The TCU offense that had been sparked by Trevone Boykin only flickered Thursday night in Lubbock.
In his first full game at quarterback in 2013, the flash Boykin showed in relief of Casey Pachall during the first two games lit up only intermittently during the Horned Frogs’ 20-10 loss to Texas Tech.
TCU’s Big 12 opener has put the offensive struggles in an unsettling spotlight as the Frogs go into a bye week before hosting SMU (1-1) at a time to be determined Sept. 28.
The Frogs were held scoreless in the first half for the first time since last November against Kansas State. Texas Tech (3-0, 1-0 in the Big 12) held TCU to six first downs and 133 yards in the first half.
Boykin completed 8 of 10 passes for 67 yards in the first half, with 37 yards coming on 19- and 18-yard receptions by Brandon Carter and Josh Doctson, respectively.
The rest of the Frogs’ passing game consisted of 6 of 8 for 30 yards.
A rash of penalties, including 6 for 60 yards in the first half, contributed to the sluggish start for the offense.
“It’s really hard to move the football when you’re second-and-15,” TCU coach Gary Patterson said. “You can’t be second-and-15 in somebody else’s house and get an opportunity to win. So it’s a really easy concept. You have to have attention to detail and you’ve got to go play.”
Even in the second half when the offense gathered some momentum, an interception or untimely penalty thwarted the Frogs.
“Last year, when we turned the ball over we didn’t win ballgames,” Patterson said.
Boykin finished the game with 194 yards passing and two interceptions and a career-high 101 yards rushing.
TCU defensive end Devonte Fields suffered a foot injury late in Thursday’s game and limped off the field.
A source said the injury is worse than first thought, but no further details were available.
Fields, last year’s Big 12 Defensive Freshman of the Year, made his first start of the season against Texas Tech after serving a game and three quarters of a team-issued two-game suspension. The former Arlington Martin star had three tackles, including two for losses.
Gary Patterson’s concern for an injury was one of the reasons he chose to play Fields for a quarter last week against Southeastern Louisiana. Fields still owes the school one quarter of his suspension, Patterson said earlier this week.
Rising: Reserve defensive linemen Matt Anderson and Jon Lewis have provided sturdy depth. They combined for seven tackles Thursday, including two tackles for loss each.
Falling: TCU’s offense has struggled to find a groove through three games.