TCU’s leading rusher, B.J. Catalon, is “questionable” following the hard hit he took on the play that set up the winning field goal against West Virginia, coach Gary Patterson said.
He did not offer details, saying, “I can’t talk about those kinds of things.”
Catalon took a hard shot to the upper torso from safety K.J. Dillon and struggled to leave the field. It required the officials to stop the clock and caused a 10-second runoff with 14 seconds left, although Patterson could have used his last timeout to prevent the runoff.
Catalon carried three times on the final drive, getting the ball to the 20-yard line for Jaden Oberkrom’s 37-yard field goal as time expired.
“Obviously, running the football, all the running backs, offensive line — we had not run the ball like that all year,” Patterson said. “Really, what we needed in the Baylor game at the end of the game to seal the game, we were able to do it.
“There were two or three things we were able to do — get stops, able to run the football and get a field goal.”
Catalon leads the Horned Frogs with 493 yards rushing and 10 touchdowns. He had 105 yards against West Virginia, his third 100-yard game of the season.
Aaron Green is the second-leading running back with 378 yards, but he leads the running backs with 8.4 yards per carry.
The Horned Frogs had to see West Virginia’s intensity firsthand to understand it, Patterson said.
“We didn’t understand the kind of emotion that a West Virginia team would play with at home,” he said. “When you play in the state of Texas, you play against kids that you know, so there’s a natural aggressiveness toward playing a guy you played with in an all-star game or wound up on the same team with.
“We didn’t know any of the players from West Virginia.”
TCU fell behind 13-0 in the first quarter, allowing an opening-drive touchdown and giving up the ball when a kickoff fell untouched.
But the Frogs stabilized, stayed close and then made up a nine-point deficit in the fourth quarter.
“I still think there are some lessons to be learned,” Patterson said. “As teams grow up, that was a learning experience, and that was one of the things I was most proud of with my team.”
With five turnovers forced at West Virginia, TCU leads the country in takeaways with 26. Utah State, Ole Miss, Florida International and Louisiana Tech have 25.
The Horned Frogs also lead in turnover margin at plus-15.
“Older defenses cause more turnovers,” Patterson said. “They know what they’re doing more than younger defenses do. Older players, the game slows down, they can do their job and play aggressively.”
Eight players have forced a fumble for TCU this year, led by defensive ends James McFarland and Mike Tuaua, who each have done it three times. They both forced a fumble against West Virginia.
Boykin a semifinalist
Maxwell Football Club President Ron Jaworski announced that TCU quarterback Trevone Boykin is among 20 semifinalists for the 78th Maxwell Award, presented to the nation’s Player of the Year.
Boykin tops the Big 12 and is fourth nationally in total offense at 361.9 yards per game.
Remaining game times
The kickoff time for the Nov. 15 game at Kansas is set for 2 p.m.
The Thanksgiving game against Texas is set for 6:30 p.m., and the time for the regular-season finale against Iowa State has not been announced.