Patterson Leads a Seasoned Team with Depth
August 30, 2019
There’s a buzz around campus on this Friday that’s unmistakable. Opening weekend in college football carries its own flavor, its own feeling. Fans are ready. The players are very ready and, after a month in fall camp, it’s frankly a relief for all “inside the room” at TCU to get it going.
Now comes the steady stream of opponents every seven days or so. The season waits for no one. Once you’re on the Big 12 rollercoaster, you’re on for the long haul. Win or not, injured or not, you have to be ready to go each week. That goes for the fans as well as the players. Make sure to keep your arms and legs inside the car at all times. And Frog fans, make sure you show up — no matter who the team on the other side is.
TCU Football Head Coach Gary Patterson named K-State transfer Alex Delton the starter quarterback for Saturday’s game and quickly mentioned that freshman Max Duggan will see the field early in the game against UAPB. This combo gives the Frogs a tandem of experience and extreme potential at the QB spot. Delton, the elder statesmen with years of tutelage under coaching legend Bill Snyder, who performed CPR on the KSU Football program not once, but twice. The way Snyder did it was by asking his QBs to: 1. Take care of the football, 2. Sustain clock-eating drives and 3. Don’t try to do too much in the way of play-making. A similar recipe will work for Patterson, however Delton’s assortment of offensive weapons is a little more extensive that his toolbox at KSU. Duggan has a command of the offense and his arm will make him fun to watch, especially when he throws the ball deep.
TCU defense is positioned to make opponents miserable this year.
Ross Blacklock is back and depth along the defensive line is there. The play of defensive ends Ochaun Mathis and South Carolina transfer Shamiek Blackshear (who replace Ben Banogu and L.J. Collier) will be key. The good news is they look like the next big thing in a long line of stellar DE’s at TCU.
The kicking game needs settling. Jonathan Song needs to have a great senior year or else freshman Griffin Kell will hear his name announced a lot in stadiums around the Big 12. Punter Jordy Sandy had a big-league leg and might be the Frogs’ biggest defensive weapon.
Arkansas Pine Bluff is looking to take another step in 2019 in rebuilding its football program. The SWAC Champs in 2012, UAPB struggled in recent years. Last year, the team brought in Golden Lions alumnus Cedric Thomas to turn the Titanic. UAPB went 2-9 last year and ranked third in total offense at 423.5 yards and 25 pointes per game. The team features a solid running back in first team All-SWAC selection Taeyler Porter, who ran for 1,220 yards and had seven 100-yard rushing performances. He’s paired with Missouri transfer, wide receiver Harry Ballard, who’s a large wideout at 6-3 and 205 pounds. For the quarterback position, the battle is on between last year’s starter Shannon Patrick, who was injured mid season and sophomore Skyler Perry who, as a freshman, replaced Patrick for the last eight games and threw for 1,748 yards and eight touchdowns. You’ll likely see both.
Defensively, the Golden Lions run the 4-2-5 scheme similar to the Frogs. They move well to the ball, but I’ll be watching to see how they handle the Frogs’ fleet of wide receivers. The pressure is definitely on the UAPB secondary.
It’s a 7 p.m. kickoff, but get there early. You’ll want to take it all in. It’s time. Happy New Year!
We’re on the air at 6 p.m. CT on the TCU Sports Network.