FORT WORTH, Texas – Just imagine the kind of game the TCU Horned Frogs could have had if head coach Gary Patterson thought his team played well Saturday.
All the Frogs did despite that was score a school and Big 12 record 82 points in an 82-27 throttling of Texas Tech.
The lopsided win for the 10th-ranked Frogs (6-1, 3-1 in the Big 12) made a huge national statement four days before the first College Football Playoff rankings are released. It also included a Heisman talk-worthy performance from junior quarterback Trevone Boykin, who threw for a school record seven touchdown passes and a whopping 433 yards.
It’s a good thing for Tech that the Frogs were a little off at Amon G. Carter Stadium.
"From a fan standpoint and a media standpoint probably so," Patterson said when asked Saturday’s win was an impressive one. "From a coach’s standpoint, what we were trying to get accomplished no. It’s great you can play okay and win."
The Frogs did just play okay early on against the Red Raiders (3-5, 1-4 in Big 12). The game had track meet written all over it after a first quarter that included 512 total yards and TCU leading 24-17.
But after the first quarter the track meet only included one runner, and he was wearing TCU colors and running circles anything wearing Texas Tech colors.
The Frogs took advantage of three first-half turnovers from Davis Webb to build a comfortable 37-20 lead at halftime. They blew the game open in the third quarter as Boykin threw four touchdown passes as TCU scored 31 points in the period.
Deante’ Gray turned a short Boykin pass into a 92-yard score and two minutes later Ty Slanina went 57 yards for a score as TCU built a 61-20 lead. Boykin’s final pass of the game was a 12-yard scoring strike to Emanuel Porter with 1:14 left in the quarter.
Boykin has now thrown 21 touchdown passes this season and been intercepted just three times. Those are the kinds of numbers that gets players mentioned for the Heisman Trophy. Boykin said after the game that he was canceling Heisman talk. That could be hard to do, especially if the Frogs continue to roll.
"We just had some guys make plays all around the field today and it was great watching," Boykin said. "I’m not even worried about that (Heisman). My main focus is the next game and trying to make the people around me better and help teammates and push them to levels where they can be great. We really don’t want to talk about the Heisman right now."
His teammates didn’t mind though.
"Boykin for Heisman why not," said running back Aaron Green, who set a career high with 105 yards including a 62-yard run to tie the game at 7 just 74 seconds into the game. "I know we’re TCU. We’re not a USC or Auburn or one of those schools that just brings all the glamour but why not. Just look at the turnaround from the offense last year."
The offense Boykin has around him will continue to keep him in the conversation. Despite playing reserves, the Frogs broke the old record for points in a game (69) early in the fourth quarter on a 4-yard run by Trevorris Johnson. Johnson put the Frogs over the 80-point marker with 1:16 left in the game with a 25-yard run.
That run pushed him over 100 yards in the game and gave the Frogs a 400-yard passer (Boykin), two 100-yard rushers (Johnson, 105, Green) and a 100-yard receiver (Gray, 165).
TCU put up a school record 785 yards of offense but Patterson said he wasn’t happy his team had to settle for four field goals.
"I don’t think we played well all game," he said. "We still had to kick three or four field goals in red zone in the second quarter. If you want to win a championship we’re going to have to play better. I told them before the ballgame they weren’t ready when I watched them warm up."
If the Frogs weren’t ready for warmups, imagine how Texas Tech looked. The Red Raiders surrendered a school record for points, with the old mark of 66 coming twice during the 2011 season. Tech also finished the game without quarterback Davis Webb, who injured his left ankle and was on crutches in the third quarter.
"If we were playing our best it would have been tough to beat them," Texas Tech head coach Kliff Kingsbury said. "We didn’t do that."