He juked. He whirled. He ran and passed for 472 yards. He high-fived the opposing coach.
TCU quarterback Trevone Boykin may not have won the Heisman Trophy on Thursday night, but he clearly captured the West Virginia caucus.
Playing in front of a national TV audience, Boykin and the Horned Frogs soared past the West Virginia Mountaineers 40-10 for their 16th victory in a row.
With all due respect to Corey Coleman, Trevone Boykin is the best player in college football.
West Virginia coach Dana Holgorsen, comparing Boykin with Baylor’s star receiver
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to the Star-Telegram
So, America, what did you think?
West Virginia coach Dana Holgorsen was certainly impressed.
“With all due respect to Corey Coleman, Trevone Boykin is the best player in college football,” said Holgorsen, whose team lost by 24 points to Baylor 11 days ago.
“I can’t get No. 2 [Boykin] out of my mind, making everybody on the field miss.”
On 47 occasions Thursday, Boykin either dropped back, or rolled out, or emerged from some magic frog hole to attempt a pass. Yet, the Mountaineers defense was able to sack him only once.
Eleven other times the senior from West Mesquite tucked the football away and dashed or danced or — much to coach Gary Patterson’s horror — somersaulted for 84 yards.
I keep telling you just to appreciate Trevone Boykin and Josh Doctson. They’re pretty special people.
TCU coach Gary Patterson
The made-for-Heisman-TV moment came in the third quarter, when Boykin rolled to his right, made four pursuing defenders wave and miss, and ending up running for 11 yards before finding himself stepping out of bounds right in front of Holgorsen.
The West Virginia coach, his head half raised, instinctively raised his right hand, slapped high-fives with Boykin and kept walking.
“He was just standing there, and I put my hand up to give him a high-five, and he just gave me one,” Boykin said, smiling at the incident afterwards. “It was kind of unreal.”
But so was Boykin, in a lot of ways, on this night when the Frogs had the college football spotlight all to themselves.
“I keep telling you just to appreciate Trevone Boykin and Josh Doctson,” Patterson said. “They’re pretty special people.”
Doctson was on the receiving end of 11 of Boykin’s passes and scored two touchdowns.
“You’ve got to appreciate when you have good players, when they can just make plays,” Patterson continued. “Josh caught three passes that were thrown behind him. Average guys don’t make those plays.
“On another one Trevone threw the ball sidearm on a short post on 3rd-and-8. How many quarterbacks do you see throw sidearm down the middle of the field?
“I’m just glad he’s on my side.”
Crucial games, many with playoff implications, remain for almost all the top Heisman candidates. LSU’s Leonard Fournette still has to go on the road to Alabama and Ole Miss. Ezekiel Elliott may have the Ohio State voting bloc in his favor, but if the Heisman voters are going to break recent precedent and honor a running back, it has to be Fournette.
Know this much: Quarterbacks have won 13 of the past 14 Heismans.
Thursday’s nationally televised game was also played out in the aftermath of Boykin’s Kodak moment of the season. The young lady whom Trevone took time to greet last week at Iowa State, Abby Faber, 7 years old, and her family were flown in for the game and introduced to the TCU crowd during the first half.
Heisman winners have Heisman moments.
Trevone Boykin had dozens of them Thursday night.
He whirled. He dashed. He dazzled. He showed America why the Horned Frogs are 8-0.
The high-five from Holgorsen said it all.