WVU looks to force mistakes from Boykin
Published: Thursday, November 1, 2012
Updated: Thursday, November 1, 2012 10:11
Coming into the 2012 season, TCU was expected to have one of the Big 12 Conference’s top quarterbacks in Casey Pachall.
But when Pachall left the team to enter a rehab program following a DUI arrest early in the season, head coach Gary Patterson was forced to turn to redshirt freshman Trevone Boykinas as the Horned Frogs’ starter.
Since Boykin’s takeover, TCU has won just one game.
"Any time you play a kid at that spot as a freshman, you’re going to have some ups and some downs," said West Virginia head coach Dana Holgorsen. "I know he’s turned the ball over a couple times, but not only has he made a bunch of plays in the air, but he can keep plays alive with his legs and still look to get the ball downfield."
Boykin has completed 101 of his 164 passes for 1,122 yards and 11 touchdowns but has thrown six interceptions.
The Mesquite, Texas, native left last week’s game against Oklahoma State with a knee injury, but TCU announced Wednesday he would be the starter against West Virginia.
"He’s done a good job stepping in after Pachall wasn’t there anymore," Holgorsen said. "He’s been getting better each and every week, and we’ll be shocked if he doesn’t continue to get better the rest of the year."
After facing two experienced quarterbacks in its last two games, going up against a young signal caller like Boykin could be just what the West Virginia defense needs to pick up some much-needed confidence. The Mountaineers are currently ranked among the worst passing defenses in the country, allowing more than 360 yards per game through the air.
Big 12 quarterbacks have thrown for 1,691 yards and 15 touchdowns while completing 73 percent of their passes with just two interceptions through WVU’s four conference games this season.
Mountaineer co-defensive coordinator Keith Patterson said getting to Boykin often and forcing him to make a few mistakes in the early part of the game could do wonders in helping the defense get on track while causing the freshman to lose some confidence.
"One of the big things I see is when people start putting pressure on him, you see a lot of deflected balls at the line of scrimmage," Patterson said. "I think if we can get to him early and try to impact him, he can be forced into some turnovers.
"It’s going to be a key to the game this week."
In its losses to Texas Tech and Kansas State, West Virginia has gotten in holes early and put more pressure on the offense to make plays thanks to the play of quarterbacks Seth Doege and Collin Klein.
Doege and Klein combined to throw for 284 first-quarter yards and three touchdowns, while the Mountaineer defense has been outscored 24-7 in the opening quarter of their last two games.
Although he’s a freshman who has demonstrated his susceptibility to making mistakes, the Mountaineers understand that his dual-threat skill set could cause a lot of problems for opponents.
"He’s very athletic. He’s almost like a running back that plays quarterback," Patterson said. "He throws the ball effectively and spreads the ball around to his playmakers, and that’s the biggest thing."