The new “Air Raid” style of offense has already helped TCU on the field, and now it’s helping in recruiting.
“You just find out there’s a whole new element at TCU,” coach Gary Patterson said after practice Wednesday.
Many high schools currently run no-huddle styles, and Patterson switched to a similar style in part to keep things familiar for recruits.
“I thought we were losing too many recruits out of the Metroplex,” he said. “This offense is considered fun, throw-it-all-over. Why would you have to leave the Metroplex to go to Baylor, A&M, Texas Tech — all the people that do what we do — when you can go 20 minutes away?”
Patterson also credited a loud student section that showed up in large numbers Saturday for the Oklahoma game for making a good impression on recruits in attendance.
“There were guys taking pictures with the crowd,” Patterson said. “I thought our students did an unbelievable job with our recruits. They did a great job knowing who they were.
“Like I said after the game, this town, this university, our students — the level of intensity it takes to win in this league if you want to have a home-field advantage, it takes everybody. It was loud. Especially over there by the student section. It was loud.”
Patterson didn’t mind low-key emotion in the first practice of the week following the high of the Oklahoma victory. He wants the team to slowly build up intensity for the Baylor game.
“You got a chance to play two of these back-to-back, you got to leave something in the tank,” he said. “It’s a long way to Saturday. They had nothing in them Sunday. It’s been gradually getting better by the day.”
Kevin White had three pass breakups and six tackles, and Ranthony Texada had a sack and five tackles against Oklahoma.
Patterson said the cornerbacks got better as the game went on.
“They started slow,” he said. “I thought, in general, the corners would have been the question. I think the corners have actually played pretty well so far. Knock on wood. I think it was the safeties that need to get going a little bit.”
Message for Kindred
Derrick Kindred gave up two long passes in the first quarter and got beat on a play at the goal line against Oklahoma, but Patterson said his message to the junior safety was to get past it immediately.
“That’s what I told him on the sideline — get that look off your face,” Patterson said. “If you want to play safety here or on the next level, you’ve got to have ice. You’ve got to go on.”
Patterson said the safeties miscommunicated on one of the long plays made by wide receiver Sterling Shepard. The Sooners surprised TCU by using Shepard in the slot to start the game, Patterson said.
Patterson said it will help to huddle up for PATs following momentum-swinging plays like Paul Dawson’s interception return for a touchdown against Oklahoma.
The extra-point kick was blocked and returned for two points by the Sooners, leaving TCU with only a four-point lead instead of seven.
“There just needs to be more of a sense of urgency about it,” Patterson said. “We probably need to huddle when you have a change like that, when you have an interception for a touchdown. Get over and say, ‘Look, it’s important. Protect.’
“And give Oklahoma credit. A lot of times, when that happens, defenses come back on and they go, ‘Eh.’ But they didn’t. It was a three-point swing. Could have made the difference in the ballgame.”