TCU's Sunday practices are typically more laid back than others. Players are banged up and moving a little slower after a game the day before.
But TCU coach Gary Patterson promised his team wasn't getting a normal Sunday workout after its 38-17 win against Louisiana-Monroe. Instead, he used the practice as a reminder that regardless of the win, he expects the Frogs' effort to be evident in every aspect of the game, for four quarters. He didn't see that Saturday.
In Saturday's win, Patterson said, the offense faded in the fourth quarter, the defense was slow out of the gate, and the special teams, except for Greg McCoy's 94-yard touchdown return to start the second half, was a "bad effort" all around.
"Right now, I'm judging everything on effort," said Patterson, whose team moved up three spots to No. 20 in both The Associated Press Top 25 and the USA Today coaches' poll. "We can't have guys jogging down on kickoff. Most of them are younger players who have never played at the speed of this game, or guys who haven't played a lot. If they won't motivate themselves, then it's my job to motivate them."
"You can't choose your weeks to decide how you want to practice. Not when you're a younger team because there's so much you have to get better at." TCU coach Gary Patterson on subpar practices leading to a slow start for the Frogs' defense against ULM
Defensive line: The Frogs' front four combined for five sacks, including 1 1/2 from Stansly Maponga and one each from Braylon Broughton, David Johnson and Ray Burns. D.J. Yendrey also had half a sack. The credit for a couple of sacks was revised on Saturday's box score.
Slow starts: TCU has been outgained 443-318 in the first quarter through three games. True, the Frogs have outscored their opponents 44-31 in the first quarter, but against teams such as SMU, San Diego State and Boise State a slow start could spell disaster.
Ed Wesley (shoulder) and Tanner Brock (foot) are still likely not available Saturday. Neither have played the last two weeks.
"If we could play them, we'd play them," Gary Patterson said of their availability. "Until they're ready [they won't]."
Antoine Hicks, who missed some plays Saturday after an injury, will be available, Patterson said. Kenny Cain, who did not play Saturday because of a minor undisclosed injury, could have played if necessary, Patterson said.
21Consecutive wins for TCU at home, the nation's third-longest current streak behind Oklahoma (37) and Boise State (32). The Sooners' last home loss came against TCU in 2005.
325Career points for PK Ross Evans, who broke LaDainian Tomlinson's TCU record of 324 career points (1997-2000) with his 28-yard field goal in the final minute Saturday.
No. 20 TCU vs. Portland State, 1 p.m. Saturday, Amon G. Carter Stadium
Stefan Stevenson, 817-390-7760