TCU receiver Deante’ Gray will be back for the Texas game after missing two games with a foot injury, but running back B.J. Catalon could be on the way to missing another game.
“I don’t know yet whether B.J. will be with us or not,” coach Gary Patterson said Tuesday at his weekly media session.
The game with Texas is on Thursday, and Patterson has not indicated that Catalon has even practiced since leaving the West Virginia game Nov. 1 after taking a hit near the chin.
“We had a lot of guys banged up in that game,” Patterson said. “But everybody’s banged up. We’re a lot healthier right now than we were three weeks ago.”
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Patterson said receiver Kolby Listenbee is healthier, also, after playing through a foot injury for the past two games, and that receiver Josh Doctson should be 100 percent for the first time since hurting his ankle against Texas Tech.
Patterson said six of the top eight defensive linemen have been playing at only 80 to 90 percent the past two games.
“By the time we get to a bowl game, we’ll be back at full strength,” Patterson said. “We’ll be the team we were at the middle of the season.”
Patterson said he expects wrinkles from the Texas offense following the bye week for both teams.
“This is a big game for them, also,” Patterson said. “He’s been talking about winning one of those signature games. So I think we’re going to get some things. When you get a few extra days, you start thinking up plays they might run.”
Pattterson said it takes two years to learn a head coach he has not faced before. But Patterson said he has spent more time looking at Texas film than Louisville film. Texas coach Charlie Strong led Louisville from 2010-13.
“You got to watch their personnel,” he said. “And they’ve switched people. They have people in different positions than they did when they played Baylor. You’ve got to look back through the season and see how they kind of moved forward. They moved a couple safeties around. They moved a couple wide receivers around. They moved some offensive linemen around.
“Some of it’s been because of injury. But you kind of watch their subtleties. You can’t watch one time. You’ve got to kind of watch it three times, four times, then you say, ‘Ah, this is why they did this.’
It will probably take a good game from quarterback Trevone Boykin for the Horned Frogs to win on Thursday, but they have won twice this year without him at his best, Patterson said.
“Obviously, Trevone has to have a good ballgame for us to win this game, just because of the nature of the offense now,” Patterson said. “We used to say manage it, but now the quarterback has to play well. He doesn’t always have to play well — West Virginia and Kansas, he did not necessarily play his best game, but we still found ways to win.”
Safety Sam Carter said the 30-7 loss after last year’s 3 1/2-hour rain delay comes to mind occasionally, but he tries to leave it in the past.
“They had to wait four hours, too,” he said. “And they came out ready to play. I think we were sleeping when they came out.”
He also remembers the win at Texas two years ago, when his interception sealed it, but he also tries to leave that in the past.
“I don’t think you can take your confidence from two years ago and compare it now,” he said. “These guys are a totally different team. At the beginning of the year, they were struggling. Our confidence and their confidence is equal. It’s about who comes out and executes.”
Carter said the off day on Saturday helped everyone.
“It came at a great time,” he said. “A lot of guys were banged up. I really did need a break. I know if I needed a break, the freshmen needed a break, too.”
Center Joey Hunt said, “It was nice to have it off. We got Tuesday and Friday off last week, so we had time to get in the cold tub, get massages, stretch and everything. That was real nice.”
Patterson said the team did full-speed middle drills two days last week, but tried to be careful.
“Three or four plays, not anything crazy,” he said. “Just to get back into it.”