A look at the developments from the first half of TCU’s game against Stephen F. Austin:
1. Another defensive starter went down for TCU. Safety Kenny Iloka was hurt in kickoff coverage in the first quarter and went to the locker room, apparently with a knee injury. He did not look like he was going to return to the game. That brought in another new face to the defense, Michael Downing, a sophomore from Alpharetta, Ga. It must have been a head-spinning moment, with all the responsiblities that come at that position for coach Gary Patterson. But he did not come off — even got himself a pick. He wouldn’t have stayed on the field if he was doing things wrong.
2. Kolby Listenbee jump-started his season in the first quarter. After catching only one pass last week, for a measly 9 yards, he got out of the gates against SFA with a 51-yard catch, an 18-yard catch and a 60-yard catch. He worked in the middle of the field and on the sideline. For his sideline catch, he made a tough over-the-shoulder catch falling toward the sideline. It was easy to tell he’s been practicing that.
3. Aaron Green did not get a chance to practice in the spring because of a groin injury, so he spent a lot of August rounding into shape. Coach Gary Patterson didn’t think he was quite all the way back last week. But Green looked much sharper in the first half against SFA, making clean, decisive cuts and running smoothly. He ran tough inside for two short touchdowns. He may have shaken the rust off.
4. Ja’Juan Story is an interesting story. (Sorry). The senior caught a touchdown pass in the second quarter, but it was only his third touchdown for the Frogs. He was one of the country’s top recruits in 2011, ranked in the top 10 or 15 overall in some places, because of his 6-4 height. He chose Florida over schools like Oregon and Ohio State. It didn’t work out in Gainesville, and he wound up at TCU, where this year he might have a chance to fulfill his potential.
5. The second half might give TCU a chance to look at its backup quarterbacks, after Boykin gets another series or two (just to keep his body used to the post-halftime routine). The backup is Bram Kohlhausen, a senior who has thrown only nine passes at TCU. Not that he doesn’t have experience, but it’s not much – he spent two seasons at Houston, redshirting as a freshman, and playing in three games as a sophomore. He was clearly the best of the backups at TCU.