Gary Patterson

Photo Credit: Elisabeth Dillon | Daily Texan Staff

Junior quarterback Trevone Boykin isn’t your typical student-athlete. 

In 2013, Boykin became the first TCU player ever to tally a 100-yard rushing game, 100-yard receiving game and 200-yard passing game. In 2014, he made the permanent move to quarterback, and he quickly vaulted himself into the Heisman conversation. 

His incredible skill, in combination with the story of his broken, blended family, led Sports Illustrated to take interest in the Dallas native. Its Nov. 17 magazine devoted five pages to Boykin’s role with the Horned Frogs.

“Led by Heisman hopeful quarterback Trevone Boykin and the eighth-ranked passing attack in the nation, TCU hasn’t simply caught up to the Big 12,” said the subhead of Lindsay Schnell’s article. “It’s hoping to make the jump from 4-8 to the final four.”

The teaser underplays the story’s focus on Boykin. He is unquestionably the central character of the story and his team. As reporters write his story, they often start with anecdotes from an earlier time in Boykin’s life, long before he arrived in Fort Worth. 

Much of the coverage of Boykin’s ascent circles back to West Mesquite High School, where Boykin combined for 4,729 yards of total offense and 58 touchdowns. A dual-threat quarterback, Boykin’s production was split between 1,799 rushing yards and 30 rushing touchdowns and 2,930 passing yards and 28 touchdown tosses. That production garnered him attention as Rivals’ No. 24 dual-threat quarterback in the nation and No. 5 in the state of Texas. High school coach Mike Overton described his excitement when he first saw Boykin’s arm.

“We’ve just uncovered a gold mine,” Sports Illustrated quoted Overton telling his coaching staff. 

Throughout his time in college, however, that gold mine has really flourished. As the quarterback’s numbers have continued to improve, TCU head coach Gary Patterson doesn’t appear to be the least bit surprised.

“For two years people have been telling him he can’t play quarterback and we’d never win,” Patterson told The Dallas Morning News. “He’s like anybody else I know with fire in him. They’re going to try to prove people wrong.”

Boykin has proved most of his critics wrong. At season’s start, many questioned whether he’d be able maintain his role as quarterback or return to wide receiver. Ten games and nine wins later, Boykin’s still behind center. 

He also leads the Big 12 in total offense, producing 359.6 yards per game — third-highest average in the country. And should he keep it up, he’ll join Heisman trophy recipients Robert Griffin III and Johnny Manziel as the only players since 2009 to average more than 300 yards passing and 50 yards rushing each game. He’s also vying for a Heisman — TCU’s first since 1938.

“When crunch time happens, he’s going to make the plays he needs to,” TCU junior receiver Kolby Listenbee told The Dallas Morning News. “We all support him. He’s our leader.”

As their leader, Boykin will aim to steer the Horned Frogs to victory in Austin this weekend. Texas knows it will have its hands full.

“A couple years ago, he was just the guy on the run,” senior defensive end Cedric Reed said. “Now, he’s the full package. He can throw the long ball, the short ball; he can run it. He’s reading the defense well. He’s just become a complete quarterback in a running back’s body.”

Photo Credit: Shelby Tauber | Daily Texan Staff

Oklahoma QB Knight out for Saturday

Redshirt freshman quarterback Cody Thomas will finally see some significant playing time for the Sooners on Saturday against Texas Tech. Oklahoma’s usual starter, sophomore Trevor Knight, went down with an injury to his shoulder and neck in the fourth quarter of the Sooners’ loss to Baylor and was on the ground for about 10 minutes before being stretchered off. The ensuing MRIs and X-rays were negative, but Knight did not practice Monday and the team announced Thursday that he will not play this weekend. Thomas has only completed 7-of-16 passes this season for 50 yards and an interception.

Gary Patterson campaigning for TCU

There’s still a little less than a month until the College Football Playoff committee decides the four teams that will get to play in the inaugural playoff, but TCU head coach Gary Patterson has already begun campaigning for his team to be in it over Baylor. Despite having lost, 61-58, on the road to the Bears, Patterson said, after the win Saturday against Kansas State, he has no issue arguing for his Horned Frogs.

“To me, it’s you play who you play and how you do it,” Patterson said. “I don’t see how any of the games they have left would mean any more than the games
we have.”

The toughest remaining game on TCU’s schedule is at Texas on Thanksgiving night, while Baylor will have one last chance to impress the committee at home against Kansas State on Dec. 6.

Kansas coach approves goalpost celebration

Kansas football has had difficulty finding a win in the Big 12 over the past few years, so it didn’t surprise too many when, after the Jayhawks beat Iowa State, the school’s students rushed the field, tore down the goalposts and carried parts of them out of the stadium. Although he hopes the program will one day move past that point, interim head coach Clint Bowen said he was fine with what the students did.

“For people to go out there and be able to enjoy a Kansas victory was good to see,” Bowen said. “It was good to see the students having fun; it was good to see our players
having fun.”

Kansas football fans likely won’t get the chance to celebrate like that again for a while as the team’s last home game comes Saturday against playoff contender TCU.

Pair of Bears receive Big 12 honors

The Baylor offense had a field day against Oklahoma on Saturday, scoring 48 points and defeating a ranked opponent on the road for the first time since 1991. For its effort, two Bears were recognized with Big 12’s weekly honors. Sophomore receiver Corey Coleman was named Big 12 Offensive Player of the Week after totaling 15 catches for 224 yard and two touchdowns — both career highs.

Redshirt freshman kicker Chris Callahan was named the Big 12 Special Teams Player of the Week after accounting for 12 of the 48 points. Callahan was 2-for-2 on field goals and nailed every extra point. He has made his last 12 field goal attempts.

Cedric Reed, Texas senior defensive end, rounded out the awards, earning the Big 12 Defensive Player of the Week honor. After a slow start to his senior campaign, Reed broke out of the slump with 12 total tackles — including four for losses — three sacks and a forced fumble in the 33-16 win over West Virginia. He also recorded a crucial safety late in the game.

Photo Credit: Jenna VonHofe | Daily Texan Staff

DALLAS ‒ The Big 12 unofficially kicked off the 2014 football season at the conference’s media days at the Omni Dallas Hotel on Monday.

The event began with Commissioner Bob Bowlsby’s annual State of the Conference address. Bowlsby delivered an eye-opening speech in which he warned that collegiate sports as we know it may be vastly different in the near future.

“Change is coming,” Bowlsby said. “There is change afoot, and some of it is going to be unhappy change because I think it will ultimately reduce the number of opportunities for young people to go to college and participate in sports.”

Bowlsby was followed by five of the 10 Big 12 Coaches: Art Briles, Charlie Weis, Mike Gundy, Gary Patterson and Kliff Kingsbury

Baylor: Briles preparing Bears to defend Big 12 title

The Baylor Bears won their first Big 12 title last season. Despite being picked to finished second by the Big 12 media behind Oklahoma, head coach Art Briles is teaching the team how to defend its title and the adversity that comes with the territory.

“We see ourselves as the guy fighting hard, scratching hard to try to get some recognition and some respect,” Briles said. “We have to learn how to prepare as the hunted as opposed to the hunter.  We've always been the hunter.  And I don't want to lose that edge and that attitude.”

Kansas: Weis, Jayhawks fighting for relevancy

The Kansas Jayhawks are six years removed from their victory in the 2008 Orange Bowl, and it’s been a rough road ever since.

Jayhawks coach Charlie Weis, in his third year as head coach, knows the team needs to improve.

“We haven't done a thing in the two years I've been here,” Weis said. “But our team very clearly knows what our expectations are. There's no hiding it.”

Oklahoma State: Gundy looking for quarterback to replace Chelf

The Oklahoma State Cowboys were a game away from winning the Big 12 Championship last season because of great quarterback play from Clint Chelf. Chelf threw for 2,173 yards, 17 passing touchdowns and 7 rushing touchdowns.

But now that Chelf is gone, Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy is trying to find his replacement and leading the way is junior J.W. Walsh.

“Walsh took the majority of the reps in the spring with the 1s and has had a good summer,” Gundy said. “Based on the style of play or the plan of attack that we want to use, we have a little bit of flexibility with the quarterback that we put in the game at that time.”

TCU: Patterson, Horned Frogs looking to overcome bowl-less season

For the first time in 16 seasons, TCU and head coach Gary Patterson missed out on playing in a bowl game. Despite the frustrating 2013 season, Patterson and the Horned Frogs are preparing themselves for a comeback.

“We got back to a Bowl game,” Patterson said. “So for me, it's all been about understanding it wasn't broke; you've got to make sure you go out — gotta be physical, gotta trust each other, gotta play together as a group, and also, you've got to find a way to make those plays at the end of the ballgame.”

Texas Tech: Kingsbury settling into coaching Red Raiders in second season

Under head coach Kliff Kingsbury, the Texas Tech Red Raiders rushed out to a 7-0 start in 2013. The Raiders followed that winning streak with a five-game losing streak. But a win in the Holiday Bowl revitalized Kingsbury and the team heading into the 2014 season.

“Yeah, [winning the Holiday Bowl] was huge,” Kinsbury said. “It proved to our team and our players that if you keep working hard and you keep focusing on your job and your responsibility, good things will happen.”

Photo Credit: The Associated Press

The Longhorns know they have a challenge on Saturday.

“For me, my side of the ball, TCU has an incredible defense, probably the best in our league, if not the best in college football right now,” senior quarterback Case
McCoy said.

And head coach Mack Brown made sure to note that, more specifically, TCU’s secondary is one of its most formidable units.

“They do a great job in the back end,” Brown said. “They do a great job matching routes. When they do disguise and play man, they do a great job playing man coverage.”

That great play Brown speaks of on the back end is in large part due to the outstanding play of senior cornerback Jason Verrett and junior safety Sam Carter. 

Few would argue against the assertion that Verrett is the best cornerback in the Big 12. He was a unanimous preseason All-Big 12 selection after being named a first-team All-American last year by SI.com. He led the Big 12 with 1.69 passes defended per game, the second-most in the country.

“It gives you confidence knowing you can line up with him on the best,” TCU head coach Gary Patterson said. “He’s not the biggest corner, but he battles you and is smart about what he does. He learns on the field.”

While Verrett may be the Horned Frogs’ best NFL prospect on defense, he isn’t having the best statistical year on that side of the ball. That honor belongs to Carter. 

Carter, who burned the Longhorns last year with a forced fumble and a game-sealing interception, has gotten better since. He already has two sacks, a forced fumble and three picks, returning one for a touchdown. 

“Sam is an amazing guy,” Patterson said. “Our safeties get themselves in good positions because they are really smart football players.”

Verrett, his partner in crime, isn’t just a cover corner. He was ranked sixth in the NCAA last year with six interceptions and he recorded 63 tackles. He was the only player in the nation ranked in the Top 10 in interceptions and passes defended.

But, for the former high school running back, it almost never happened.

Verrett ended up learning how to play cornerback at Santa Rosa CC (Calif.) and did it well enough to be ranked as the nation’s No. 6 JUCO cornerback, according to rivals.com. 

The FBS interest didn’t follow, though, as he had expected.

He got no offers from a BCS school. A few from Mountain West schools such as Boise State, San Jose State and TCU, along with one from UTEP. Ultimately, he signed with the Horned Frogs.

His first start couldn’t have gone much worse.

Then-Baylor quarterback Robert Griffin III threw six touchdown passes against the Horned Frogs — the first three coming at Verrett’s expense. That was two more touchdowns allowed in his first game at the FBS level as he had surrendered the prior year in junior college.

Verrett wanted to quit. 

He called his dad, mom, brother, former coach and Patterson to inform them his first game was going to be his last.

“I didn’t really wanna quit,” Verrett said a year later. “I was kind of lost. I was thinking of all the wrong things instead of just taking it as one game with 11 more to go.”

He learned from that game, one which Patterson still refers to as the “the one where [Verrett] wouldn’t come out from underneath the covers.” He handles adversity better. He’s learned to take things one game at a time.

Verrett is now a projected second-round pick in the NFL Draft and was named to the 2013 Lott Trophy watch list. He leads the team with 12 passes defended to go along with his one interception.

And, to think, he almost quit after his first game.

TCU's Casey Pachall out of rehab, on road to redemption

DALLAS – This time last year, Casey Pachall was coming off a record-setting sophomore season in his first year as TCU’s starting quarterback and preparing for a promising junior year.

He and Trevone Boykin combined to complete all 17 of the Horned Frogs’ in a 56-0 blowout of Grambling State – an FBS record for most completions without an incompletion – while Gary Patterson became the program’s all-time winningest coach.

Pachall threw for more than 300 yards in each of the next two games and helped TCU improve to 4-0 in their first year as a member of the Big 12 following a 24-16 win over SMU.

The fall from grace was quick and unforgiving.

Pachall de-enrolled from the school and entered a rehab facility after being suspended by Patterson. Boykin, who had began working out with the team’s running backs the previous week, was back under center. The Horned Frogs fell to Iowa State, 37-24, in their Big 12 home opener the next weekend, ending their FBS-best 12-game winning streak.

“It was a hard decision,” Patterson said. “I knew it was going to affect our wins and losses. You had to take a guy we moved to running back and move him back to quarterback. But as far as what we’re doing for a young man’s life, I think it was an easy decision.”

Boykin, a redshirt freshman in 2012, improved as the season progressed, but TCU finished 7-6, its worst season in eight years. Patterson has yet to name a starting quarterback for this year, but Pachall is widely expected to beat out Boykin for the job. His teammates spoke to the changes they’ve seen in Pachall since his return.

“I lived with him,” senior running back Waymon James said. “When he was down with rehab, he was miserable. He couldn’t stand it. He was miserable every day. The only people he talked to was his mom, family and his girlfriend. He couldn’t take it anymore. You could tell on his face. He was excited to get back out there. He’s growing up. He’s maturing. He’s ready to take us to a championship.”

Pachall, who was picked by the media as the preseason All-Big 12 quarterback, was not among the four players representing TCU at Big 12 Media Days on Monday. This was at his request, according to his head coach.

“A lot of people asked me why I didn’t bring him to media days,” Patterson said. “Number one, we don’t know who our starting quarterback is. Two, it doesn’t have anything to do with what my intentions were… I’m letting him do his thing, keeping the pressure off him.”

Patterson could have easily dismissed Pachall, a repeat offender, from his team. But he gave him time away from the squad, left the door open for him to return, and welcomed him back with open arms. Time will tell if the move will pay off.

“He’s not just about winning. He’s about changing lives,” safety Sam Carter said. “He understands football is temporary. He understands we’re young. We’re 19 to 23 and we’re going to make mistakes. He was young before. Sometimes people need a second and third chance. We all make mistakes. Football is important but it’s about helping him become a better person.”

The Big 12 was happy to announce the addition of Texas Christian and West Virginia to the conference on July 1. Two spots became available after the departure of Missouri and Texas A&M from the conference last year and were filled after much speculation. The addition of these two schools strengthens the overall depth of the conference and is a good indication of what to expect from the Big 12 this year and in years to come.

The Texas Christian Horned Frogs are a force to be reckoned with, posting an impressive 11-2 record last year (7-0 in conference) as part of the Mountain West Conference and winning the Poinsettia Bowl against Louisiana Tech. They have been the reigning champions of the Mountain West Conference in the team’s last three seasons and finished in the Top 25 in both Associated Press and USA Today polls. This shows they are consistently fierce competitors in both the regular season and during offseason.

The Horned Frogs’ success can be credited, at least in part, to head coach of 11 seasons Gary Patterson. Under his leadership, TCU has won at least 10 games per season for eight seasons, only failing to miss a bowl game once in 2004. In 2009, they boasted a 12-0 regular season record, the Mountain West Conference championship, a No. 4 final ranking in the Bowl Championship Series rankings and a spot in the Fiesta Bowl. The following year they achieved a second undefeated season, earned a No. 3 ranking in the BCS and won the Rose Bowl.

In the East Coast, the Big 12 welcomes the West Virginia Mountaineers, who also have an esteemed football program. Last year, as members of the Big East, 23rd-ranked WVU posted a 10-3 record (5-2 in conference) under newly hired coach Dana Holgorsen en route to winning the Orange Bowl against No. 14 Clemson, a game where WVU set the record for most points scored in a bowl game.  They have had four consecutive nine-win seasons and have been the Big East co-champions for the past two years. It may only be Holgorsen’s second season with WVU and his first head coach position, but he has been coaching football since the mid-1990s and has made a name for himself as an offensive strategist. He improved the offenses of Texas Tech, Houston and Oklahoma State before finding a home at WVU and can lead the Mountaineers to another successful season. With an early dark horse Heisman Trophy candidate in senior quarterback Geno Smith, the Mountaineers have their eyes on another conference title as well.

Texas Christian University Chancellor Victor Boschini gestures during a news conference in Fort Worth, Texas, Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2012.

Photo Credit: The Associated Press

Just a day after the TCU basketball program recorded a stunning overtime win over No. 11 UNLV, the school was rocked by the news of a campus-wide drug bust.

Seventeen students, including four members of the Horned Frog football team, were arrested Wednesday morning as part of a six-month drug sting carried out by Fort Worth and TCU campus police. The drugs involved included marijuana, cocaine, “molly” (a pure and powdered form of ecstasy), ecstasy pills and prescription drugs such as Oxycontin, Xanax and Hydrocodone, said TCU police chief Steven McGee.

“There are days people want to be a head football coach, but today is not one of those days,” said TCU coach Gary Patterson. “As I heard the news [Wednesday] morning, I was first shocked, then hurt and now I’m mad.”

The players arrested, who have since been kicked off the football team, include top linebacker Tanner Brock, defensive lineman D.J. Yendrey, offensive tackle Ty Horn and cornerback Devin Johnson.

“There’s no doubt all arrested [Wednesday] are drug dealers,” McGee said. “These students engaged in hand-to-hand delivery with undercover officers.”

In an affidavit released Wednesday afternoon by Forth Worth police, both Brock and Johnson admit to failing drug tests. Brock, who is currently being held in a Tarrant County jail on a $3,000 bail, is facing felony charges for the delivery of up to five pounds of marijuana.

“Our student-athletes are a microcosm of society and unfortunately that means some of our players reflect a culture that glorifies drugs and drug use,” said TCU director of intercollegiate athletics Chris Del Conte. “That mindset is not reflected by TCU, nor will it be allowed within athletics.”

According to Brock’s affidavit, an undercover police officer first purchased marijuana from both Horn and Yendrey on Nov. 3. After the initial exchange, the undercover officer continued to purchase illegal narcotics from the players until early January. On Jan. 18 the officer in charge of the investigation once again contacted Horn in search of marijuana, but was told by Horn to contact Brock, who had some “fire” (street terminology for what would be considered good marijuana). Brock met the undercover officer in a nearby grocery store parking lot and drove him to his residence off campus. The officer was able to purchase half an ounce of marijuana from Brock on Jan. 18, and on Jan. 25 as well.

A mandatory urinalysis for narcotics and other illegal substances was conducted by the TCU athletic department per Patterson’s request on Feb 1. In Brock’s affidavit he calls the test “bullshit,” and said that he “failed that bitch for sure.”

According to the affidavit, on the night of Feb. 1 the same undercover officer that had previously bought marijuana from Brock contacted the linebacker about buying more drugs. While at Brock’s residence, the officer and Brock talked about the urinalysis and Brock is quoted as saying he and Horn looked through the football roster and estimated that only 20 players would pass. Brock also stated that he used to buy Xanax and Hydrocodone from two other players who have since graduated. Johnson’s affidavit states that on the same night a different undercover officer purchased an ounce of marijuana from Johnson. After the officer inquired about the recent “piss test,” Johnson said, “What can they do, 82 people failed the test.”

All 17 students arrested face immediate expulsion from the university.

“Under my watch, drugs and drug use by TCU’s student-athletes will not be tolerated by me or any member of my coaching staff,” Patterson said. “At the end of the day, though, sometimes young people make poor choices.”

Printed on Thursday, February 16, 2012 as: TCU drug bust weeds out guilty athletes