Julius Lewis got a start at cornerback last week against West Virginia, and he might get another one.
TCU coach Gary Patterson remains high on the freshman from Mansfield, telling reporters after practice Wednesday he’s “great.”
“He’s going to be a really good player,” Patterson said. “You just got to understand, the speed of the game in this league, you don’t get a chance to ease yourself into anything. Especially when you’re young, they don’t waste any time finding out whether you’re ready for the ballgame.”
Lewis broke up a long pass in the end zone on the first series against West Virginia. But in the second quarter, he was beaten on a 32-yard touchdown pass by Shelton Gibson. He and previous starter Corry O’Meally alternated series.
“That’s the accountability that’s been here for a while,” Patterson said. “You don’t play just because.”
Patterson said long passes down the field will be frequent in the last four games against Oklahoma State, Kansas, Oklahoma and Baylor.
“That’s the name of what we do in this conference — you’ve got all four teams, the last four teams, they can all throw it vertical,” Patterson said. “They’ve all got good players.”
TCU asks its corners to play single coverage, but Patterson said he is able to help them more now than earlier in the season.
“We’re getting closer because we can run more defense,” he said. “It really comes down to the knowledge of the linebackers, how I can help the corners.”
Left tackle Halapoulivaati Vaitai is questionable for Saturday, linebacker Montrel Wilson is practicing, and receiver Ju’Juan Story is likely done for the season because of injury, which has not been specified.
“We’ll see,” Patterson said of Vaitai, who was replaced by right tackle Joseph Noteboom after he was hurt against West Virginia.
Patterson did not provide an update on receiver Emanuel Porter, who hurt a knee in the Texas Tech game.
Noteboom, worked “a lot” at left tackle this week in practice, Patterson said.
“We’ll see how it all works,” Patterson said. “If Big V goes, he’s gotten work on both sides.”
Patterson said safety Derrick Kindred is fine after he left the West Virginia game following a hard hit in the air. But he again had a no-contact week in practice.
“He’s going to be a guy that just makes it through non-contact all week and plays in the ballgame,” Patterson said. “Unless something changes. That’s the way he’s been for seven weeks. Seven weeks, don’t touch anybody, bang on people on Saturday, be sore for three days, and get ready for the next Saturday. He’s a trooper.”
Kindred is second on the team in tackles with 50. He also has an interception and two forced fumbles.
Patterson said he didn’t watch the College Football Playoff ranking show, but he knows the Horned Frogs are No. 8.
“To be honest with you, I wish we were a little lower,” he said.
Patterson said he’ll wait to talk more about the CFP.
“We’re playing three teams that are 22-1; two of them on the road,” Patterson said. “If we get to that final game that Friday night, if we can win all four of these last ones, I’ll have more to say.”
Trevone Boykin won the quarterback of the week award from the Davey O’Brien Foundation for his game against West Virginia. It was the second time for the senior quarterback to receive the honor this season. He also got it after the Texas Tech game.
It’s the third time Boykin has won the award. Last year, he also won it after throwing seven touchdown passes against Texas Tech.
Boykin was a finalist for the Davey O’Brien Award last season and was named a semifinalist for the award this week.