September 15, 2007

Tiger Notebook: Patton has his day

With eight minutes to go in the third quarter, Derrick Washington officially dropped his redshirt. About ten seconds later, he dropped the ball.

On his first collegiate carry, the true freshman from Ray-Pec never actually got the handoff. As the ball bounced to the turf, Washington quickly dove to cover it and keep possession for the Tigers.

"I was kind of nervous," Washington said. "I'm not going to lie about it."

The freshman did manage to redeem himself, though. His next two carries went for eight and seven yards respectively and helped lead to the Tigers' final touchdown in a 52-24 win over Western Michigan.

"Everything was happening so fast," Washington said. "I got back in and made up for it, I think I did."

"We needed to get him back in later," Gary Pinkel said. "I think he settled down and did a pretty good job."

Washington had some help from another Kansas City area running back after the initial play.

"I told him, 'Hey, don't worry about it. Trust me, it happens,'" said Tony Temple. "I said first, just focus on your fundamentals. Be you. That's the biggest thing I told him, be you."

Rough start aside, look for a lot more action for Washington in the weeks to come.

"He's earned that," Pinkel said of the playing time. "He's excited about it."

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