TCU head coach Gary Patterson will go this year without a spring game as the Horned Frogs deal with a shortened roster of sorts. A growing number of players dealing with injuries of various degrees tied Patterson into making the decision to go without the annual spring game this weekend as originally scheduled.
TCU’s roster depth should be in better shape later this summer once the incoming Class of 2019 and expected transfers are able to join the program, but this spring has seen a handful of players get a little banged up to cut the depth at various positions. Rather than go through with a meaningless spring game and risk further harm to additional players or pressure any injured player to gut it out for the spring game, Patterson is making the right move here.
Last season saw TCU deal with a rash of injuries as well, turning what looked like it might be a potentially promising season into a bit of a struggle as the season continued to play out. A year after playing for the Big 12 championship in 2017, the Horned Frogs ended the 2018 season with a record of 7-6 with a victory in the infamous Cheez-It Bowl.
TCU will open the 2019 season at home against Arkansas-Pine Bluff on Saturday, Aug. 31.
It has been a rough morning for TCU football news. On top of news of an arrest of wide receiver KaVontae Turpin (who has now been suspended by TCU) on Sunday comes injury news that will impact the quarterback position for the rest of the season.
Shawn Robinson, who had been TCU’s starting quarterback this season, will see his season come to a premature ending after head coach Gary Patterson announced he will be undergoing season-ending shoulder surgery. Michael Collins, a transfer from Penn who stepped in to provide a spark on offense on Saturday against the Sooners, will take over as the starting for the Horned Frogs moving forward.
Robinson, a sophomore, played in all seven games for TCU up to this point in the season, in which he passed for 1,334 yards and nine touchdowns with eight interceptions. He also rushed for 230 yards and three touchdowns. Prior to being taken out of the Oklahoma game on Saturday, Robinson had completed just three of eight passes for 21 yards. Robinson started against Oklahoma, although Robinson appeared to have injured his shoulder in a previous game against Iowa State.
Collins came into the game in the second quarter and quickly led TCU to an offensive flurry before halftime, but the magic seemingly ran out in the second half as Oklahoma pulled away from the Horned Frogs in the Big 12 contest. Collins ended the day completing seven of 17 passes for 142 yards and two touchdowns with one interception.
With Robinson unavailable and Collins taking over as the team’s starter, senior Grayson Muehlstein will be the new backup option for TCU. Muehlstein has appeared in two games this season, completing one of three pass attempts for 11 yards. He has appeared in just seven games for TCU during his college career.
TCU also has former four-star recruit Justin Rogers on the roster. The freshman has not seen any game action this season and the new redshirt rule could allow for the possibility of seeing what he can do in a total of four games without sacrificing a year of eligibility. But his status remains questionable according to recent updates offered by Patterson. Rogers was limited in training camp and has yet to be completely cleared by medical staff members as he is coming off a torn ACL from the season opener of his senior year of high school football last year.
UPDATE 12:28 p.m.: TCU head coach Gary Patterson announced Turpin has been suspended.
One of TCU’s most electric players is facing some legal trouble at the start of the week. KaVontae Turpin was arrested Sunday for alleged assault with bodily harm of a family member according to a report Monday morning from Star-Telegram. He has been released from jail.
The details of the incident have not yet been reported or shared at this time. TCU head coach Gary Patterson has yet to make any statement about the situation at this time. Before any decision on Turpin’ status with the team is made by Patterson, t is likely he and other athletics officials will want to gather as much information about the situation as possible before making any sort of announcement, whether it is handled in-house or not.
While Patterson has not officially been on the record about this news just yet, TCU has.
“Texas Christian University is aware that one of its students was recently arrested for a reported domestic situation,” a statement from TCU’s athletic department said Monday morning. “The university takes these types of reports very seriously and is continuing to gather information to determine next steps. TCU expects its students to behave in an ethical manner, abide by campus policies and adhere to state and federal law.
“The student also may face a charge of violating the University Code of Student Conduct, the results of which are independent and separate from any legal charges.”
Turpin is TCU’s second-leading receiver with 410 receiving yards and three touchdowns. Turpin’s work on special teams has also been a bright spot for TCU this season with one punt return touchdown and one kickoff return touchdown this season.
On Monday, TCU head coach Gary Patterson confirmed quarterback Shawn Robinson will play for the Horned Frogs on Thursday night against Texas Tech. Whether he starts remains in question, however.
Patterson addressed the status of his starting quarterback on the Big 12 conference call on Monday, saying Robinson will be available to play and will be expected to get on the field. Patterson was unwilling to say if Robinson will start the game, which leaves the door open for Michael Collins to potentially start against the Red Raiders if needed.
“He’ll play, Patterson said about Robinson’s status on the Big 12 conference call, according to The Star-Telegram. “I don’t know if he’ll start.”
Robinson injured his non-throwing left shoulder against Iowa State on September 29. Robinson was taken off the field near the end of the game, a 17-14 victory for TCU, to be examined by medical staff in the locker room. Having a bye week to recover from the injury came at a good time for TCU and Robinson, and it sounds as though that time off was a benefit for Robinson with a Thursday night game on the schedule this week.
If Robinson is not used in a starting role, it remains to be seen just how much he will be used in the game against Texas Tech. TCU may need as much firepower on offense as possible against the Red Raiders. Collins has little experience at TCU since transferring from Penn, but he did sit out last year and has been involved in the program for over a year.
TCU hosts Texas Tech on Thursday at 7:30 p.m. ET. Texas Tech will be wearing a specially-designed throwback uniform for the game.
Football players tend to be able to pull some sway on campus in little ways, whether they are NCAA violations or not. But at TCU, jumping ahead in line at the Chick-fil-A is apparently not one of them, and head coach Gary Patterson wants TCU students to know that.
Responding to a tweet by a TCU student that accused an anonymous TCU football player of asking to move ahead in line by declaring himself a football player, Patterson chimed in with a timely response on Twitter looking for names.
Fortunately for this nameless TCU player, he got away with this one as the identity of the player in question could not be confirmed. One wonders just how Patterson would have addressed that with the player, and the whole team. No Chick-fil-A for a month? That’s a good punishment, fit for the crime of trying to get ahead in line by relying on your status with the football team.
But let this be a lesson to all TCU football players, you have to wait in line for your Spicy Chicken Sandwich just like the rest of the TCU student body.