By Will Martin
Amon Carter will be a rocking place this Saturday about 3pm when the Gophers of Minnesota take the field with a 2-0 record against TCU.
It will be family affair of sorts when Gary Patterson and Jerry Kill meet up. It will be the second ever meeting between both clubs with a third slated for next year in Minneapolis.
Coach Patterson took time to talk to the media inside the Four Sevens Conference. The following is what was on the mind of the TCU Coach.
“The off week was good for us. It really gave our kids a chance to catch up.
“Sunday was one of our better practices, spring and fall, on both sides of the ball. We’re getting ready for Minnesota. We’re glad to have a chance to play another football game. It’s hard to watch others play football. In some ways, it was a little bit of a relief to get a chance to catch our thoughts and do some different things. We had a chance to evaluate our football team.
“We have some guys back with Aviante Collins being one of them. He gives us more depth on the offensive line. We moved Matt Pryor inside to guard so we get a 350-pound guy in there to do some things and provide more depth as well.”
Can you discuss your relationship with Jerry Kill?
“We never worked together. He was leaving Pittsburg State, where he was the linebackers coach, to become the head coach at Webb City (Mo.) High School. I then took his place as the linebackers coach at Pittsburg State. Through the years, we got to know each other doing some different things. He’s been on both sides of the ball as a defensive coach and offensive coach.”
How does the new up-tempo offense help the defense?
“I don’t know yet, but we’re going to find out what the pluses and minuses are. It hurt us that we don’t get in as much tight end and option play. We’ve had to work hard at it. It was good to have a week off.”
Your thoughts on Minnesota?
“They’re a lot like Air Force, not so much in schematics on both sides of the ball but they want to lull you to sleep when you play them, and that’s how they beat you. You have to get ready to play them. They’re physical on both sides of the ball, especially the offensive and defensive lines. They have a couple very good tight ends. They move around a lot and know the system. Their wide receivers are big and physical. The tailback is as good as anybody we’ll play in the Big 12, so you have to get ready to tackle them.”
“Defensively, they can match you. Their front is tall, so you have to be able to get their hands down and do things to create lanes. They’re probably one of the teams that know as much about us as we do.”
Your thoughts on Trevone Boykin adjusting to the new offense?
“I think it simplified it. I think he’s also more mature. He’s now just going to be a redshirt junior. He got thrown into the fire as a redshirt freshman. He was a tailback and then all of a sudden on Thursday of game week he was the quarterback. Last year, a guy breaks his arm and he moves from wide receiver to quarterback.
“This is the first time he’s had a chance to just play quarterback. (TCU co-offensive coordinators) Sonny (Cumbie) and Doug (Meacham) have done great with him. I also think Matt Joeckel being infused into this situation has helped. They have a great relationship, watch film together and hang out together. That’s what good programs do.”
How did TCU use the off week to prepare?
“We made ourselves better with the off week, corrected some mistakes and moved some people around on both sides of the ball.
“If you want to win a championship, you need to have some depth. There were some things that happened on both sides of the ball that our backups have to be better about if we’re going to be successful. We really pinpointed that in practice and tried to make it known. I don’t know how it made us better. We didn’t handle it well with our twos offensively. We found out we still can’t move the ball well on 3rd-and-long, but not many offenses are good in 3rd-and-15.”
3pm Saturday Minnesota and TCU get after it. If you’re going get there early.