Tag:Casey Pachall
Posted on: April 7, 2011 10:00 pm
 

TCU wraps up spring practice

Posted by Bryan Fischer

FORT WORTH, Texas - Amid the construction at Amon G. Carter Stadium, TCU wrapped up their own reconstruction project Thursday afternoon, finishing spring practices in an up-tempo two hour session at the Horned Frogs' home field.

"We got better," head coach Gary Patterson said. "Now we'll see how much better is."

TCU lost 14 starters from their Rose Bowl-winning 2010 team. Linebacker Tank Carder, expected to be the heart of the defense next year, was limited most of the spring while recovering from surgery but wore a red jersey normally reserved for quarterbacks and practiced in non-contact situations. Despite Carder's absense, the biggest issue of the spring might have been to find a replacement for All-American safety Tejay Johnson and figure out the rest of the secondary. In addition to senior Johnny Fobbs, sophomore Trenton Thomas and redshirt freshman Sam Carter both looked ready to handle the added responsibilities.

"I don't know if we're good enough to win but we got a lot better at the safety position," Patterson said. "I thought the young safeties, there was a sophomore and the rest of them were freshmen, did a great job. Running the defense, all the things we do, they did a great job. We have to keep getting better at corner and the linebackers, we should be good there with everyone coming back."

Sophomore defensive end Stansly Maponga looked good during team drills for the Horned Frogs and junior Jeremy Coleman looked quick inside at tackle. The defensive line might actually be the strength of the team if they can figure out a few things before taking on Baylor in the opener.

"With the defensive line, we have to keep getting stronger and better inside at the tackle position," Patterson said. "With the first front, we have a chance to be better than we were a year ago."

Sophomore starting quarterback Casey Pachall looked sharp and clearly had a better grasp of the offense than backup Matt Brown. Pachall threw several very nice passes and didn't mind tucking it and running with it when the pocket started to collapse. With just two quarterbacks on the roster at the moment, Patterson pointed to the offensive line as the only thing stopping TCU from continuing their run atop the Mountain West in their final season in the conference.

"On offense, I think the whole thing comes down to the offensive line progressing and being what we need it to be," he said. "We've got our motto of do it now. Everybody thinks we need a year to grow up but our goal is to come back and win a lot of ball games and do it now."

TCU's 2011 schedule was released earlier in the day and features the team playing three times on CBS Sports Network in their final season before moving on to the Big East in 2012.

Posted on: March 7, 2011 12:26 pm
 

Spring Practice Primer: TCU

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

College Football has no offseason. Every coach knows that the preparation for September begins now, in Spring Practice . So we here at the Eye on College Football  will get you ready as teams open spring ball with our Spring Practice Primers . Today, we look at TCU , who began practice over the weekend.

Spring Practice Question: Do the Horned Frogs have the offensive firepower to slam the door in the Mountain West's face on their way out?

Remember how when NBA legends like Julius Erving would announce their retirement, their final season would be a long series of tearful goodbyes as the legend-in-question would be showered at each road venue with gifts and well-wishes? And you know how this is TCU's final season in the Mountain West, the conference it's won three times and helped shape into a national power on the cusp of an automatic BCS bid? Yeah, that season is going to be the complete opposite of that NBA thing.

Because the Mountain West has done all it can to skip the bouquets and send the Horned Frogs off to the Big East with a giant kick in the pants. Not only did the league unilaterally force TCU to forgo their biggest home game of the year in exchange for a brutal road game at Boise State, they ignored the Frogs' choice for a bye week in favor of giving them weeks off before New Mexico and UNLV ... two miserable teams the Frogs could have swept in a doubleheader the week after going to Boise if they had to. It's safe to say there's nothing the MWC wants more than to see TCU flail their way out of a league that spent the year proving it didn't need them; it's equally safe to say there's nothing Gary Patterson would like more than to say good-bye with the raised middle finger of a third straight conference championship.

But entering spring practice, the odds look much longer than they did in either 2009 or 2010. While part of that is the enhanced schedule -- even the Frogs' undefeated showdowns with Utah the past two seasons won't present nearly the challenge of taking on the Broncos on the blue turf -- the much larger part is facing down that schedule with so much lost on offense. Eight starters are gone from the unit that helped bring home a Rose Bowl title, a group headlined by four-year quarterback starter and career 10,000-yard passer Andy Dalton.

But the losses go much deeper than that. The Frogs' second-, third- and fourth-leading receivers are all departed, including top go-to possession wideout Jeremy Kerley and the reliable Jimmy Young. Bookend 6'6" tackles Marcus Cannon and Zach Roth have both graduated. In the interior of the line, the Frogs must replace 300-pound guard Josh Vernon and 308-pound All-American center Jake Kirkpatrick, only the 2010 Rimington Trophy winner.

The good news for TCU is that particularly at the skill positions, they seem positioned to weather the storm. Quarterbacking heir-to-the-throne Casey Pachall was one of Patterson's most highly-regarded recruits, has drawn rave reviews in practice, and should be more than ready as a redshirt sophomore. The tailback tag-team of juniors Ed Wesley and Matthew Tucker -- who combined for 1,787 yards and 18 rushing touchdowns in 2010 -- returns intact. Top receiver Josh Boyce is back after a breakout redshirt freshman season that saw him average an eye-popping 19 yards per reception.

But there's only so much all that skill-position talent can do if the four new starters up front aren't up to the task. Spring camp should give Patterson and the TCU fans an excellent chance to gauge their progress across from one of the perennially best-coached defensive fronts in the country (not to mention Tank Carder). If the line shows potential, Pachall lives up to the hype, and some member of the Frog receiving corps steps up to provide some measure of balance across from Boyce, it won't be too early to start dreaming about yet another BCS season.

But if not? Boise's going to start licking their chops (to say nothing of teams like BYU, San Diego State, Baylor, etc.), and the MWC bigwigs can start their dreaming about having the last laugh.


Posted on: February 7, 2011 2:47 pm
Edited on: February 7, 2011 2:51 pm
 

What TCU fans can expect from the post-Dalton era

Posted by Chip Patterson

Gary Patterson
has the TCU football program moving forward with some serious momentum.  The Horned Frogs are fresh off a 14-0 season that ended in a thrilling 21-19 Rose Bowl victory over Wisconsin, they are one season away from joining the Big East and becoming eligible for an automatic spot to the Bowl Championship Series, and to top it all off they just broke ground on a $130 million fundraising effort for a new stadium and facilities.

Things are looking good for the future of TCU football, but enough talk about the forest - let's look at some trees.  For the last two years, TCU's offense has been led by quarterback Andy Dalton.  The two-time MWC Offensive Player of the Year leaves the Horned Frogs as the school's winningest quarterback with 42 wins as a starter.  So what does future look like at the quarterback position?

According to Stefan Stevenson, of the Fort-Worth Star-Telegram, the future will likely look very different on the surface.

Stevenson recently profiled Casey Pachall, the backup freshman quarterback who appears to be next-in-line for the starting job.  Pachall looks very different than Dalton is several ways.  The 6-foot-4 208 pound signal caller stands much taller than Dalton, and Horned Frogs fans will have to forget Dalton's clean-cut look and get used to Pachall's tattoo-heavy torso.  

But on the field, Pachall will be able to provide many of the same talents that made Dalton so effective in his four-year career.  Pachall has been given limited playing time, but has already shown in practice a speed and elusiveness that will make him a dangerous threat on the ground in 2011.  Dalton's ability to scramble for first down's killed defenses this past season, and some believe that Pachall could be even better.  

Pachall has reportedly improved his arm strength and accuracy, but will need to show it in action from day one.  The expectations in Fort-Worth will not be lowered because of the Rose Bowl victory, if anything fans are more title-hungry than ever.  In order to have a shot at that goal, the Horned Frogs cannot make mistakes.  Regardless of how his numbers stack up to Dalton, Pachall should only be focused on the category that matters most: wins.

Related: Dennis Dodd takes a look at TCU's progress, and the effects of "The Rose Bowl Bounce"
 
 
 
 
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