TCU’s Gary Patterson says team was innocent in Baker Mayfield throwing incident, questions Oklahoma’s behavior

Gary Patterson-TCU-Innocent-Baker-Mayfield-Throwing-Incident-Questions-Oklahoma-Behavior

FORT WORTH — TCU head coach Gary Patterson isn’t thrilled with how No. 4 Oklahoma has carried itself heading into the Big 12 Championship Game on Saturday between the Sooners and Horned Frogs.

Patterson maintained on Tuesday that his players were innocent when Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield drilled safety Niko Small in the head with a football during pre-game warm-ups before the teams’ first meeting on Nov. 11 in Norman, Okla.

“TCU in 25 years has never run through anyone’s stretch lines,” Patterson said. “We don’t act that way.”

The incident occurred when the Horned Frogs were running onto the field at Oklahoma Memorial Stadium. Small has not played in a game for TCU since the Oklahoma game.

Sooners head coach Lincoln Riley claimed on Monday that the Horned Frogs ran through the team’s stretch line and the incident was bound to happen. Patterson, however, wasn’t thrilled with Riley’s comments and argued the field was extraordinarily crowded due to a busy recruiting weekend.

“Even as the head coach I had to go through their warm-up lines to get down to our end of the field,” Patterson said. “I didn’t really appreciate trying to say that we were in the wrong because that was okay to let a quarterback throw a ball and hit a guy in the head that hasn’t played for two weeks.”

Sooners inciting tensions?

Patterson went on to question Oklahoma’s innocence in the incident, drawing on the playing backgrounds of both Mayfield and Riley.

Patterson said it was not the first time he had heard of an opposing player getting hit in the head by a football within the Big 12 Conference.

“Baker played at Texas Tech, Lincoln was at Texas Tech, I have a coach that was at Texas Tech [Sonny Cumbie] and it was common practice,” Patterson said. “There was a pretty well known Texas Tech quarterback that hit a guy from Texas A&M in the head. And they all thought it was funny to throw balls and do those kinds of things.”

Patterson reiterated his firm opposition to players riling up opponents before games begin.

“You’ve never seen us go out to the middle of the field and yell at each other and we won’t ever,” Patterson said. “There are plenty of teams that try to get us to do it, but that’s not the way we act.”

The Mayfield-Small incident wasn’t the only case of tension surrounding the Heisman Trophy front-runner and the Sooners this season.

Mayfield was at the center of attention for yelling “Who’s your daddy?” at Baylor players prior to the meeting between the Sooners and Bears on Sept. 23. Mayfield was later criticized for an obscene gesture towards Kansas players on Nov. 18 — ultimately costing him the start in a chippy game between Oklahoma and West Virginia on Nov. 25.

“We’re going to play a football game on Saturday and hopefully it will be two teams playing with high intensity the right way without talking,” Patterson said.

TCU and Oklahoma will kickoff at 11:30 a.m. CT on Dec. 2 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. It will be the first Big 12 Championship Game held since the event was previously discontinued after the 2010 season.

 

The post TCU’s Gary Patterson says team was innocent in Baker Mayfield throwing incident, questions Oklahoma’s behavior 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.

X