TCU’s offense will be without one of its best weapons this weekend against Kansas State. Running back B.J. Catalon has been ruled out by head coach Gary Patterson for Saturday night’s game.
Catalon has not practiced this week, so his lack of availability for Saturday night comes as nothing more than a mild surprise. Reports noted an upper torso injury to the running back, which left him to be listed as questionable for this week. This season Catalon has rushed for a team-high 493 yards and he has added 14 receptions for 163 yards and a touchdown. As noted yesterday, Catalon has scored 10 of TCU’s 22 rushing touchdowns.
TCU and Kansas State are fighting for first place in the Big 12, as well as the opportunity to keep College Football Playoff dreams within reach. TCU losing Catalon is pretty significant, and it should put a little more pressure on quarterback Trevone Boykin to make some things happen against a Kansas State team that generally plays well on defense. Without Catalon, TCU will likely split reps between Aaron Green (378 rushing yards, three touchdowns in 2014) and Trevorris Johnson (199 rushing yards, four touchdowns). Look for Kyle Hicks to get some playing time as well, and it should go without saying Boykin will be asked to carry the football as well. The quarterback is second on the team in rushing with 423 yards and four touchdowns.
Kansas State is the Big 12’s second-best defense against the run according to the numbers. Baylor is the only team better against the run strictly by the numbers, although the Wildcats have allowed just five rushing touchdowns all season to Baylor’s 10 allowed on the ground. Basically, TCU will have its work cut out for them to get much production out of the running game. Kansas State is also third in the Big 12 against the pass, just to cover that side of the conversation as well.