Spring game recap

Billy Wessels, Publisher
Purple Menace
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TCU capped off its spring practices with its annual spring game Saturday.

Fans in attendance didn’t get to see many of the fireworks associated with TCU football these days, but they did get to see some new faces.

One of those new faces was true freshman quarterback Shawn Robinson. He threw the games only touchdown, a 35-yard pass to Isaiah Graham in the final minute of action, but overall it was a mixed day for his first game action.

He completed his first five passes, the first being a bullet that almost went through Daniel Walsh, but as he tried to work the ball more down the field, he wasn’t as accurate as he missed a few open receivers. His electric footwork was there as he was able to show off that wiggle that helped lead DeSoto to a state title last year.

“I thought he was a little nervous. He overthrew a few guys,” TCU coach Gary Patterson said. “That’s what I like about the spring game is we get to see how you do in front of the fans.”

Robinson threw a pair of interceptions, one coming off a dropped pass by Desmon White right into Markell Simmons’ hands, the other a pass thrown straight to Ridwan Issahaku.

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The freshman will likely start the season as the number two quarterback behind Kenny Hill, who also had a rough day on the field. His first two drives both ended in interceptions. The first was a tipped ball by Ben Banogu that wound up in Jeff Gladney’s hands. The other was a deep ball intended for Taj Williams, but it was overthrown and Ranthony Texada made a diving interception.

“He didn’t start real good,” Patterson said. “You can’t wish touchdowns. You have to throw where they are open. One interception was a good play by the defense the other he just threw to us.”

Both quarterbacks had their struggles, but didn’t get much help from receivers. It seemed like everybody that played had at least one drop. It’s worth noting that John Diarse, Jarrison Stewart and Ty Slanina didn’t play in this game.

“No. You watched it.” Patterson said about the drops. “We have to catch the ball better if we’re going to win any ball games. You can’t just blame it all on the quarterbacks.”

The offense also welcomed back Shaun Nixon, but played without offensive lineman Austin Schlottman and running back Kyle Hicks. Darius Anderson and Sewo Olonilua got the majority of the work in the backfield.

“I feel like we got better at the offensive line and we progressed at quarterback so we’ll see how it goes,” Patterson said. “All I cared about on this day is that everybody got to play and enjoy the fans.”

The defense was led by Simmons, who had the interception and dished out three other big hits. Mat Boesen, Bonagu, Ross Blacklock, Isaiah Chambers all were credited with sacks during the game.

Patterson said these games typically favor the defense and it seemed to be the case as the offense ran what looked like maybe six-to-10 different plays.

“They just ran base offense and defense,” Patterson said. “There were no gimmicks. The defense kind of knows what you’re doing each play.”

Patterson was quick to remind everybody that the offense didn’t even get a touchdown in 2014’s spring game as it mustered just a field goal.

“It was just like in 2014,” Patterson said. “We missed some plays on some deep routes and you’ve got to be able to hit those.”

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