TCU's Gary Patterson Slams SMU for Scuffle, Claims It Led to Jerry Kill's Concussion

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured Columnist IVSeptember 28, 2021

TCU head coach Gary Patterson instructs his team in the second half of an NCAA college football game against California in Fort Worth, Texas, Saturday, Sept. 11, 2021. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)
AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez

To say TCU head coach Gary Patterson was upset about how the aftermath of Saturday's 42-34 loss to SMU unfolded would be quite the understatement.

As Drew Davison of the Star-Telegram reported, Patterson unleashed on the Mustangs' program, criticized counterpart Sonny Dykes and connected the dots from SMU's decision to plant its flag on TCU's field to assistant coach Jerry Kill's concussion.

"I cannot substantiate that it was a SMU or TCU person, but it did happen," Patterson said when discussing Kill's concussion he suffered when he was knocked over multiple times during the scuffle that happened when the Mustangs wanted to plant their flag. "If we wouldn't have had the flags, it wouldn't have happened. OK?"

Davison noted video showed Kill was knocked over by TCU players at one point.

Kill, who retired from head coaching in 2015 and was diagnosed with epilepsy in 2005, has returned to work since suffering the injury.

Patterson also suggested SMU planned the entire stunt with the flags because it had someone ready to film it:

"You don't think it was planned? They had a media person from their office that was out filming the flag getting set in the middle of the field. It's OK. But don't tell me there wasn't a plan somewhere there.
"A guy [Kill] got hurt. Why I'm upset about it, a guy got hurt that things like that usually cause seizures. A guy got hurt. He got pushed down by our kids once on film in the middle of it and he got hit because I've got the proof to show it.
"At the end of the day, whether it's SMU, TCU, I can't substantiate it. But at the end of the day it wouldn't have happened if we didn't have the flag situation."

SMU athletic director Rick Hard said there was "unequivocally" no plan and any suggestion to the contrary is "a complete fabrication."

Patterson also took aim at Dykes and suggested the SMU head coach should have contacted him to discuss the entire incident instead of reaching out to TCU athletic director Jeremiah Donati:

"Sonny has been a good friend of mine. I was disappointed that the AD got a call, I never got a call about Jerry getting hit. When we couldn't play in COVID, I made the phone call to Sonny Dykes, not him (Donati). I made the phone call saying, 'All of our quarterbacks are out. We can't play.' That's what the head coach of programs do. Not have one of their assistants text me in the middle of the night, or call my AD.
"I still consider him a friend. I'm going to go forward with it."

Dykes was an assistant coach with the Horned Frogs in 2017.

As for the actual game, the Mustangs seized the lead in the second quarter and never looked back. They extended it to as many as 15 in the fourth quarter behind a dominant rushing attack that featured two backs who went over 100 yards.

TCU had no answer for Ulysses Bentley IV (153 rushing yards) or Tre Siggers (110 rushing yards), while wide receiver Danny Gray took advantage of the additional space the rushing attack created with 130 receiving yards and a touchdown catch.

Quarterback Tanner Mordecai overcame three interceptions with four touchdown passes, and SMU improved to 4-0 on the season.

The Horned Frogs are 2-1 and now start Big 12 play against the rival Texas Longhorns on Saturday.