Patterson: Lumberjacks not to be underestimated

Last weekend, several heavily-favored college football programs were upset by competition perceived as inferior. With Division 1-AA Stephen F. Austin visiting Amon G. Carter Stadium for the Frogs’ home opener, head coach Gary Patterson said there will be no overlooking the Lumberjacks.

“They’re not going to quit attacking,” Patterson said of the Lumberjacks. “They will come after you for 60 minutes.”

While Stephen F. Austin may play less accomplished teams, the squad’s ability to fill up the scoreboard has Patterson’s, and the team’s, full attention.

Saturday, the Lumberjacks tallied 56 points in the team’s win over Langston. Sophomore quarterback Jeremy Moses threw for six touchdowns and rushed for one as the offense accumulated 304 yards.

“They run a spread-it-out kind of Texas Tech offense,” Patterson said. “They have division I transfers and we have division I players. So we will find out what kind of team we have.”

While the Lumberjacks were taking care of Langston, TCU beat conference opponent New Mexico 26-3 on Saturday.

The Frog defense limited the Lobos to 186 yards of offense and junior defensive end Jerry Hughes had a career day in just his second start at the position. Hughes tallied six tackles, 1.5 for a loss, a sack, a forced fumble and recovery and an interception. His play earned him Mountain West Conference Player of the Week.

“He hit every category on defense except for a PBU (pass break-up),” Patterson said. “We needed somebody like Jerry to step up and he did.”

Frogs sophomore quarterback Andy Dalton led the offense with his legs as he rushed for 56 yards and two touchdowns.

Sophomore wide receiver Bart Johnson, who caught two passes from Dalton for 22 yards, said he is excited for the home opener against SFA and knows it will be a challenge.

“Coming back and seeing all of the purple really makes us want to put on a show for all the fans,” Johnson said. “On any given Saturday any team can win, so the coaches have us fired up and ready to play.”

While the Frogs look for more consistency out of the offense, it is the defense that has set the tone for this season thus far and in seasons past, especially at Amon G. Carter Stadium.

Since 2005, the Frogs have held their opponent without a touchdown in seven out of their last 14 home games. TCU has won six straight home openers under Patterson while yielding 13 points or less in four of those games.

Junior cornerback Rafael Priest said it is up to the defense to set the tone for the game.

“You go out with the mindset that you don’t want the other team to score,” Priest said. “We go out and try to play fast, relentless. We try to go out and get takeaways and not wait for the offense to give up the ball. We want to go take it.”