Gil LeBreton

Without Heisman flash, Boykin got his groove back

If this is Trevone Boykin’s Heisman Trophy campaign, where are the balloons and the brass bands?

What’s his signature celebration move? Where are the trademarked T-shirts?

Better yet, what was he doing on the bench Saturday, sitting out the game’s final 26 minutes, when he could have stayed in at quarterback for TCU and passed for 300 more yards and five more touchdowns?

I’m trying to be facetious, of course.

With the Horned Frogs well on their way to a 70-7 victory over the Stephen F. Austin Lumberjacks, the most prudent place for Boykin in the second half was on the TCU sideline.

“I think he did what he needed to do,” coach Gary Patterson assessed after Boykin’s four-touchdown, 285-yard passing day. “I don’t think he was inspired once you get up 21-0 after the first quarter. But he ran the offense and did what he needed to do.”

On an afternoon when mighty Auburn, Notre Dame and Oklahoma all nearly fell, expediency seemed to turn into college football’s order of the day.

Boykin, indeed, did what he needed to do. After an opening three-and-out, the Frogs scored on five straight possessions.

If rust was a factor in Boykin’s inconsistent opening night win at Minnesota, this game was more How Trevone Got His Groove Back.

His passing was measurably sharper. His decision-making was tellingly more clear.

But don’t expect to hear any trumpets. Don’t look for any Johnny Football money signs when he finds the end zone. That’s not Boykin’s thing.

To every question that the senior from West Mesquite was asked after the game Saturday, Boykin spun the answer around his team.

Was he sharper than last week, Boykin was asked?

“From the first game to the second game,” he answered, “what we preached all week was that you try to get better every week. I felt like our preparation was better than it was last week, and we played the same way.”

When he was asked about the change in demeanor once the score mounted, Boykin again refused to give the question the Heisman stiff-arm.

“You go out and just try to execute and make routine plays,” he said. “That was all our talk. Make routine plays and go through your reads. If you see something, attack it. If not, just run the ball.

“They came out fighting. We knew we had a game. We really just tried to come out and do what we do.”

Patterson confessed that he even campaigned his offensive coaches to run the ball more late in the first half, in hopes of keeping the score respectable enough to allow him to play his first-teamers more in the third quarter.

Boykin, never a numbers guy, said he was cool with that, too. He didn’t mind at all, turning the snaps over to his backups for the final 26 minutes of the game.

“If it was up to me, I would do it every time,” Boykin said, “just so we can get guys into the game and see what the other guys are about. People already know about me and the rest of the starters.”

Considering the hot water that gurgled Saturday around some of the other Top 25 teams, TCU had to enjoy the day’s breeze.

The lone cloud over the afternoon was the early loss of senior safety Kenny Iloka, perhaps for the season. It will further test an already depleted Patterson defense.

Just another round of adversity, Patterson sighed.

“Am I excited we won? Yes,” Patterson said. “But we know we’ve got a lot of good football ahead of us.”

Especially his quarterback.

Just don’t expect any Heisman poses or T-shirts.

Gil LeBreton, 817-390-7697

Twitter: @gilebreton

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