Patterson: Younger team presents new set of challenges

After a victory at the University of Virginia, Head Coach Gary Patterson held his second press luncheon Tuesday.

Patterson talked about the young team this year, as well as the successes and mistakes made on the road at Virginia.

At Virginia, Patterson said he played between 12 and 15 redshirt and true freshmen. Having a younger team presents a different set of challenges, Patterson said.

Patterson said that this week should present a new challenge for younger players because they have less time to prepare for games.

“Instead of having three weeks to prepare for a game, they are going to get three days,” Patterson said.

Also, while there were some strong performances from freshmen players on Saturday, Patterson feels that things could change daily, especially with some of the younger players.

“Every day is going to be a new day for awhile,” Patterson said.

Patterson explained that with some of the older players, coaches are more comfortable knowing what to expect out of their performance on game day.

He explained that a lot of factors make coaches nervous when playing freshmen.

“Our key, with the younger football game will come somewhere between games six and eight when you start hitting the grind,” Patterson said.

A couple of younger players Patterson mentioned were true freshman Tanner Brock, a linebacker, and redshirt freshman Ed Wesley, a tailback.

Patterson also spoke highly of the Horned Frogs’ offense.

“I thought our offense looked good. It was one of the best offensive line efforts we have ever had,” Patterson said.

Patterson said there were some mistakes made on offense, as well as an injury that took senior quarterback Andy Dalton out of the game for a short period.

“We only had one turnover early, and we didn’t throw any interceptions, so I think that’s a positive,” Patterson said.

Senior Jerry Hughes was double teamed after his first sack against Virginia, Patterson said. He still finished the game strong with 11 tackles.

The final minutes of the game presented some challenges for the defense when Virginia passed for a touchdown in what would have been a shutout game.

Patterson said that the fault did not lie in one player but in numerous members of the defense and the call itself.

“We won 30 to 14, and I feel like we lost,” Patterson said.

Patterson said that the Horned Frogs main objective at Virginia was not to “make a big splash.” The team’s main goal was to win.