Trevone Boykin, who kicks off his Heisman Trophy campaign Thursday night, has been good for both TCU and college football regardless of what happens this season, coach Gary Patterson said.
“No matter how this whole thing goes, TCU has been better off because Trevone Boykin is here, and I think TCU football has been better because he is here,” Patterson said this week, asked to measure the impact of the quarterback’s improvement since last season. “He’s helped college football. Because he has a flair about him.”
Boykin set eight school records last season, including most passing yards in a season (3,901), most touchdown passes in a season (33) and most completions in a season (301).
He’s in range of two TCU career records for quarterbacks. He needs 17 touchdown passes to break Andy Dalton’s school record of 71, and he needs 3,162 passing yards to break Dalton’s school record of 10,314.
Patterson praised Boykin’s humility even as he became a bigger name in college football. He said Boykin signed more than 1,000 posters at the “Meet the Frogs” autograph event two weeks ago. It was Aug. 22, a Saturday, and his birthday.
“He and I stayed until there was nobody left,” Patterson said. “Supposed to be a two-hour event; he stayed four hours. A younger person cold have said, ‘This is my time, I got to go.’ ”
No style points
Patterson said the Horned Frogs are not going for “style points” against Minnesota.
“Our biggest thing is not to have style points,” Patterson said. “What we’re going to try to do is try to win this ballgame. This is a good football team that we’re going to play.”
TCU defeated Minnesota 30-7 last season, leading 30-0 after three quarters. There were other head-turning scores, including the 82-27 victory against Texas Tech.
“It can’t be about how many points; you try to win,” Patterson said. “If anybody thinks the amount of points we scored on Texas Tech was planned or that’s what we wanted to do, that’d be incorrect. I still don’t know how that happened, to be honest with you.”
Patterson has said this year’s defense is more athletic and faster than last year’s defense, and receiver Ty Slanina concurred.
“They’re able to run with us a lot better than last year,” he said. “They’re very athletic, very fast, very talented. We’re very excited for our defense.”
TCU replaced six starters from last season. Freshman Mike Freeze is expected to start at linebacker.
“They’re young, but they’re very smart,” Slanina said. “They get better every single day. We noticed that when we practiced. The last day of camp, they knew exactly what we wanted to do, and they knew exactly what they wanted to do.”
Slot receiver Deante’ Gray will miss the Minnesota game, continuing to recover from knee surgery, giving sophomore Desmon White what would be his first college start.
Players like Ju’Juan Story and Emmanuel Porter could play larger roles, given Josh Docton’s limited practices.
“They had big camps,” Boykin said. “We’re going to rely on those guys during the year. We know they’re going to come through for us, have some big games. Ju’Juan’s an older guy. Emman, he’s younger. He’ll be a great player here after we’re gone.”