A happy ending for Casey Pachall?

Posted Wednesday, Oct. 16, 2013  comments  Print Reprints

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engel The career thought to be over, ending with the sad narrative of a broken arm, is not dead. Casey Pachall is going to play for TCU again before this season is over. Don’t be surprised if he plays a little bit on Saturday at Oklahoma State.

Don’t be surprised if Pachall starts when Texas comes to Fort Worth on Oct. 26.

He may be the only player who can save an offense that has ranged from bad to nonexistent this season.

Pachall’s career at TCU looked all but over when he suffered a broken left forearm against Southeastern Louisiana in the second game of the season. If the doctor gives Pachall’s busted arm the green light for contact, he will be playing — which ultimately is better for his team and his chances at a pro career. This story arc has a shot at a happy ending.

TCU coach Gary Patterson said Casey’s return depends on the doctor’s word, but that he hopes to get him into the game. This is not the move of a desperate man, but a realist.

The idea of Trevone Boykin taking the job and keeping it is gone.

“We gotta score more points,” Patterson said Tuesday.

Patterson doesn’t necessarily sound like a guy who is throwing darts to find answers for the Big 12’s ninth-ranked offense, but a guy who’s accepted that Boykin is not the long-term answer at quarterback.

He sounds like a head coach who realizes dramatic changes are needed to have a more effective offense. To do so at the halfway point of the season would not be productive.

So he is watching how Texas A&M coach Kevin Sumlin runs things in College Station (hint: having Johnny Manziel really helps). He said he plans to use some of the same practice philosophies next season.

This is too bad because Boykin is a good kid who wants it so badly. Based on effort alone, he deserves more success. But if he can’t make an accurate pass, the rest doesn’t matter.

It is true an offensive line that is still overmatched in the Big 12 has not helped Boykin.

It is true that Boykin’s wide receivers have not helped him or lived up to their hype/expectations. The loss of Josh Boyce to the NFL has hurt Boykin far worse than originally expected because guys like Brandon Carter, LaDarius Brown and Ja’Juan Story have not made plays.

Carter should be the best, but he has been invisible this season. If Carter thinks he is ready to jump to the NFL, he needs to take a close look at what Boyce is doing right now in New England. Tom Brady is desperate for receivers, yet Boyce has one catch this season. And Josh Boyce is a lot better than Brandon Carter.

TCU’s leading receiver is Cam White, with only 15 catches.

It is true that the game plans for Boykin aren’t helping. He throws a good deep ball but, unless he has time, that’s a hard throw to try, let alone complete.

He needs to get the ball out of his hands, but even that sometimes is moot if his receivers aren’t open or drop the ball.

Reinserting Pachall into the starting lineup now or next week may not cure everything. He doesn’t move as well as Boykin, meaning he will need to get rid of the ball quickly. Perhaps a few jump-ball passes to his array of 6-foot-4 receivers wouldn’t be a bad idea.

We don’t know what he can do against Big 12 teams, but we think he is the more accurate passer.

Patterson said he was thinking about redshirt freshman Tyler Matthews. But that is more for a series or two. Pachall is more about start to finish.

Against LSU and Southeastern Louisiana, Pachall did not look like the same guy who threw the ball so well as a sophomore and junior.

At the midway point of the second year in the Big 12, Patterson realizes he needs a quarterback who can throw accurately and score points. Unlike in the Mountain West Conference, when he could win solely on defense, he needs more than a bus driver who manages to not turn the ball over.

To win in the Big 12, you need a real quarterback, and right now Pachall looks like TCU’s best shot.

Pachall leading the Frogs to a bowl game and a bowl win would be a nice way to end a story that began so well, took a sharp left into bad, and right now looks like an incomplete finish.

He’s going to get his chance.

His team, and his head coach, need him.

Mac Engel, 817-390-7697 Twitter: @macengelprof

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