Patterson, Freeze praise the opposition at presser


TCU coach Gary Patterson and Ole Miss coach Hugh Freeze will be enemies on the field tomorrow, but they showed their positive relationship outside of football during Tuesday’s joint head coaches press conference.

The duo answered questions for each other and each coach was highly complimentary of the opposing team in the build-up to the 2014 Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl.

Freeze said that he and Patterson are “made of the same cloth” and will still have great respect for each other after tomorrow’s matchup.

“Tomorrow at kickoff, I want our kids and our staff to absolutely want to put a dagger in our opponent who happens to be a friend,” Freeze said. “But leading up to that point, this is a game and it is more about the quality of individuals that we’re producing.”

Freeze was asked about the success and ability of his top-ranked scoring defense, and Patterson decided to interject to make up for Freeze’s humility.

“Let me answer it for him, they’re really good,” Patterson said. “It’s an unbelievable measuring stick, playing against a team like Ole Miss.”

Freeze returned the favor by saying Patterson is one of the “most respected coaches in the country” and that his TCU football teams have rivaled the nation’s best for years.

The Ole Miss coach joked that he voted for Patterson to receive coach of the year honors twice this year, so he was hoping Patterson would gift him a turnover on New Year’s Eve.

Both coaches have been texting each other since the Peach Bowl matchup was announced, and Patterson promised that “texting head coach to head coach is not an NCAA violation.”

When asked about team improvements he’s seen in practice, Patterson said the TCU offense has “gotten back to the point of playing with an edge.”

He also praised his running backs who have shouldered a heavier load since B.J. Catalon’s season-ending concussion in the West Virginia game.

Freeze joked that he shouldn’t have voted in favor of up-tempo offenses this offseason, citing the explosive nature of TCU’s Air Raid offense he’s seen on game film.

“That tempo offense…I should’ve cried out against that stuff, man,” Freeze said.

Defensively, Patterson said the Frogs wouldn’t be where they are today without the play of his two starting linebackers, All-American Paul Dawson and senior Marcus Mallet.

Freeze added that TCU’s 4-2-5 defense is “fanatical about chasing the ball and playing physical,” and that the secondary tackles as well as he’s seen all season.

The two coaches mentioned the Rebels’ weapons on the field as well, with Patterson praising the toughness of quarterback Bo Wallace and the matchup difficulty that tight end Evan Engram provides for the TCU defense.

Ahead of tomorrow’s game, Patterson took the time to thank the Peach Bowl for bringing the Frogs to Atlanta. After “being outside of the circle for many years,” Patterson said the Frogs are always appreciative of a major bowl invitation.

And for the future of TCU football, Patterson said the Horned Frogs have yet to reach their potential.

“I don’t think we’ve touched the iceberg, we’ve only recruited in the Big 12 for two years,” Patterson said. “We’ll keep getting better players, and TCU will keep climbing.”