is currently atop the depth chart at left end. Hasley, a junior, started 10 games last year and is listed as a starter this spring alongside Marcus Mallet.Quotable“Whenever these Longhorns, these Red Raiders, these Bears, and all the other groups come in this stadium, this is the first thing they’re going to see. And when they leave after Gary [Patterson] hands their hat to them, they’re going to see it again. For all those people out there who don’t know what a Horned Frog is, they’re going to get it, because this is real.” — TCU board of trustees chairman Clarence Scharbauer .
Stefan Stevenson, 817-390-7760 Twitter: @FollowtheFrogs