Injuries could lead TCU to defensive back shuffle against Iowa State

Posted Wednesday, Nov. 06, 2013  comments  Print Reprints
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More information Rush to judge West Virginia running back Charles Sims’ 154 yards last week is the most individual rushing yards allowed by TCU in Gary Patterson’s 16 years with the Frogs. Since the start of the 2003 season, only 26 players have rushed for 100 or more yards against TCU . Here’s the top 10 since ’03:
DatePlayerAtt-YdsTDs
Nov. 2, 2013Charles Sims, W. Virginia24-1541
Dec. 29, 2012Le’Veon Bell, Mich. St.32-1451
Oct. 25, 2003Kevin Kolb, Houston14-1441
Oct. 30, 2004Richard Hall, Cincinnati29-1431
Sept. 24, 2010Zach Line, SMU17-1391
Sept. 13, 2007Jim Ollis, Air Force16-1381
Oct. 6, 2007Devin Moore, Wyoming23-1350
Sept. 8, 2007Jamaal Charles, Texas22-1341
Sept. 7, 2013Bryan Bennett, SE Lou.18-1321
Jan. 1, 2011Montee Ball, Wisconsin22-1321
TCU at Iowa State 11 a.m. Saturday, Jack Trice Stadium, Ames, Iowa Records: TCU 3-6, 1-5; ISU 1-7, 0-5 TV: FSSW

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TCU cornerback Jason Verrett’s status for Saturday’s game at Iowa State is unclear, but the senior All-American will make the trip despite missing practice this week.

Coach Gary Patterson said Verrett’s nagging shoulder injury and the injury to backup Keivon Gamble might cause some shuffling of defensive backs.

Receiver Deanté Gray, who played corner as a freshman last year, practiced at corner this week and could start in place of Verrett.

“He may be the guy that steps out on the field,” Patterson said of Gray. “Verrett plans on traveling. I think we plan on him playing but he won’t rep anything.”

Kevin White, who is tied for the team lead with three interceptions, declined to claim the mantle as the Frogs’ shutdown corner in Verrett’s absence.

“I don’t know if that makes me the guy,” he said. “Hopefully, he does play. I love having him out there, playing alongside each other.”

Another option would be sophomore Travoskey Garrett, who has been hampered by injuries his first couple of seasons, but has been healthy in 2013.

“This is the best he’s ever been since he’s been here,” Patterson said.

TCU still hopes to redshirt freshman cornerback Ranthony Texada.

Derrick Kindred is expected to start at free safety in front of Elisha Olabode, who has dealt with nagging injuries since August. Freshman Denzel Johnson has moved into Kindred’s No. 2 spot at strong safety, behind junior Sam Carter.

Freshman Zach Jackson moved from weak to free safety. The freshmen are part of a wave of young defensive backs likely to play major roles in 2014. Junior Geoff Hooker will alternate between weak and free safety.

“We have to start preparing for next year, too,” Patterson said. “That’s probably the position Kindred is going to play.”

And he returns punts

Trevone Boykin practiced returning punts this week, Patterson said. The backup quarterback, record-setting receiver and sometimes running back continues to impress with his versatility.

“He’s just a unique athlete, a team player,” receiver Josh Doctson said. “Wherever they want him, he’ll go. I’m confident if he’s in the backfield or right next to me [at receiver].”

Patterson said he wasn’t sure he’s ever had a more versatile player.

“He just likes to play,” he said. “He likes to play and he likes to win.”

Would you like to use him at safety?

“Yeah, he’d be a great one,” he said.

Key stat

11.6 Tackles per game for Iowa State linebacker Jeremiah George, who leads the Big 12 and ranks third nationally. The senior has 3.5 sacks, 8.5 tackles for loss and an interception. He has seven straight games with 10 or more tackles, including a career-high 18 against Baylor.

Quotable

“That was a lot of experience you lost. And we lost both of them. I believe we probably win at least two more ballgames, maybe three, with at least one of those two guys.” — TCU coach Gary Patterson on losing linebackers Kenny Cain (who graduated) and Joel Hasley (who quit the team in August)

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

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