TCU’s offensive problems in 2013 have been the target of ridicule and scorn for much of the season. That theme didn’t change much even after Casey Pachall’s statistically impressive game in Saturday’s 30-27 overtime loss to West Virginia.
For a 30-minute stretch in the middle, TCU’s offense went dark, punting five consecutive times before changing it up with three consecutive turnovers.
The issues, which have been alleviated some by Pachall’s return, are too deeply rooted for any type of quick fix during the season to be an option, coach Gary Patterson said before comparing the offensive problems to a boil.
“You can go ahead and lance it, but if you don’t have anything to put on it, that’s how it gets infected,” Patterson said Sunday.
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Changing the offensive scheme and style in the middle of the season would cause more problems than it would fix, Patterson said.
Patterson declined to say whether coaching changes are on the table when the season is over, saying “I’m not speaking about that kind of stuff yet.”
But if there are changes to his staff, Patterson said, moves will be made quickly after the final regular-season game against Baylor on Nov. 30. The Horned Frogs (3-6, 1-5 Big 12) are trying to stop a three-game losing streak, their longest since 1998. TCU visits last-place Iowa State (1-7, 0-5) at 11 a.m. Saturday in Ames, Iowa.
“I’m probably going to make my decisions on whatever my decisions are a lot quicker than what I normally would just because of recruiting and everything else that goes along with everything out there,” he said.
Patterson said TCU isn’t in the same situation as other schools that have made coaching changes in the middle of the season. Texas fired its defensive coordinator in September but had a ready-made replacement in paid adviser Greg Robinson, who took over for Manny Diaz.
“You’re not going to just be able to wholesale change and do things if there needs to be a change on offense,” he said. “Mack Brown was in a very easy situation. He had the financial means where there was somebody already on his staff, already learning the defense, already watching it and helping breaking it down. It’s not an easy decision, but you have medicine.”
For these last three games, Pachall may be the closest thing TCU has to an antidote for the boil that has been the Frogs’ offense.
Rising: Quarterback Casey Pachall threw two interceptions, but it’s hard to quibble with his performance against West Virginia. Despite being hammered to the ground multiple times, including three sacks, he stayed steady in the pocket and completed 40 of 58 passes for 394 yards and three touchdowns.
Falling: The defense hasn’t deserved much blame in 2013, but against the Mountaineers, the unit allowed too many big plays, which often nullified the good. WVU had 21 offensive plays of 9 or more yards, including a three-play scoring drive in the second quarter in which it marched down the field with runs of 29 and 31 yards and a 27-yard pass.
3Consecutive losses for TCU, which hadn’t lost three straight in the same season since losing four in a row in 1998, Gary Patterson’s first year as TCU’s defensive coordinator. Since then, the only other three-game losing streak occurred when the Frogs lost their opener to LSU after losing their last two games of 2012.
“Yeah. Obviously, you’re going to try to do it to get bowl eligible. The odds are not in our favor, we understand that. It’s not just about this season, it’s about next season and it’s about how you go into the off-season; you find out about a lot of different things.” — TCU coach Gary Patterson on his team playing for pride the final three games, including Saturday at Iowa State