Coach Gary Patterson sensed a vibe during practice this week that isn’t a good look for a team with most of its season still in front of them.
“Feeling sorry for themselves,” Patterson said after Wednesday’s practice. “If we don’t grow up, we’re not going to win any more ball games.”
The mood in the wake of the Horned Frogs’ 20-10 loss at Texas Tech was discouraging to Patterson for several reasons. For one, the season has barely begun. For another, the officiating in the loss gives none of his players a reason to mope, Patterson inferred. Big 12 officials acknowledged 12 dubious calls in the game, Patterson said.
“There will be some people that will be analyzed,” he added.
But Patterson isn’t blaming the officiating for the loss. His finger is pointed directly at the offensive play calling and poor tackling on a couple big plays for Texas Tech. He ratcheted up the August-like intensity during TCU’s bye week in hopes of knocking some of the angst from his team’s psyche.
“You’re not in charge of the officials,” he said. “A couple breaks and you could have won the ball game. Bottom line is you’ve got to grow up. When things get tough, the tough get going. So I haven’t been a lot of fun to be around. If they can’t handle me, they’re going to have a hard time handling 90,000 in Oklahoma.”
Patterson wants to see the offense run the ball more. He said co-offensive coordinator Jarrett Anderson will move up to the coaches’ booth instead of staying on the sidelines.
“That’s where he was a year ago,” Patterson said. “We felt like we did a better job. I feel like we didn’t have enough eyes.”
He didn’t like the play selection when TCU went for it near midfield on 4th-and-1 trailing 10-0 in the third quarter. Aaron Green took a hand off out of the inverted wishbone and was stopped for no gain.
“When you look back at it, why wouldn’t you go line up with two tight ends and go right at somebody? That’s what we do every day in practice.”
The bottom line, Patterson says, TCU (1-2) has no easy games left on the schedule beginning with SMU at 11 a.m. Sept. 28. Hanging their heads after the loss in Lubbock is not going to help.
“I about had a heart attack trying to drive them [Tuesday],” he said. “[Wednesday] I told them I’m not making my wife a widow. They’ve got to want it as much as I do. It’s simple.”
That starts with shaking the dejected attitude.
“That’s my whole thing with them. Either we put our backs against the wall and quit feeling sorry for yourselves because you got beat because you’re used to winning or it’s going to be a long season,” he said. “You’ve got to learn how to fight. I know we have the elements of that because I watched this team do it a year ago.”
Injury sidelines Gilbert
Tight end Griffin Gilbert will miss the rest of the season after having surgery to repair a disk in his back that was injured against Southeastern Louisiana. Gilbert caught one pass in two games this season.
Fields, Carter miss practice
Defensive end Devonte Fields and receiver Brandon Carter did not practice Wednesday because they were in study hall, Patterson said. Patterson mentioned that a few players were falling behind in class earlier in the interview but did not mention any names.
When asked whether Fields, who injured his foot late against Texas Tech, practiced Wednesday, Patterson said Fields and Carter both missed practice because they were in study hall. Patterson declined to update Fields’ injury.
Dunbar to tackle
Offensive lineman James Dunbar will move to tackle from guard as his primary position, Patterson said. Dunbar has played well at both spots this season. The move means Jamelle Naff, John Wooldridge and Brady Foltz will fill the void at left guard.
“It’s too much for him to rotate back and forth,” Patterson said. “Some other guys need to step up at guard.”
Tickets are available for TCU’s game against SMU at 11 a.m. Sept. 28. SMU sent back a block of tickets it didn’t sell so they’re now available at www.gofrogs.com or at the TCU ticket office.
“The guy that goes into the business and he gets everybody mad at him so they all bond together. That’s one of my expert things I’m good at.” — TCU coach Gary Patterson on how he tries to rally his team.