Texas Tech is a “completely different” team than the one TCU pinned 82 points on last year, and there is “no comparison” between the Patrick Mahomes who played quarterback for the Red Raiders that day and the one who is playing now, TCU coach Gary Patterson said.
“Our kids see that,” Patterson said Monday during the Big 12 coaches conference call with reporters. “We understand, us watching the film, that Tech’s a better football team than they were a year ago. They’re completely different.”
TCU visits Tech at 3:45 p.m. Saturday.
TCU set a school and Big 12 record for points in a game last season in an 82-27 home victory against the Red Raiders. That Tech team went on to allow 41.3 points per game. This year, in a 3-0 start, the Red Raiders have allowed 29.7 points per game.
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“The kids coming by today, watching film, they understand they’re a really good football team, really played well on offense, keep getting better on defense every week,” Patterson said.
Tech defensive coordinator David Gibbs was on the same staff at Houston when TCU co-offensive coordinator Doug Meacham worked there. Patterson said that adds a wrinkle to preparations.
“They know each other a little bit. You add that match play that’s in place to everything,” Patterson said.
Last season, Mahomes made his debut in the TCU game, going in after Brandon Webb left the game with an injury. He and completed five of 11 passes for 45 yards, was intercepted, and ran for 18 yards.
“He basically had an option package set up for him, and now he’s throwing the ball all over the field and is just doing a great job,” Patterson said. “So there’s not a comparison.”
TCU’s Trevone Boykin and Texas Tech’s Patrick Mahomes each rank in the top 10 in the nation in touchdown passes, passing yards and points responsible for.
Mahomes, a sophomore, ranks sixth in the country in pass yards with 1,029 and seventh in pass yards per game with 343.0. He threw for 243 yards, a touchdown and had two interceptions in a 35-24 win at Arkansas.
Asked if he has to do anything unusual to work around the eight missing starters on defense, Patterson said, “No, just plug the next guy in.”
He offered no update on defensive tackle Davion Pierson or ends Terrell Lathan and Mike Tuaua, the only players among the eight who might come back, because he didn’t want to provide information for Texas Tech.
But Patterson acknowledged the scope of the adjustments.
“You’re working with younger guys, whether they go in the ballgame or not, preparing guys who maybe didn’t think they would be a guy that might have to play,” Patterson said. “You’re getting your whole team ready, which is the way we approach it anyway, but it’s been a little bit more critical making sure we have guys in the right places as far as special teams, and making sure we’re securing depth.”
17 TCU’s rank in third-down conversion defense, allowing a 23.9 percent rate (11 of 46). The Horned Frogs denied 10 of the last 11 attempts by SMU.
Patterson said he wants to avoid talking about injuries, anyway.
“You’ve got to be careful about talking about it too much, where it’s something that’s on our mind,” he said. “You really need to be thinking about Texas Tech, your next opponent, more than you’re thinking about that. There’s not anything you can do about the rest of it.”
Patterson called the work of the offense so far “awesome,” but he remains wary of the hits quarterback Trevone Boykin takes.
“I’d like him to calm down a little bit,” Patterson said, thinking about the flip Boykin made after a hit against SMU.
The Horned Frogs rank fourth in the country in offense with 598.7 yards per game and 10th in scoring with 49.7 points per game. Trevone Boykin is tied for second in the country with 10 touchdown passes, and Josh Doctson is second in receiving yards per game with 108.7.
“Josh Doctson has worked himself back into shape; every week, he’s gotten better,” Patterson said. “Trevone’s the competitor we thought. Aaron Green is working himself back into shape after really not doing much in the spring or two-a-days. Protection’s been good. Playing with a lot more confidence.”
The Big 12 announced an 11 a.m. kickoff for the Horned Frogs’ game against Texas on Oct. 3 at Amon G. Carter Stadium.
It is one of three 11 a.m. kickoffs in the conference that morning. The Kansas-Iowa State and West Virginia-Oklahoma games also kick off at 11. Texas Tech and Baylor meet at 2:30 p.m. at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, and Kansas State and Oklahoma State play at 3.
The Texas-TCU game will be broadcast on WFAA/Ch. 8, ESPN or ESPN 2.
The Frogs had one 11 a.m. kick last season — a 56-0 victory at SMU.
TCU at Texas Tech
3:45 p.m. Saturday, KDFW/Ch. 4