Gary Patterson not tuned into June Jones
September, 21, 2010
By Jeff Caplan | ESPNDallas.com
Gary Patterson, the 10th-year coach of the No. 4 TCU Horned Frogs has never been afraid to use the words of others to fire up his own team. He did it just last week with Baylor quarterback Robert Griffin III, who had some rather innocent comments about the Frogs being a step above Baylor's previous conquest, Buffalo.
Patterson took exception to being just one step above the aforementioned Buffalo.
Now, Patterson isn't quite getting what June Jones, the resurrector of SMU pigskin, is laying down about Friday's Battle for the Iron Skillet at SMU's Gerald J. Ford Stadium (7 p.m., ESPN).
"It's the second week in a row we’re playing somebody, and I guess having a ranking to you, it’s a statement game for those people," Patterson said. "June’s done a good job with words. I didn’t quite understand the intent of the meaning. In one sense, he said it’s not any bigger game for him, but it could be a statement game for the program. So, is it not a big game or is it a big game or what exactly is it?
Here's what Jones said to reporters at SMU's practice Monday morning: "You've got a chance to make a statement on national TV. At the same time, our next two conference games [Rice and Tulsa] after this one are something that we're trying to stay focused on."
That wasn't all Patterson nit-picked.
Jones also said: "We're going to play hard. We'll have fun. They [TCU] will come in here and try to embarrass us physically. Hopefully, our kids will rise up and play hard."
Patterson will insist forever that he's not out to embarrass anybody or rack up style points against anyone. Hey, he remembers 2005 when SMU handed TCU a loss in week 2, as it turned out, its lone loss of the season.
So, Patterson retorted: "I saw something on TV and read it where it was we were coming over to humiliate 'em. We’re coming over to win by one point. SMU is a good football team. It’s always a war. It’s especially always a war when we play over at Ford Stadium. It's not going to be any different than that. So, I understand the challenge to get more people in the stands and get everybody fired up. But, the bottom line to it is we're just trying to go win a ballgame."
Later during Patterson's weekly Tuesday press conference, he said that as far as he's concerned, he and Jones are good friends.
Let's hope the game is as good as the coaches' banter.