Baker Mayfield said this week he has “always” thought highly of Gary Patterson, despite their public spats over the years.
The Oklahoma quarterback was asked this week if his feelings about the TCU coach are different than they were a few years ago. According to the Star-Telegram’s Stefan Stevenson, Mayfield said he has always thought Patterson was one of the best coaches in the country.
“I’ve never had a mindset change about him. I’ve always had respect for him,” Mayfield said Monday. “He’s always one of the best coaches in college football. There’s a reason they’ve been successful and they’re a top program year in and year out. It’s solely because of him and what he does, coaching, recruiting and just that program, in general. So it’s never been about respect. That’s always been there.”
Mayfield has been open about his frustration with TCU during his recruitment in 2013. In 2015, he said the Horned Frogs “kind of hung me out to dry right before signing day” when he was a high school senior. Patterson responded to those comments by criticizing Mayfield’s “arrogant” father, and pointing to the fact that no other major program offered him a scholarship either.
On Tuesday, Patterson had more criticism for Mayfield. He was upset about the Oklahoma quarterback pegging TCU safety Niko Small in the head during warm-ups before the Horned Frogs’ first matchup with the Sooners on Nov. 11. Small has missed the past two games with a concussion, and Patterson stopped just short of implying that the throw from Mayfield may have contributed to that.
“No, I’m not saying that was the reason,” Patterson said, “but let me just give you a little history. Baker played at Texas Tech and [Oklahoma coach] Lincoln [Riley] was at Texas Tech, and I have a coach [co-offensive coordinator Sonny Cumbie] that was at Texas Tech. It was common practice. There was a Texas Tech pretty well-known quarterback that hit a guy … in the head, and they all thought it was funny to throw balls and do those kind of things back in those days.
“It’s their prerogative. They can do whatever they want to. We’re just not going to do them here.”
Mayfield hasn’t spoken to the media since Patterson made his comments Tuesday, so he hasn’t gotten a chance to respond yet. When asked last week about the video of Mayfield hitting Small, Riley said TCU players were running through Oklahoma’s warm-up lines.
“When you do that, things like that can happen,” Riley said.
Patterson denied that his players were intentionally trying to run through the Oklahoma players, saying the sidelines were just extremely crowded because Oklahoma was having a busy recruiting weekend.
“TCU in 25 years has never run through anyone’s stretch lines,” Patterson said. “We don’t act that way.”
While Mayfield may be trying to stay out of the drama for once, there is certainly some tension between the two squads ahead of the Big 12 Championship Game on Saturday. The Frogs and Sooners kick off at 11:30 a.m. CT on FOX.
The post Baker Mayfield downplays feud with Gary Patterson: ‘I’ve always had respect for him’ appeared first on Diehards.
Support real journalism. Support local journalism. Subscribe to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today. See offers.
Your subscription to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution funds in-depth reporting and investigations that keep you informed. Thank you for supporting real journalism.