TCU notes: Frogs hope Casey Pachall’s leadership, experience will help young receivers blossom

Posted Wednesday, Oct. 30, 2013  comments  Print Reprints
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West Virginia at TCU 2:30 p.m. Saturday, Amon G. Carter Stadium Records: TCU 3-5, 1-4 Big 12; WVU 3-5, 1-4 TV: ESPNU

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The most maligned group of the TCU football team has been its receiving corps. The offensive line also has struggled, but those depth issues were obvious before the season, so it came as little surprise. The receiver unit, although young, was supposed to be stocked with talented play makers.

So far, however, only flashes of that talent has been on display. The return of Casey Pachall could help turn that around, beginning against West Virginia at 2:30 p.m. Saturday at Amon G. Carter Stadium.

“Let’s hope so. We won’t know that until Saturday, but I’m hoping so,” TCU coach Gary Patterson said. “He’s got a mission. He’s got an objective. Not only does he want to win games but he wants to play well, and the way for him to do that is if it the offense plays well so he can help himself going to the next level. I don’t think that’s his main objective, but any player that I’ve ever had [with dreams of playing in the NFL] understood ‘if they do well, then I do well.’”

TCU (3-5, 1-4 Big 12) is hoping Pachall can be the spark the offense needs to help some of the Frogs’ receivers blossom. A more dangerous passing game, in theory, would help open up TCU’s running game that has fallen to ninth in the league with 127.4 yards per game.

First-year receivers coach Curtis Luper was working overtime with the entire receiving unit after Wednesday’s practice.

Pachall’s matter-of-fact postgame comments after TCU’s 30-7 loss to Texas, in which he laid the Frogs’ offensive problems on every position, including himself, were a blunt breath of fresh air from the usual postgame responses after a loss.

“That’s what older guys do,” Patterson said. “You think he would have done that a year ago? Did you ever see him say anything like that? They grow up. The difference is he’s a fifth-year senior and Trevone [Boykin] is a redshirt sophomore. Tyler [Matthews] is a redshirt freshman.”

Pachall, Patterson said, is better suited to lead the offense out of its doldrums not only because of his skills as a passer but also because of the inherent respect a seasoned veteran demands in the huddle, especially one who has fought back from his own personal battle a year ago.

“The more guys you have on your team that want to be that, the better chance you have of being successful,” he said. “It helps everybody.”

Dalton to visit

Former TCU great Andy Dalton will be on hand for Saturday’s game, Gary Patterson said. His Bengals play tonight. Dalton and his wife live in Fort Worth during the off-season.

Patterson said he has a deal with the 15 former players he has in the NFL: if they come back to see him and the team, he’ll buy them dinner. Last summer nine of them came back for dinner at Del Frisco’s.

“That’s the payback for me. I like that part of it,” Patterson said. “I might have to choose something different. I forgot how much they can eat.”

Bodies back

Receiver Cam White will play Saturday after missing the Texas game with an off-the-field injury.

Defensive tackles Davion Pierson, who missed the Texas game with a foot injury, and Chucky Hunter, who was injured against Texas, both practiced Wednesday and will play Saturday, Patterson said.

Key stat

.295 TCU offense’s conversion rate on third downs, 114th out of 123 Football Bowl Subdivision schools. West Virginia is not much better at .303 percent. Kansas’ .291 is worst in the Big 12.

Quotable

“You might as well as throw it all in a basket. Timing is everything. We get a first down and we get a holding call. You have a third and 12, and LaDarius Brown drops a comeback route. Those things add up. You’ve got to go make plays.” — TCU coach Gary Patterson on what has ailed the offense

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

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