TCU receiver Brandon Carter was granted a leave absence from the team and did not play in Saturday’s 30-27 overtime loss to West Virginia.“It was a personal thing,” TCU coach Gary Patterson said. “It has nothing to do with me. It had to do with him personally, off the field, and what he needed to do with his family.”Coming into the game, Carter, a graduate of Euless Trinity High School, was second on the team with 17 receptions for 197 yards and no touchdowns. His season has been plagued by inconsistent play and fumbles on kick returns.Patterson said he did not know if Carter would return to the team for the final three games.“I haven’t talked to him,” Patterson said.Carter was expected to be one of the Horned Frogs’ top playmakers this season after finishing last year with 36 catches for 590 yards and six touchdowns.Third-down defenseTCU’s defense has struggled to stay off the field because of offensive miscues that quickly give the ball back to the opposition.In the second half against West Virginia, TCU’s defense was uncharacteristically mistake-prone, especially on third down.Twice, the Horned Frogs allowed WVU to extend its second drive of the third quarter with penalties on third down.On third-and-7 on the WVU 16, a 5-yard rush by West Virginia running back Charles Sims became a first down on the Mountaineers’ 36 after a hands-to-the-face personal foul by Paul Dawson. Five plays later, Chris Hackett’s pick-six was called back by a holding call on senior cornerback Jason Verrett.“I take a little fault with my [penalty] when Chris Hackett got an interception,” Verrett said. “That would have been a game changer.”Both Patterson and Verrett said they believed the penalty was well away from the action, as Verrett was around 10 yards behind Hackett when he made the interception.“I thought it wasn’t catchable, but he kind of crossed my face and I grabbed him, so I take blame for that,” Verrett said.Verrett was also flagged for pass interference in the fourth quarter on a third-and-8 play that resulted in a 42-yard field goal, narrowing the TCU lead to 17-13.Receivers make playsA week after dropped passes plagued the Frogs’ receiving corps against Texas, the unit put together its most consistent game of the season with only three drops, all in the first half.Sophomore Josh Doctson (eight receptions), junior David Porter (eight receptions) and sophomore Trevone Boykin (11 receptions) recorded career highs. Boykin had a team-high 100 yards receiving, the second 100-yard game by a TCU receiver this season.His 11 receptions are the most by a TCU player during the Patterson era and the most since John Washington caught 12 passes on Nov. 4, 1995, against SMU. It’s the eighth-most receptions in a game by a TCU player.“Boykin is a great playmaker, and we know that anytime it’s in his hands, he can do amazing stuff with it,” quarterback Casey Pachall said.Porter had 72 yards and a career-best two touchdowns. Doctson finished with 92 yards and a touchdown.“The receivers had a really good day,” Pachall said. “I felt throughout the week that they wrapped it around their mind that they had to step it up in their blocking, catching or running the right routes.”Movement at centerA week after the TCU coaching staff moved senior Eric Tausch to center by swapping him with sophomore guard Joey Hunt, the two returned to their previous positions Saturday.Patterson said Hunt is the stronger of the two and was needed against West Virginia’s five down linemen.None of the changes are permanent and could go either way on a week-to-week basis, Patterson said.
Stefan Stevenson, 817-390-7760 Twitter: @FollowtheFrogs