Injured receiver Josh Doctson practiced “a little bit” on Wednesday, TCU coach Gary Patterson said, but he added that freshman Emanuel Porter could start in his place Saturday when the Horned Frogs visit West Virginia.
“Emanuel keeps getting better,” Patterson said. “We thought in the middle of the season he’d start coming on, and he’s started to come on.”
Porter caught two passes for 22 yards filling in for Doctson (ankle injury) last week, including a 12-yard touchdown pass in the back corner. The four-star recruit out of Dallas Lincoln came in with four catches for 30 yards.
“He had a good game last week,” Patterson said. “Ran really great routes. A tenacious blocker. 6-4 wideout. It’ll be him or Josh, one of the two.”
Porter’s backup on Saturday would normally be junior Jordan Moore, but Patterson said he also has an ankle injury and might not make the trip.
Doctson is the Frogs’ leader in catches, yards and receiving touchdowns. He had two scores against both Oklahoma State and Texas Tech.
Rain and cold
TCU is preparing for cold weather and rain in Morgantown on Saturday. The forecast calls for a high of 44 and a 90 percent chance of rain.
Patterson was light-hearted about it.
“We’re fired up because we won’t sweat,” he said. “No humidity.”
He said the team will keep the footballs dry for quarterback Trevone Boykin.
“If it’s really raining, the team that runs the ball best probably has the advantage,” he said.
TCU is second in the conference in rushing at 212.9 yards per game. West Virginia is fourth at 180.9.
Patterson said Boykin and Clint Trickett, the quarterbacks who will face off Saturday, are both benefiting from improvement in the players around them.
“It’s not just them who’ve grown up. Both offensive lines are better. The skill players around them have gotten better than they were a year ago, and when that happens and you grow together, you’re going to have a lot more success,” Patterson said. “I think in both cases, both offenses, they’re doing that.”
West Virginia has a star wideout in Kevin White, but Patterson said TCU’s receivers were largely unknown at the start of the year.
“Nobody knew who Kolby Listenbee was, who Deante’ Gray was, who Josh Doctson was, who Cam Luper was,” he said. “It’s been an offense, along with Trevone, that’s really growing up and growing together and has really moved forward. It helps when you have some guys to throw to, which a year ago, we really didn’t.”
• Tight end Cliff Murphy’s touchdown catch last week was the first reception by a tight end for TCU this year.
• Senior safety Sam Carter has been named a semifinalist for the Jim Thorpe Award, presented to the nation’s top defensive back. He has 31 tackles, fifth on the team, two interceptions, two pass breakups and two quarterback hits.
• After recording 785 against Texas Tech, TCU trails only Baylor for most yards per game in the nation (579.0 to 573.0).
• Boykin needs six touchdown passes to tie Max Knake for second-most in school history, 43. Andy Dalton is the leader with 71.
• TCU’s streak of nine games with a sack and an interception is the longest in the nation. Louisville and Tulane have streaks of eight.