Young TCU safety has been a versatile option off the bench

Posted Wednesday, Sep. 25, 2013  comments  Print Reprints
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SMU (1-2) at TCU (1-2) 11 a.m. Saturday Amon G. Carter Stadium TV: Fox Sports 1

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TCU defensive back Derrick Kindred is a star on the rise.

He was crucial to the Horned Frogs slowing down Texas Tech in the second half. The versatile sophomore from San Antonio Wagner High School blanketed Tech tight end Jace Amaro, helping hold him to two second-half receptions after catching seven passes in the first half.

“He’s the reason why we shut them down in the second half,” Patterson said. “We put him on the tight end all over the field. Besides the third-and-4 when he played off, the tight end couldn’t catch a ball when he covered him. He played about like [Jason] Verrett did. He’s going to be a special player.”

All-America cornerback Verrett held Tech’s leading receiver Eric Ward without a catch. TCU (1-2) hosts another pass-heavy offense in SMU at 11 a.m. Saturday at Amon G. Carter Stadium. The Mustangs (1-2) have three receivers with more than 20 receptions and 200 yards each; a perfect recipe for the use of Kindred’s skills.

Good things seem to happen when he’s on the field in 2013, which so far has been coming off the bench. He could end up a starter soon. He has the speed and size to help out at several spots, including strong safety, free safety and linebacker.

In one key third-quarter series against Tech, Kindred made all the stops on a three-and-out with TCU trailing 10-3. On Tech’s next series, Kindred pulled down his first career interception on fourth down. He finished the game with a pass breakup and five tackles, including one for a 5-yard loss. He has 11 tackles for the season and leads the team with 3 1/2 tackles for loss.

Kindred has often impressed Patterson in practice and he played well in a limited role as a freshman a year ago, finishing with 20 tackles in 12 games. He had 10 tackles in his only career start against West Virginia in 2012.

“He’s young, but he’s very capable,” cornerback Kevin White said. “Good feet, good hands. He’s just a ball hawk so I like having him out there playing alongside him.”

Fields hobbled

TCU defensive end Devonte Fields did not practice Wednesday, Gary Patterson said. Fields injured his foot against Texas Tech. The extent of his injury is unclear but a source said it was serious.

Fields, a freshman All-American and Big 12 Defensive Freshman of the Year in 2012, did not play in TCU’s opener against LSU and played just one quarter against Southeastern Louisiana while serving part of his two-game suspension for breaking unspecified team rules in May. He still must serve the remaining quarter of his suspension, Patterson said. His status is unclear for Saturday’s game with SMU.

Key stat

45-40-7 TCU’s record against SMU since the series began with a 43-0 TCU win in Fort Worth in 1915.

Quotable

“Passing offenses right now are going to challenge you vertically and they are like a triple-option offense. You have to match the speed. They don’t do a lot, they just do it over and over again.” — TCU coach Gary Patterson on pass-heavy offenses such as SMU

Stefan Stevenson, 817-390-7760 Twitter:@FollowtheFrogs

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