TCU football notes: Backups could remain Frogs’ top rushers down the stretch

Posted Sunday, Nov. 10, 2013  comments  Print Reprints
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More information Stock report Rising: Receiver-turned-cornerback Deanté Gray filled in admirably for All-American Jason Verrett, who was out with an injured shoulder. ISU was 0 for 2 passing against the sophomore. Falling: The kickoff coverage team, burned by a 98-yard touchdown return to start the second half, wasn’t out of position, but several tacklers had DeVondrick Nealy in their grasp and let him slip away. Key stat 41.6Points per game Kansas State is averaging in its current three-game win streak, including 49 against Texas Tech last week. K-State is averaging 33.3 points in Big 12 play. TCU is averaging 23.2 points per game and 17.7 points in league play. Quotable “I’m just trying to win a ballgame. You think they’re going to be nicer to me? If they win one more they’re bowl eligible. I don’t think coach [Bill] Snyder is saying, ‘We’ll be nice to Gary because he’s coming back home.’ No, [homecoming emotions] can’t play a part. Right now, it’s ‘How do I help these guys; how do I help TCU?’ So that’s where I’m at right now.” — TCU coach Gary Patterson on going back to Kansas State, his alma mater, for a game for the first time since 1984 TCU at Kansas State 2:30 p.m. Saturday, Bill Snyder Family Stadium, Manhattan, Kan. Records: TCU 4-6, 2-5 Big 12; KSU 5-4, 3-3 TV: FSSW

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Sophomore running backs Aaron Green and Jordan Moore were “awesome” filling in for Waymon James and B.J. Catalon against Iowa State, TCU coach Gary Patterson said.

That’s a good sign for the Horned Frogs (4-6, 2-5 Big 12) because it sounds like the sophomores will remain in the backfield at Kansas State (5-4, 3-3) Saturday.

James is likely to miss the game because of his suspension for violating team rules. Catalon’s availability is more foggy. Patterson said he was injured last week. Neither made the trip to Iowa State.

“Right now [Green] is the starter,” Patterson said. “James for sure won’t probably be back this week. I don’t know if Catalon will be either.”

Green had a career-high 72 yards in the win at ISU, including 40 yards on the Frogs’ game-winning drive in the final minute.

“A couple of those runs on that final drive were awesome by Aaron,” Patterson said. “That’s what people do. You wait for your time, and when you get your time, you seize your opportunity. That’s what every running back who has ever been here [has had to do] — from Robert Merrill (2003-05) to every running back who’s ever been here. Most of them started as the third-team running back, and they became that guy.”

Carter’s comeback

Receiver Brandon Carter returned to the field against Iowa State after missing last week and played his best game of the season.

But Patterson said he didn’t know if Carter — who led TCU with six catches for 93 yards Saturday — would be available against K-State. It’s up to Carter, Patterson said, and whether his personal family situation, which forced a brief leave of absence from the team, allows him the time to practice this week.

A couple of Carter’s acrobatic receptions against the Cyclones made Patterson certain the junior from Euless Trinity possesses the talent to be a big-time playmaker.

“Brandon has unbelievable potential; everybody knows that,” he said. “I don’t think there’s anybody else in the stadium who makes the play on the first vertical route — very few people who can make that play. I don’t think there’s ever been any question about that at all.”

Secondary update

TCU’s secondary could remain on the young side at K-State.

Cornerback Jason Verrett and safety Elisha Olabode, both seniors, are still nursing injuries, and Patterson wasn’t sure if they’ll be ready Saturday. Both made the trip last week but did not play.

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