Aaron Green

Gary Patterson rules RB B.J. Catalon out for Peach Bowl

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Despite not playing in the final four games of the season for the TCU Horned Frogs, running back B.J. Catalon still leads the team with 10 rushing touchdowns. It’s a total Catalon won’t be able to increase at the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl.

TCU head coach Gary Patterson stated Catalon won’t play in the bowl game due to an inability to get him fully ready for the contest.

Prior to Catalon’s injury, the running back gained 493 yards through the team’s first eight games. Since his departure from the lineup, junior Aaron Green effectively took over as the team’s top rusher. During those final four games, Green ran for over 100 yards three times and averaged 119 yards per game.

With Catalon out of the lineup, Green’s contributions during the bowl game will be vital to TCU’s success.

Ole Miss owns one of the nation’s most aggressive defensive fronts. TCU’s ability to run the ball effectively will take pressure off of quarterback Trevone Boykin. If the Rebels can effectively slow Green then they’ll be able to pin their ears back to rush the passer, which is where their defensive line truly excels.

Trevone Boykin dazzles as No. 6 TCU dusts No. 7 Kansas State, 41-20

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A year after going 4-8, TCU will wake up tomorrow as a Top 5 team. The sixth-ranked Horned Frogs used an exquisite day from quarterback Trevone Boykin to wrest control of the Big 12 away from No. 7 Kansas State (at least in the eyes of the College Football Playoff committee, we’ll get to that in a minute) with a 41-20 win in Fort Worth.

TCU led 14-0 early, 17-7 at the half and 41-14 midway through the fourth against a team that took Auburn to the brink and beat everyone else on its schedule. Part of that is due to Gary Patterson‘s outstanding defense, which limited the Wildcats to 34 rushing yards on 19 carries and kept Jake Waters and the passing attack out of sync for most of the evening.

All the accolades that don’t belong to the TCU defense, though, belong to Boykin. He looked every bit like a Heisman finalist in completing 23-of-34 passes for 219 yards and a touchdown while rushing 17 times for 123 yards and three touchdowns. Aaron Green filled in admirably for the injured B.J. Catalon with 18 carries for 171 yards and a 65-yard touchdown that broke it open, moving the TCU lead to 31-14 just 51 seconds after Kansas State had pulled within 10 midway through the third quarter.

TCU looked every bit like the best team in the Big 12, alongside Baylor, which is good because the Frogs are a good bet to finish 11-1 with K-State now behind them. TCU will visit Kansas next week, visit Austin for a date with Texas on Thanksgiving, and then close with Iowa State, a 34-14 loser to Kansas today, in Fort Worth on Dec. 6.

The problem for TCU is that Baylor keeps winning. The Bears, of course, own the tiebreaker over TCU, but the Frogs are presently six spots ahead of Baylor in the College Football Playoff rankings. How will the committee treat each squad if they both finish 11-1? That’s a worry for another day, but one thing is sure: TCU fans had better become Kansas State fans, because the Wildcats visit Waco on Dec. 6.

TCU’s leading rusher out for pivotal Big 12 contest with Kansas State

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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.

Last-second field goal keeps Playoff, Heisman hopes alive for No. 10 TCU

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No. 10 TCU fought back from a 13-point deficit, fell behind by 13, and then did it again as Jaden Oberkrom knocked in a 37-yard field goal as time expired to beat No. 20 West Virginia 31-30 in Morgantown.

The Mountaineers built a 13-0 first quarter lead after a 75-yard opening march and then two field goals, both of the shorter variety after West Virginia did not convert a third down of makable distance near the goal line. TCU pulled within 13-7 on a 47-yard catch-and-run from Trevone Boykin to Deante’ Gray with 1:44 to go in the first quarter, but that was it for first half scoring.

If TCU had lost this game, it would undoubtedly point to the second quarter, where the Frogs forced three turnovers inside West Virginia territory and turned none of them into points.

No matter, West Virginia wasn’t done giving the ball away. The Mountaineers coughed it up twice more in the second half. The first came on a premature shotgun snap that caught Clint Trickett by surprise, recovered by TCU’s Mike Tuaua at the WVU 33. Five straight runs, the last a two-yarder by Boykin, put TCU up with 9:27 to go in the third quarter.

West Virginia then went on a 14-0 run to reclaim its 13-point edge at 27-14 on a five-yard Dreamius Smith run, coming immediately after TCU had taken its first lead, and then one play after that as Terrell Chestnut ripped the ball from Josh Doctson‘s arms and raced 36 yards for a touchdown.

Facing at 3rd-and-9 at his own 35, Trickett threw his second interception of the day. Three plays later B.J. Catalon raced in from 23 yards to pull TCU within 27-21 as the third quarter came to a close.

Josh Lambert knocked in a 23-yard field goal, pushing the West Virginia lead to 30-21, but the Mountaineers’ offense completely collapsed from there. West Virginia did not gain a first down in the third quarter, actually moving backwards seven yards on its nine fourth-quarter snaps, giving TCU the opportunity it needed to mount the comeback.

Catalon scored from six-yards out with 7:33 to go, and had a great shot at his third touchdown of the day on a 4th-and-3 pass from Boykin, but West Virginia appeared to get away with a hold.

The Mountaineers immediately gave the ball back, and the Frogs moved 56 yards in seven plays to give Oberkrom a 37-yard field goal as time expired.

Since mutually joining the Big 12 in 2012, TCU has beaten West Virginia by one in double overtime and by one on a last-second field goal, while West Virginia won by three in overtime last season. The road team has won all three games.

Boykin kept his Heisman Trophy hopes alive only by winning this game, as he spent much of the afternoon looking like the 2013 version of himself. He completed only 12-of-30 passes for 166 yards with a touchdown and an interception while rushing nine times for 49 yards and a touchdown; take away the touchdown and he managed 4.1 yards per attempt on his 29 throws.

TCU mounted this comeback by shutting down All-America candidate Kevin White (three catches, 28 yards) with its own All-Conference candidate named Kevin White. The Frogs also moved to the run in the second half, pounding out 167 yards on 29 carries after halftime. Catalon did most of the work with 20 carries for 105 yards and two touchdowns, while Aaron Green added 11 rushes for 65 yards.

The combination of Smith, Andrew Buie and Wendell Smallwood produced 176 yards on 39 carries, but could not get the necessary space with which to work as Trickett achieved only 162 passing yards on 26 attempts.

The win keeps TCU’s Big 12 and national championship hopes alive, setting up an absolutely massive game with No. 11 Kansas State on Saturday in Fort Worth.

West Virginia, meanwhile, must take solace in being college football’s most-accomplished three-loss team (losses to Alabama and Oklahoma before today, plus wins over Baylor and at Oklahoma State). They’ll visit Texas next week.

No. 10 TCU sets all sorts of records in 82-27 rout of Texas Tech

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Trevone Boykin announced his Heisman Trophy candidacy in a major way by leading No. 10 TCU to a rec0rd-setting 82-27 stomping of Texas Tech Saturday in Fort Worth. The Horned Frogs’ 82 points were a school and Big 12 inter-conference record and the most ever allowed by Texas Tech. TCU racked up 785 yards of total offense on the day, also a school record.

In three quarters of work, the junior completed 22-of-39 passes for 433 yards and a school-record seven touchdown passes while adding another 28 yards on the ground on seven attempts. Boykin threw for two scores in the first quarter, one in the second and four in the third, meaning one of every three completions (roughly) found pay dirt. His touchdown throws traveled 249 yards on their own, with scoring strikes of 51 yards (to Josh Doctson), 92 yards (to Deante’ Gray) and 57 yards (to Ty Slanina).

As if that wasn’t enough, seven Frogs runners combined to rush 41 times for 305 yards – 7.4 yards a pop – and three touchdowns. Aaron Green rushed six times for 105 yards, opening the scoring for TCU with a 62-yard dash a minute and 14 seconds into the game, and Trevorris Johnson added 10 carries for 105 yards and two touchdowns strictly in mop up duty (he didn’t enter the game until TCU had a 61-27 lead deep into the third quarter).

Overall, TCU ran 86 plays, averaged 9.12 yards per snap, threw for 480 yards, rushed for 305, achieved 32 first downs, and punted twice in 16 possessions. Four separate receivers averaged 19 yards or more per reception, while 13 players caught at least one pass. There was some bad news, though, as Josh Doctson was lost for the game and taken for an evaluation with an ankle injury.

The Frogs’ 82 points surpassed the Big 12’s record for points in a conference game, set by Oklahoma in a 77-0 stomping of Texas A&M in 2003, and came two points shy of Oklahoma State’s conference record for points in any game in an 84-0 rout of Savannah State in 2012.

Bad as it appears, this game wasn’t always a blowout.

Texas Tech opened the scoring 51 seconds into the contest on a 57-yard catch-and-run by Kenny Williams, and played to a 24-17 score through one quarter. The Red Raiders scored only 10 more points for the rest of the game, and only three while the outcome was still in doubt. Davis Webb threw for 300 yards and two touchdowns, but committed three first-half turnovers that led directly to 13 TCU points, giving the Horned Frogs the space they needed to turn this game into a blowout. Webb left the game with an ankle injury, and Jakeem Grant was also lost with a leg injury.

Patrick Mahomes finished off the game by completing 5-of-11 passes for 45 yards with a touchdown and an interception, and rushed seven times for 18 yards.

As tends to happen in games with a 55-point margin of victory, TCU won the turnover battle 4-0.

TCU moves to 6-1 (3-1 Big 12) with the win and prepares to head for a massive game at No. 22 West Virginia (themselves 34-10 winners over Oklahoma State on Saturday) on Saturday. Texas Tech, meanwhile, heads back to Lubbock for a somebody-has-to-win date with Texas.