Trevone Boykin and TCU survive a tough first half and an injury to Casey Pachall to beat Southeastern Louisiana 38-17
BY Matthew Postins
If TCU had a LSU hangover, it lasted a half – and it coincided with Trevone Boykin taking over at quarterback for an injured Casey Pachall.
Up just 17-14 at halftime on FCS opponent Southeastern Louisiana, Boykin directed the offense to 21 unanswered points in the second half as the Horned Frogs defeated the Lions, 38-17, at Amon G. Carter Stadium on Saturday.
For TCU (1-1) it was imperative to get some momentum going entering its Big 12 opener at Texas Tech on Thursday. Its second half performance went a long way toward preparing for the Red Raiders.
TCU head coach Gary Patterson revealed after the game that Pachall will not be available for the Texas Tech game after leaving the game in the second quarter. Patterson did not specify the injury Pachall suffered, but did say that Pachall did not leave the stadium to go to the hospital or have X-rays. He did say the injury was “not good.”
So Boykin will be the starter on Thursday night.
“Knowing if Casey can’t go I’m really the only guy left, I have to protect myself as much as I can,” Boykin said of potentially ratcheting down his tough playing style next week. “(The coaches) were telling me that. I was being hard-headed and taking shots on the field I don’t need to take and that has to change.”
Generally, Patterson wasn’t happy with the struggles in the first half of a game that most expected the Horned Frogs to dominate from the get-go.
“We did not play with very much enthusiasm today,” Patterson said. “We have work to do.”
Boykin and Pachall worked as a tandem last week against LSU, with neither separating from the other. Pachall went 9-of-16 for 75 yards and an interception. Boykin went 6-of-12 for 70 yards.
But when Boykin entered the game late in the first half it marked a turnaround for the Horned Frogs offensively. Boykin – who caught 3 passes for 25 yards before he took over for Pachall – threw for 133 yards and 2 touchdowns (9-of-13 passing) while rushing for another 35 yards.
Pachall left the game with 100 yards passing (8-of-14). He rushed for 12 yards and was sacked twice.
For most of the first half the Horned Frogs seemed to gain yards in fits and starts against a Lions defense that proved gamer than they looked the last week in losing to Southeast Missouri State, 45-7. TCU also took some chances early, going for it on fourth down deep in Lion territory on each of its first two possessions and failing to convert both times.
Like a week ago TCU lived on the ground, scoring both of its first-half touchdowns on runs – 1-yard by Waymon James and 15 yards by B.J. Catalon.
For the second week it was Catalon – the reigning Big 12 Conference Special Teams Player of the Week – who led the Horned Frogs in rushing, gaining 59 yards on 11 carries. James had 39 yards on just 8 carries.
The Lions (0-2) tied the game at 14-14 with 2:38 left in the second quarter on Bryan Bennett’s 65-yard touchdown pass to Jeff Smiley.
But the momentum shifted shortly after. Pachall was hurt running for 8 yards on the first play of the ensuing drive, bringing Boykin into the game full-time. He led the Horned Frogs to a 46-yard field goal by Jaden Oberkrom, giving TCU a 17-14 halftime lead.
Then the Horned Frogs kicked it into gear in the second half. Boykin led the Horned Frogs to touchdowns on their first two drives of the third quarter. He connected with Brandon Carter for a 29-yard reception on the first play of the first scoring drive, and Carter finished it off with a 5-yard touchdown run with 8:32 remaining in the third quarter.
Horned Frogs safety Chris Hackett picked off Bennett two plays later, giving the Horned Frogs the ball at the Lion 44. Two plays later Boykin hit Josh Doctson down the right sideline for a 27-yard touchdown pass with 7:52 left to give TCU a 31-14 lead. Boykin then threw his second touchdown of the game in the fourth quarter, a 9-yarder, to Aaron Green.
“In the first half we were trying to figure out what they were doing,” Boykin said. “In the second half we knew what they were doing. It was about execution (in the first half). When we get behind schedule we’re not as good – negative yards, sacks, anything.”
The Horned Frogs were great in the red zone on Saturday, scoring touchdowns on four out of five red zone chances.
The Lion offense took a bit of a gash out of TCU’s defense in terms of yards, gaining 339 total yards. Bennett accounted for 132 yards rushing and 132 yards passing. But TCU did force three turnovers, one week after proving unable to induce a LSU miscue. Kevin White recovered a SLU fumble and Sam Carter picked off a pass, both coming in the first half.
Cornerback Jason Verrett and linebacker Jonathan Anderson each led TCU with seven tackles, with Anderson recording a tackle for a loss and forcing the fumble that White recovered in the first quarter. Safety Derrick Kindred had 2.5 tackles for loss – out of three tackles for the game – and defensive tackle Terrell Lathan had two tackles for loss.
Defensive end Devonte Fields returned to the lineup in the second half on Saturday, putting an early end to his two-game suspension, levied in May for a violation of team rules. Fields had an assist.
- TCU’s B.J.Catalon Special Teamer of the Week (rattleandhumsports.com)