Josh Doctson tied the TCU and Big 12 record for catches in a game, set a school record for receving yards in a game, became the national leader in receiving yards and had a hand — literally — in the game-winning play for the Horned Frogs on Saturday against Texas Tech.
But it was not a perfect day.
“I had two drops,” the TCU senior receiver said. “I’m supposed to go perfect. My goal every game is going perfect — catch everything. It wasn’t a complete game. But we won.”
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I’m supposed to go perfect. My goal every game is going perfect — catch everything.
TCU receiver Josh Doctson
That the Horned Frogs did, by a 55-52 final that required a stop on the game’s final play, a reception followed by three laterals — which, by the way, Doctson was on the field to help stop.
“He got his little snap in on defense,” safety Derrick Kindred said and smiled, looking at Doctson next to him at the postgame press conference. “Had to coach him through it a little bit.”
Doctson smiled back, but he refused to celebrate himself. Despite the 18 catches for 267 yards and three touchdowns, absorbing an extra load with Kolby Listenbee not playing and Ty Slanina going out with a shoulder injury, Doctson’s mind was on how he didn’t do more.
“I know some of our receivers were out and another one kind of got banged up during the game,” Doctson said. “I knew a lot was riding on me in regard to the passing game. So I just stepped up and made plays when my number was called.”
Through four games, Josh Doctson is more than halfway to the single-season catch record at TCU. He has 35 catches. Josh Boyce had 66 in 2012.
TCU coach Gary Patterson marveled because the defense knew Doctson was getting the ball, and he still made catches.
“He was the guy we had to go to,” Patterson said. “You’re not going to win the ballgame unless you have an effort like we had from him.”
Funny thing is, if you search for the words “incomplete to Doctson” in the 200-line play-by-play, it returns only four results.
There were two in the second quarter, both on slants against bracket coverage. There was one in the end zone in the third quarter. There was another in the third quarter at the sideline after a scramble by quarterback Trevone Boykin, but that play included a penalty, so it didn’t count officially.
The deflection off Doctson’s hand in the end zone is listed as a completion to Aaron Green, rather than “incomplete to Doctson.”
So that’s basically 18 catches on 22 targets (including the last play, but not the penalty play), with Doctson labeling two as drops — one in the second quarter, one on the third-quarter end zone pass. It earned him Offensive Player of the Week honors in the Big 12 and National Player of the Week honors from the Walter Camp Football Foundation. He now leads the nation in receiving yard with 593 and is third in touchdowns with six.
Not a bad day.
But not perfect.
“My goal is to be perfect for Trey and the offense,” Doctson said.
Maybe next time.
No. 4 TCU vs. Texas
11 a.m. Saturday, WFAA/Ch. 8
Amon G. Carter Stadium