TCU has lost linebacker Sammy Douglas for the season, and defensive end James McFarland might also be lost, coach Gary Patterson said Tuesday during his weekly news conference.
Douglas, a junior from Arlington, started last week’s game alongside freshman Mike Freeze. But he went out after the second series and did not return.
McFarland, a senior who led the Horned Frogs in sacks last season, did not dress for the game at Minnesota. He is coming off rehab from a foot injury last season that kept him out part of spring training.
Patterson declined to disclose the nature of their injuries. Douglas is expected to redshirt and have two seasons of eligibility remaining.
With McFarland, Patterson said, “We’ve still got a couple more weeks to work on it. It is what it is. Next guy’s got to step up.”
8 Three-and-outs forced by TCU last week against Minnesota. That fits with the Frogs’ nation’s-best average of 7.8 per game last season.
For the Horned Frogs’ defense, it means the injury list grows. Defensive tackle Davion Pierson also missed last week’s game, not even making the trip. The nature of his injury also has not been disclosed, although Patterson said Pierson, the most experienced starter on the defense, “tweaked” something in fall practice that had been a problem in the spring.
Patterson said Pierson is “probably doubtful again” for this week.
To boost the linebacker corps, the Horned Frogs are moving Travin Howard in from safety and will try to make more use of another converted safety, freshman Montrel Wilson.
“We really need to get Montrel Wilson more involved,” Patterson said. “He played really well. He’s one of the guys that played that was a backup that ended up playing on three different, maybe four different special teams and did really really well in all four of them.”
On offense, Patterson suggested receiver Deante’ Gray is not confident enough yet to play on his surgically repaired knee and that receiver Josh Doctson still is working himself back into shape after practicing only one week during August.
Kindred playing hurt
Patterson said safety Derrick Kindred is playing with an injury that would keep other players out, although he didn’t say what the injury was.
“Most people that would have what he has, they wouldn’t play,” Patterson said. “He’ll probably play the whole season hurt.”
Kindred, the lone returning starter at safety, led the team in tackles against Minnesota with nine and forced a fumble.
“He’s acting like it’s very important to him,” Patterson said. “He’s like Trevone [Boykin]. He’s acting like it’s very important to him to go out and have a senior season like he wants to have and play at the level that he’s used to playing.”
Last week was the 98th time the Horned Frogs allowed no more than 17 points under Gary Patterson as head coach. Their record in those games is 95-3.
Patterson said Stephen F. Austin reminds him of a good Southeastern Louisiana team that the Horned Frogs played in 2013.
“That team we played that went all the way to the semifinals was probably as good a bunch of people as we’ve played,” Patterson said. “Had a lot of Division I bounce-backs, and I would probably say that Stephen F. Austin is kind of in that category. Very good quarterback, very good skill level.”
Patterson does not want his team caught flat-footed against the Lumberjacks (0-1) of the Southland Conference. In the only previous meeting, TCU won 67-7 in 2008.
“Defensively, haven’t watched them as much, but they run around with Texas speed,” Patterson said. “We’ve got to make sure we come to play.”
A day after acknowledging that quarterback Trevone Boykin didn’t “live up to his high expectations,” Patterson said the Horned Frogs wouldn’t have won last week without his competitiveness.
Bottom line is, Trevone Boykin, he’s a great athlete, and he’s a competitor. ... without him, we don’t win the Minnesota game.
TCU coach Gary Patterson
“There are some really good players that I watched play this weekend, but I don’t think there’s any of them that compete any harder than he does,” Patterson said. “He took some shots. I mean, without him, we don’t win the Minnesota game.”
Boykin moved into second place on the all-time passing list at TCU last week. He has 7,399 yards, ahead of Max Knacke’s 7,370 yards. Andy Dalton has 10,314.
“Bottom line is, Trevone Boykin, he’s a great athlete, and he’s a competitor,” Patterson said. “Simple as that. We all want to be real critical of him, but the bottom line to it is that we ask him do a lot of things. I think if anything, if he was guilty of anything, he tried to do too much. You just need to let the offense take care of itself. But I thought he did a great job.”