For one of the few times this fall, TCU coach Gary Patterson was visibly upset Wednesday in front of the media with the way practice went.
The problem was the defense.
“We’ve just got a long way to go. We better not play like that or we’ll give up 40,” he said. The Horned Frogs open the season at 6 p.m. Saturday against Samford at Amon G. Carter Stadium.
It wasn’t the worst practice of the fall, he said. It wasn’t even that bad.
It’s just the Wednesday of the opening week. The demeanor changed.
“It’s been OK,” he said. “We just didn’t practice very well today. It’s just little things. If our standard here was to be the 40th- or 50th-best defense in the nation, it was a great practice. If it was to shut them out, it was a bad practice.”
TCU has boasted the nation’s No. 1 defense five times under Patterson.
“That’s the standard,” Patterson said. “The eyes of the beholder are always different. I’m sure a couple of the freshmen thought they did OK. They probably thought it was pretty dang good. Coach P did not.”
Defensive tackle and Nebraska transfer Aaron Curry practiced for the first time Wednesday, working with the scout team. He will sit out the games this season per NCAA transfer rules.
The Keller Fossil Ridge alumnus played in 17 games with eight starts in two seasons at Nebraska.
“Obviously smart,” Patterson said of Curry, whom TCU recruited out of high school. “A guy that’s played a lot of Big Ten football. Physical. Can run. So we’re excited about it. Good student.”
Samford coach Pat Sullivan will miss the team’s game Saturday against TCU because of a complication from a surgery earlier this year.
Sullivan coached TCU from 1992-97. Sullivan asked TCU a few years ago about playing the game with the idea of a reunion with many of his former players. His 1994 team was co-champions of the Southwest Conference.
Sullivan had throat cancer several years ago and underwent surgery on his neck in April.
Patterson said the absence of freshman wide receivers Emanuel Porter and Corey McBride from the depth chart was a mistake.
The chart only lists the top two levels of the depth chart, and the two freshmen sit at third string.
Patterson said Porter and McBride will get their share of plays in the Frogs’ new offense.
“[Porter] and McBride are going to be right in the mix of everything,” Patterson said.