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August 31, 2017

Older, Wiser Frogs are Ready to Take on 2017

TCU football head coach Gary Patterson said his team has come a long way since starting camp.

August 31, 2017

Older, Wiser Frogs are Ready to Take on 2017

TCU football head coach Gary Patterson said his team has come a long way since starting camp.

Gary Patterson speaks at a press conference. Photo by Sharon Ellman
TCU football head coach Gary Patterson speaks at a press conference. Photo by Sharon Ellman

In his 17th season as TCU football head coach, Gary Patterson revealed some wisdom he’s gained in his tenure: mature teams win games.

Luckily for TCU fans, more than half the Horned Frog roster consists of juniors and seniors. Three-quarters of the anticipated starting lineup is juniors and seniors.

“We’re older,” Patterson said. “We’ve got a lot of the same guys back.” He said he’s been coaching the same way for the last 20 years at TCU: “Understate, overplay. I don’t see any reason to change that way of doing things.”

At a press conference before the season-opening contest against Jackson State, Patterson emphasized the tough schedule ahead for this year’s team, especially at Amon G. Carter Stadium. TCU’s home schedule includes SMU, West Virginia, Kansas, Texas and Baylor.

“SMU is always a battle. I saw where Chad [Morris, SMU’s head coach] said they’re going to have the best team they’ve had since he’s been there,” Patterson said. “They’ve got a chance to come into our ballgame 2-0. So, for us, you’ve got to be ready to play. I keep telling people, it’s not easy to win. It doesn’t matter who you play anymore. The quality of the level of athletic ability is very close.”

Quarterback Kenny Hill is in his senior season with the Horned Frogs. Photo by Sharon Ellman

Patterson, who is approaching win number 150 as TCU’s head coach, is looking to senior quarterback Kenny Hill to lead a reversal from last year’s 6-7 finish. “[I’m] trying to put a chip on his shoulder,” the coach said. “I think some of the problems he had last year, I think he felt like he had to be perfect. You just need to throw it so they can catch it.”

Hill said he is trying to forget about last year and focus instead on staying even-keeled and consistent.

“We know there’s going to be times in the game where we don’t do everything right,” he said, and week by week, he knows someone will step up. “Just come out, go 100 percent. Leave nothing off the field.”

Hill also indicated that the upperclassmen-laden team would be a strength, including on the offensive line, which is much more experienced than last year’s unit.

“It’s big for [the offensive line] to have that camaraderie – knowing everybody and understanding what they do better and what they don’t do,” he said.

Hill said he is more comfortable with the offense and that he’s driven by the team’s final win-loss record, not gaudy individual numbers.

It’s not easy to win. It doesn’t matter who you play anymore. The quality of the level of athletic ability is very close.
Gary Patterson, TCU football head coach

Patterson said his job is only 20 percent football schematics. He said it’s “mainly how you grow them up” and push them, which includes inspiring his players to take care of themselves by eating, sleeping and studying right.

“I believe if you mature a guy and a group, you have a better chance of winning. That’s been our secret,” Patterson said. “Even if you’re not as athletic, a mature group will fight their tails off and win games and maybe they weren’t supposed to.”


2017 TCU Football Schedule

Sept. 2 vs. Jackson State
Sept. 9 at Arkansas
Sept. 16 vs. SMU
Sept. 23 at Oklahoma State
Oct. 7 vs. West Virginia
Oct. 14 at Kansas State
Oct. 21 vs. Kansas
Oct. 28 at Iowa State
Nov. 4 vs. Texas
Nov. 11 at Oklahoma
Nov. 18 at Texas Tech
Nov. 24 vs. Baylor