TCU coach Gary Patterson stressed that he is looking for improvement “across the board” from his defense in Saturday’s game against Arkansas after the Horned Frogs surrendered 41 points and 461 yards in their opener to South Dakota State, an FCS school.
That includes the game plan and the playing rotation laid out by coaches, starting with himself. Patterson indicated he plans to use a deeper rotation at linebacker against Arkansas (6 p.m., ESPN) than he did against SDSU because Travin Howard wore down during the contest after missing much of fall drills because of an appendectomy, per individuals close to the program.
Howard led the team with 10 tackles against SDSU.
“I probably put Travin Howard in a bad situation because he hadn’t practiced very much and probably played him too much,” Patterson said in Tuesday’s news conference. “Ty Summers and Sammy Douglas both needed to come in and play some more. (Strong safety) Denzel Johnson had been out for a couple of weeks (in camp). Both him and Travin did not play up to the level they had played before.”
Patterson said cornerback Ranthony Texada, in his return from last year’s season-ending knee injury, “didn’t play very well, either.”
Patterson stressed that he got the defense’s attention during Sunday’s film study and practice session.
“I would tell you if they weren’t listening to me before, they are listening to me now,” Patterson said. “I expect them to play better than what we did the first game. I wasn’t really happy with anything defensively, to be honest.”