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.
It looked like Oklahoma was going to be in full control despite having some flaws to sort through in the first half against TCU in Fort Worth, but a change at quarterback seem to have ignited TCU’s offense in the first half. Oklahoma quickly saw a 28-7 advantage turn into a 28-24 lead at halftime of the Big 12 contest.
Michael Collins replaced Shawn Robinson at quarterback for TCU midway through the second quarter. After nearly throwing a pick-six on his second snap, Collins threw a higher-percentage screen pass to KaVontae Turpin and Turpin turned on the jets for a 41-yard touchdown to provide a much-needed offensive spark for the Horned Frogs. The screen pass essentially doubled TCU’s entire offensive production up to that point in the game.
Robinson had completed just three of his eight passes for 21 yards before being removed from the game. Collins has completed four of five passes for 89 yards and two touchdowns as TCU is showing life as a threat to Oklahoma.
Oklahoma scored touchdowns on each of their first four possessions in the game. Two of those scores came from outside the red zone, with Kyler Murray completing a 37-yard pass to a wide-open CeeDee Lamb for the first score of the game. A touchdown celebration by Lamb and Lee Morris led to an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty that backed up the ensuing kickoff, which was returned by Turpin for a quick TCU touchdown. Morris later made up for his penalty by scoring Oklahoma’s fourth touchdown of the game on a nine-yard pass. Trey Sermon picked up a short touchdown run for Oklahoma’s second touchdown, and Kennedy Brooks ripped off a 21-yard run on a 4th and 1 play for the third touchdown of the game for the Sooners.
Oklahoma will have to get back on track in the second half. The Sooners are 0-for-5 on third down (but 3-for-3 on fourth down), and Oklahoma has been flagged for eight penalties for 60 yards. Lincoln Riley has some coaching to do with TCU getting comfortable.
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.
Although things may not have started off well for No. 16 TCU (2-0) after a weather delay pushed back the start of Friday night’s game by about 50 minutes, the Horned Frogs got everything in gear in the second half to defeat rival SMU (0-2) by a score of 42-12. KaVontae Turpin had a punt return for a touchdown and a 42-yard touchdown catch to help light the spark for TCU and help slam the door shut on the Mustangs. This is the seventh year in a row TCU has won the rivalry game as they continue to maintain possession of the Iron Skillet.
TCU’s defense shut down opportunities for SMU in the second half. Two plays after TCU quarterback Shawn Robinson (15/28, 146 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT, 67 rushing yards, 1 rushing TD) threw an interception on the opening drive of the second half, Ben Banogu forced a fumble by SMU quarterback Ben Hicks (18/38, 111 yards) and Alec Dunham returned the loose ball 25 yards for a touchdown. Down 21-12, SMU never had a drive longer than 13 yards the rest of the night until their next-to-last possession. By then, TCU had a 30-point lead.
Robinson rushed 18 yards for a touchdown to extend the TCU lead to 28-12 in the third quarter and his 42-yard pass to Turpin in the fourth quarter made any threat of an upset vanish as Gary Patterson soon started feeling comfortable getting some of his starters on the sideline for the remainder of the game. Michael Collins took advantage of that opportunity by running 10 yards for a fourth-quarter touchdown.
TCU will now get one extra day of rest to begin focusing on their next game. TCU will meet Big Ten favorite Ohio State in Arlington, Texas in Week 3. The Buckeyes lead the all-time series 4-1-1, but the two programs have not met on the field since 1973. TCU will not be able to afford a slow start against Ohio State next week, because Ohio State will be far more likely to put points on the scoreboard whereas SMU jumped out to a 9-0 lead and never found an offensive rhythm after that.
SMU limps out to a 0-2 start with losses to TCU and North Texas, and neither has been particularly pretty. SMU will find it difficult to pick up the first win under head coach Sonny Dykes. Next week, the Mustangs head into Big Ten territory to play Ohio State’s rivals, the Michigan Wolverines. Michigan dropped their season opener at Notre Dame in Week 1, but Jim Harbaugh has a good chance to get his Wolverines into a comfort zone the next two weekends. SMU will host AAC opponent Navy the following week and may be looking to find its first win of the season at the end of September with a home game against Houston Baptist on Sept. 29.
TCU head coach Gary Patterson has named his starting quarterback for the Horned Frogs in 2018. Shawn Robinson was named the starting quarterback for TCU’s season opener.
Robinson appeared in six games as a freshman last season for TCU. In that limited playing time, Robinson completed 13 of 27 pass attempts for 184 yards and three touchdowns with zero interceptions. An ability to protect the football in training camp this summer was a deciding factor in Robinson winning the starting job.
The former three-star dual-threat quarterback in the Class of 2017 was largely expected to be named the starting quarterback by Patterson, but now it has become official and TCU can move forward preparing for the season knowing who will be leading the offense. Although Robinson has been named the starter, Patterson has said Michael Collins, a transfer from Penn, will get some playing time in the season opener against Southern, which makes sense and should also have been expected.
TCU opens the 2018 season against Southern on September 1.