TCU’s offense sputters in final spring practice

Posted Saturday, Apr. 05, 2014  comments  Print Reprints
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In the final practice of spring, TCU’s offense left much to be desired.

No offensive touchdowns were scored and, among three quarterbacks taking reps in the Horned Frogs’ version of a spring game, the ball found its way into the defense’s hands several times.

TCU coach Gary Patterson said he wasn’t happy with the quarterbacking corps Saturday and would give them a B-plus grade at best, if not a C-minus.

“In this offense, it all goes on the quarterback’s shoulders,” Patterson said. “You have to make the right plans and make the right reads and make the right throws.”

Junior quarterback Trevone Boykin took reps with the first-team offense, while sophomore Tyler Matthews and redshirt freshman Zach Allen split time in the second-team reps.

With the arrival of new offensive coordinators Doug Meacham and Sonny Cumbie, Patterson said the focus in offensive drills has been the passing game. All but one of TCU’s scholarship running backs suffered injuries in spring practice, which kept the development of the running game to a minimum.

“I didn’t feel real good about today as far as offensively,” Patterson said. “I think they would have liked to have a lot more success, but we’ve got to get some bodies back. We were pretty physical all spring and that’s why we’re depleted.”

Redshirt freshman running back Trevorris Johnson was the only scholarship tailback to see action in Saturday’s scrimmage, but his play was also kept to a minimum.

Patterson elected to have a final spring scrimmage this year after a several-year hiatus so he could see his team in action in front of a crowd. With music blaring in Amon G. Carter Stadium, coaches and players were forced to communicate through hand signals as they will in games this fall.

To Patterson’s surprise, his players came out tentative, in his opinion, in a more emotional environment than the rest of spring practice had offered.

“I thought we did a little more thinking today, and I don’t know why we did that with people in the stands, but I thought it was a little bit tentative,” he said. “You’ve got to go play, and play with a swagger. That’s one of the reasons I changed this offense — for the offense to have the same swagger as we have on defense.”

Missing from TCU’s offensive equation were two incoming freshman quarterbacks, Foster Sawyer and Grayson Muehlstein, either of whom could be the man under center when TCU opens the season Aug. 30 against Samford.

“We feel really good about them,” Patterson said of the incoming 2014 class.

Boykin, Catalon on punt return

While special teams play was limited, the Horned Frogs ran through a few punt plays, contact and noncontact.

Boykin took a few contact returns, which adds another question mark to whether he will be the Frogs’ starting quarterback in the fall.

Junior running back B.J. Catalon, although sidelined for the scrimmage with a pulled hamstring, fielded a few punts without contact.

“You’ve got to get your best players on the field,” Patterson said.

Quotable

“We didn’t want to go as fast because a lot of people were watching us and they didn’t want to call a lot of things today. We know how it is. People come. That’s why I didn’t want to announce it last week. I wanted to announce it about Tuesday so people didn’t have a plan to go do that.”

Gary Patterson on the offensive play-calling and pace during Saturday’s spring scrimmage.

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