Patterson maintains TCU QB job is two-horse race

Posted Tuesday, Apr. 23, 2013  comments  Print Reprints

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Much of the talk during Tuesday’s Big 12 coaches teleconference dealt with the new quarterbacks taking over around the league in 2013.

Nearly all of the league’s 10 teams will feature a new starting quarterback.

Of course, how TCU falls in that discussion is determined by how you parse coach Gary Patterson’s comments this spring.

Patterson remained consistent Tuesday, maintaining his narrative that Casey Pachall and Trevone Boykin are in a closely contested race to earn the job in 2013.

Patterson reiterated that he’ll name a starter during camp, which begins July 31. But throughout spring practice Patterson hinted that Pachall had the edge, often referring positively to the fact that a senior was running the offense, and pointed out Pachall worked more with the first-team on several occasions.

Pachall left the team after four games last season to seek treatment for substance abuse. As a redshirt freshman, Boykin replaced Pachall for the last nine games, learning by a baptism of fire, as Patterson has referred to it.

Patterson’s decision to play it close to the vest is probably a wise one. Not only is he showing respect for the job Boykin did under tough conditions — remember, he was running the offense without the Horned Frogs’ leading rusher (Waymon James) and was without senior running back Matthew Tucker for his inaugural start Oct. 6 against Iowa State — but he’s also making Pachall earn his old job back, to prove that he deserves to be the starter in prime time against LSU on Aug. 31 at Cowboys Stadium.

Patterson said Tuesday that he’d prefer to name his top quarterback as soon as it was obvious. And, at least publicly, he’s still claiming it’s too close to call.

“I’d like it not to be that way,” he said. “You always like a clear-cut winner ... so you always know who your No. 1 leader is.”

But because of the nature of Pachall’s departure, it’s more complicated than that. Patterson said the delay in naming the starter is, among other reasons, “maybe for recruiting reasons, morale inside the team, not so much for the public or the writers, but for the players feeling they have a chance to be the next guy. In our case, it’s a guy coming back and a guy who was here. I think both of them have things to work on to get better.”

Among Big 12 quarterbacks, only Texas’ David Ash has more starts than Pachall. Both have played in 25 games, but Ash has 18 starts compared with Pachall’s 17. Jake Heaps, who transferred to Kansas after playing in 23 games, including 16 starts, at BYU, is the league’s third-most experienced quarterback.

Boykin helped TCU win some big games in 2012, including excellent performances on the road at Baylor, West Virginia and Texas. Patterson repeatedly complimented Boykin for being leaps and bounds more advanced from a year ago.

“When we left spring last year we felt like we could only play with one quarterback and after four games we couldn’t play with him,” Patterson said. “Trevone grew up a lot during the season and I think he has far surpassed that enough where that race at quarterback is very close. One beats you with his arm, one beats you with his legs and then how do both of them get better at the other part? Trevone really improved the throwing part of it.”

But he was equally effusive about Pachall’s performance this spring.

“Casey knocked some rust off but he obviously has command of the offense,” Patterson said Tuesday. “He was a little rough around the edges getting used it. He always had a [receiver] Josh Boyce and he’s not there, so he’s establishing who he’s throwing to and getting himself more and more familiar with the young wide receivers on the team.”


Here’s how Casey Pachall and Trevone Boykin played in 2012. Pachall went 4-0 before leaving the team. Boykin went 3-6 while starting the last nine games.

Pass yds.9481,853
Pass TDs1015
Rush yds.23380

Stefan Stevenson, 817-390-7760 Twitter: @FollowtheFrogs

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