The last time Kansas State faced TCU, Trevone Boykin lined up at receiver and the story lines leading up to the game revolved around the Horned Frogs’ tough defense.
One year later, everything has changed.
Boykin is now getting Heisman Trophy consideration as a quarterback, and he is in charge of the nation’s most improved offense. TCU ranks second nationally in scoring (48 points), sixth nationally in passing yards (335.9) and 31st nationally in rushing yards (214.1). That combination has helped the Horned Frogs score at least 31 points in all eight of their games and surpass Baylor as the Big 12’s most explosive team.
Behind the tutelage of new coordinators Dough Meacham and Sonny Cumbie, TCU is scoring nearly 23 more points and gaining close to 205 more yards than a year ago.
Those numbers have had K-State cornerback Morgan Burns turning his head all season, particularly after TCU pounded Texas Tech 82-27.
“That is just crazy,” Burns said. “That is more of a basketball score. When I first heard that I said, ‘Where is the defense at?’ When you see scores like that it normally means that the defense wasn’t very disciplined or maybe didn’t play as well as they should. But they are just explosive. They are all about big plays and throwing the ball down the field. They can score pretty quickly.”
Boykin is the leader of the quick-strike attack.
The junior has thrown for 2,472 yards and 22 touchdowns, while also rushing for 423 yards and four touchdowns. He leads the Big 12 in total offense months after many assumed Texas A&M quarterback Matt Joeckel would be the team’s starting quarterback.
K-State coach Bill Snyder praised Boykin for his improvement this week. It has been pivotal to the Horned Frogs’ turnaround.
“The system fits Boykin,” K-State coach Bill Snyder said. “He is a very gifted athlete. He can run the ball and do the option with it. He can do the quarterback run stuff, and he is throwing the ball extremely well and throwing it down the field. It’s not just the short stuff. I think that is a major element in the great improvement that they have made.
Added K-State linebacker Will Davis: “His confidence has sky-rocketed. You can tell by the way he controls the game and the way he controls that offense. You can just see it in the way he plays.”
Last year, when the Horned Frogs missed out on a bowl game with a losing record, coach Gary Patterson decided his team needed an offensive overhaul to compete for a conference championship. They have mostly held their own in league play so far, but there is still one team they haven’t beaten since joining the Big 12 in 2012 — K-State.
This is another opportunity to prove themselves.
“We understand when you play K-State it’s going to be a physical battle,” Patterson said. “They’re very well coached and they don’t beat themselves. You’ve got to be able to play within that. For us, you’ve got to score points if you’re going to beat them. We’re really excited about playing at Carter (Stadium) and playing at night, because it’s a really special place when you’re playing here at night.”
No. 9 Kansas State at No. 6 TCU
WHEN: 6:30 p.m. Saturday
WHERE: Amon G. Carter Stadium, Fort Worth, Texas
TV: Fox (Ch. 4)
Other story lines
▪ THE ONLY ONE: Since joining the Big 12 two years ago, TCU has defeated nine of the conference’s 10 teams. The only exception? Kansas State. The Wildcats have won a pair of close, hard-fought games against the Horned Frogs.
▪ INJURY UPDATE: Top TCU running back B.J. Catalon is battling injuries and may not play. If he can’t go, Aaron Green is the next man up.
▪ BLACK OUT: TCU is encouraging its fans to wear black to the game to add to the home atmosphere.