August 13, 2011

TCU offensive line rebounds in scrimmage

The line responds in Saturday's scrimmage after being taken to task.

The TCU offensive line, which took it on the chin from head coach Gary Patterson after Friday's practice, arrived early and motivated for Saturday's scrimmage at Amon G. Carter Stadium.

The scrimmage, which was closed to media, lasted two hours despite some steady morning rain. Patterson was pleased with how the offense looked early in the scrimmage, including the offensive line, which may have received a boost from having Robert Deck back at the left tackle spot. Deck missed Friday's practice for unspecified reasons.

"They actually played a lot better today early, which is what my objective was," Patterson said of the offensive line. "It was good for them to read that this morning. They were all here early this morning and they were all ticked off."

Deck, a senior and Fort Worth Nolan Catholic alumnus, moved from tight end to tackle earlier this summer and has been atop the depth chart above sophomore James Dunbar since August camp began. Patterson said the switch is "something we've been talking about for a while."

Patterson said the offense faded a bit toward the end of the scrimmage while the defense closed strong. Each group, including the first, second and third teams, took about 30 to 40 reps during the 120-play scrimmage, Patterson said, which included an officiating crew.

Patterson said quarterback Casey Pachall "played well." Pachall has looked sharp throughout camp, but Patterson has voiced concern about the backup spot. Redshirt freshman Matt Brown and true freshman Trevone Boykin have divided playing time with the second and third teams. Both have shown good running ability, but their passing has been sporadic.

Aggies soap opera

Gary Patterson said he hasn't paid too much attention to the reports that Texas A&M may leave the Big 12 for the SEC. But what did raise an eyebrow was a Big 12 source telling The New York Times that if A&M left and the league wanted to add more schools, TCU wouldn't be of interest.

"To me, that just goes to show you they don't like great football," Patterson said Saturday "It's just amazing to me. I'll leave it to those guys who think they know all they need to know about football."

Numerous schools, including BYU, Houston, Air Force and Louisville have been rumored as possible Big 12 additions if the Aggies bolt.

TCU, which moves to the Big East in 2012, likely wouldn't be too keen on joining a revamped collection of schools playing in the shadow of Texas. The Horned Frogs have what they want with the Big East -- an automatic qualifying berth to a BCS bowl beginning next season.

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Stefan Stevenson, 817-390-7760

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