Patterson: Team has more work to do

As spring practices come to a close, head coach Gary Patterson said the Horned Frogs were still far away from where they wanted to be.

“Defensively, we didn’t start as fast as we started on Tuesday,” Patterson said. “We had too many turnovers on offense.”

The offense focused on special situations, such as on the goal line and third downs, he said. At the end of practice, the offense also worked against the types of defenses the Frogs would see in the regular season.

The defense worked on its blitzing schemes, but Patterson said he felt the secondary, who would be exposed on blitzes, was not making good reads. However, the defense went against the fast wide receivers on offense, which would be the type of talent it would see in the regular season.

There was competition at almost every position, he said. 

The Frogs planned to have eight scholarship wide receivers on their roster, Patterson said. However, the Frogs would play four wide receivers most of the time on offense.

This situation meant the Frogs would have only one backup at each wide receiver position, Patterson said, so the limited number of positions created more competition. 

“Everybody has had their days,” he said. 

Patterson said he also believed there needed to be more leadership for the Frogs to be successful. No one emerged as a leader in spring practice so far, he said.

“I don’t think we’re there yet [with leadership],” Patterson said. “We have to keep stepping up in that category.”

One player that impressed Patterson was sophomore safety Antonio Graves. Graves moved to strong safety from linebacker earlier this spring.

Graves adjusted to his position quickly, Patterson said. He also proved to be one of the only leaders, along with senior linebacker Kenny Cain, on the Frogs defense.

Redshirt freshman Laderice Sanders also switched positions, moving to fullback from linebacker. Sanders will be the only fullback on the Frogs roster.

Patterson said another player who impressed him this spring was junior center Eric Tausch. Tausch played both the right and left tackle positions on the offensive line this spring.

Tausch’s versatility will make him a good asset to have, especially with some offensive lineman injured right now, Patterson said.

The Frogs would hold one of their last scrimmages Saturday morning, Patterson said. Next week will be the last week of spring practice.