TCU notes: Depth at running back critical in win at Iowa State

Posted Sunday, Nov. 10, 2013  comments  Print Reprints
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Depth hasn’t been a calling card for TCU.

But Saturday against Iowa State one area of the team showed how deep it is.

Running backs Aaron Green and Jordan Moore filled in for starters Waymon James and B.J. Catalon, neither of whom made the trip with the team.

Green, a sophomore who had to sit out 2012 after transferring from Nebraska, led the Horned Frogs with a career-high 72 yards rushing, including 40 yards on TCU’s game-winning drive in the final 2:34.

TCU rushed for 123 yards, including three touchdowns and 29 yards on five carries from Trevone Boykin, who was in at quarterback for Casey Pachall on select plays.

Boykin had touchdown runs of 18, 3 and 1 yard. The 1-yard run gave TCU the 21-17 win with 38 seconds remaining. Moore, a sophomore, had 31 yards on 9 carries.

James (suspension) and Catalon (injury) have led TCU in rushing the previous two seasons.

“I believe I can run with anyone in the country,” Green said. “B.J. and Waymon were out. They called our numbers a little bit more, and we knew if we wanted to go out there and win we had to perform.”

Calm and collected

Boykin and Green both said the huddle during TCU’s game-winning drive in the final minutes was a sea of calm, despite a packed house at Jack Trice Stadium trying its best to throw the Frogs off their game.

“I’m a pretty calm dude. It didn’t really get to me,” Green said. “Main thing going through my mind was just get the win and try to keep this season alive. We know what we have ahead of us, we know we have to win out if we want to go to a bowl game. I was just trying to do it for the seniors, keep the season alive.”

Boykin said he and Pachall took turns telling teammates “to just chill.”

“It was pretty much calm on the huddle,” Boykin said.

Welcome back, Carter

TCU receiver Brandon Carter had his best game of the year, leading the team with six receptions for 93 yards. Twice he made acrobatic catches, including one to the ISU 3 that set up a touchdown. Carter missed last week’s game because of a family situation.

“He can be a big-time receiver,” Boykin said. “He got us out of the hole on the 1-yard line. We just need more plays like that from him the rest of the year.”

Unspecial teams

Iowa State’s DeVondrick Nealy’s 98-yard touchdown on the second-half kickoff was the first kickoff returned for a score against TCU since 2003.

The Horned Frogs had the longest active streak of 135 games without allowing a kickoff return for a touchdown. It’s the second kickoff return for a score this season for the Cyclones, who have two in a season for the first time since 1963.

“You do not want to come out of the half and have a team return the kickoff for a touchdown,” TCU safety Chris Hackett said. “We were just wanting to get back on the field and get more stops. It caused us to push more and make sure we got the offense the ball.”

Gray in for Verrett

All-America cornerback Jason Verrett did not play because of a shoulder injury, but former cornerback-turned-receiver Deanté Gray filled in admirably with less than a week to prepare.

Gray was moved from defensive back to receiver before the season.

“We needed somebody who could handle [Quenton] Bundrage,” TCU coach Gary Patterson said of the Cyclones’ receiver. “We knew [Gray] wouldn’t get run by.”

Patterson said Gray did a great job, although he noted that Gray was the one who failed to cover the receiver on ISU’s successful fake punt in the first half.

“We’ll take the good with the bad,” he said.

Key stat

4,900 Career passing yards by Pachall after throwing for 245 yards Saturday. Pachall ranks fourth all-time at TCU.

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

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