College Sports

August 30, 2014

Boykin takes QB reins as TCU rolls in season opener

The Horned Frogs opt to let the veteran QB get plenty of experience in their new uptempo offense.

Well, they both played.

Coach Gary Patterson promised TCU would use both Trevone Boykin and Matt Joeckel at quarterback.

But really, only one played.

Boykin started and took all the snaps until mop-up time in the fourth quarter of a 48-14 victory Saturday night against Samford at Amon G. Carter Stadium.

The junior from West Mesquite threw for 320 yards and two touchdowns in the opener for both teams and also ran for a touchdown, leading an uptempo offense unveiled by new co-offensive coordinators Doug Meacham and Sonny Cumbie.

The Frogs, getting plays off in as few as 16 seconds between tackle and snap, put up 555 yards, six touchdowns and two short field goals by Jaden Oberkrom.

The blemishes were a couple of sacks of Boykin and a pick-six of Joeckel in the fourth quarter.

“It was a good win. That was the goal. Period,” Patterson said. “We’ve been going since November, having to live with 4-8.”

Boykin, who played quarterback part of the time during that 4-8 season in 2013, operated with confidence.

He aimed, and largely succeeded, in throwing short and hitting receivers on the run to give them a chance to make plays.

But he used Kolby Listenbee to strike deep.

The track standout from Arlington Bowie ran go routes to get himself open. He separated for a 38-yard catch in the end zone that gave the Frogs a 14-0 lead in the first quarter, and his 36-yard catch in the third quarter set up another score. He caught a 2-yard pass for a touchdown in the fourth quarter.

“I’m trying to be humble, but I look forward to having a big season,” Listenbee said, unable to hide a smile. “I mean, I’m willing to push to have a big season. I really don’t want anybody to get in the way of that. I’m going to continue to work and grind every week so I can have an opportunity to help the team win.”

Patterson beamed.

“I told you guys about Kolby Listenbee,” he said. “He’s fast.”

But Patterson came away most pleased with Boykin, who is being counted on to play like the veteran of the offense — keep it snappy, make the right throws, commit zero turnovers, and when things break down, make things happen.

“What he can do when it’s not open, he’s hard to catch,” Patterson said. “He’s a great athlete out there.”

Patterson said Boykin won the quarterback competition against Joeckel because he was better in the three scrimmages. He went 31-for-40 with “maybe one pick, three or four touchdowns” against the No. 1 defense, Patterson said.

“I still have a lot of confidence in Matt Joeckel,” Patterson said.

But Joeckel did not get into the game until the fourth quarter.

Patterson said it wasn’t planned that way, but his offensive co-coordinators weren’t satisfied with Boykin’s work by mid-second quarter, so they kept him in for the rest of the half and then the third quarter.

“The key is, they weren’t happy with some throws,” Patterson said.

“They wanted to keep him in, they wanted him to get more experience in it. I asked them what they wanted to do. That’s what I based it off of.”

Boykin said he didn’t worry about how long he would play. He tried to think about how he would play.

“Coach Cumbie basically told me to just go in there and play my game,” he said. “That’s basically what I did. I didn’t look forward to coming out or staying in. I just went in there and played.”

And played. And played.

Based on the result, that is not likely to change.

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