TCU’s first Big 12 test: Forget KU’s woes

First-year Kansas University football coach Charlie Weis thinks highly of the job Gary Patterson has done at TCU. Only a dumb guy would think otherwise.

Weis stopped short of saying of Patterson what Bum Phillips once said of his former Texas A&M boss Bear Bryant: “He can take his’n and beat your’n and take your’n and beat his’n.” But he did praise Patterson’s work, pointing out his team has led the nation in defense five times in 13 seasons.

Weis no doubt would take his chances with Patterson’s players this Saturday if that meant the TCU coach had to take Weis’. The Horned Frogs are bigger, faster, more experienced at winning.

Weis did point out that Patterson has the difficult challenge of getting his players to believe that winning will require more than simply taking the field with 11 players on offense, 11 on defense, 11 on special-teams plays.

Ah, but this is the Big 12 debut for TCU, which repeatedly had been shunned by the conference. Rich motivational material, right?

“Let’s be practical,” Weis said. “OK, let’s just sit here and reflect for a second. So we just lost at home to Rice, right? I got that right, right? Blew the game at home, up by two scores.”

Correct on all fronts. Or, as Tim Fitzgerald of said, “Kansas choked on Rice.”

“So the (TCU) coaches are going to come and say, ‘Hey, this team is much better than that.’ And the players are going to watch the tape,” Weis said.

And what they’ll see is Dayne Crist, protected well, holding the ball waiting for a receiver to break free. On those instances one did, he tended to throw over or behind the target. They also will see bad snaps to a field-goal kicker who can’t seem to put it through the uprights.

And from the Week 1 tape, TCU defensive backs will see Crist throwing a pass into the flat that every one of them would have returned for six points, even though South Dakota State didn’t intercept it.

“So no matter how many times those coaches sit there and tell them how good Kansas is, the bottom line is we got by South Dakota State and we just lost to Rice,” Weis said.

When TCU looks at its own tape it will see what Weis saw.

“I just watched them play 49 snaps of defense, played the same front and coverage 46 times, and gave up about two yards (70) in the game,” Weis said. “I saw the quarterbacks throw the ball 17 times and they completed 17 passes. That’s what I’m looking at.”

In previous jobs, during the good seasons, Weis had been the one trying to trigger adrenaline in superior players. He said coaches even went as far as laying mouse traps around the locker room to remind players they were facing a trap game. He can keep those traps in storage this year. Kansas figures to play the underdog role in each of the remaining 10 games.