Key for K-State against TCU: Score early, then keep scoring
Trevone Boykin has powered TCU’s potent offense with brilliant passing this season, though the Horned Frogs’ next opponent remembers that his legs can be lethal, too.
Boykin will try to help No. 2 TCU stay unbeaten in a matchup with a team he ripped on the ground last year as the Horned Frogs visit Kansas State on Saturday night.
TCU (5-0, 2-0 Big 12) has totaled at least 50 points and 600 yards of offense in each of its last four games. After last week’s 50-7 blowout of Texas, the Horned Frogs rank third in the nation with 50.8 points per game and second with 630.0 yards a contest.
TCU is midway through a four-game stretch against conference opponents Texas Tech, Texas, Kansas State and Iowa State that coach Gary Patterson pointed to as pivotal. The Horned Frogs beat the Red Raiders 55-52 on Sept. 26 before last Saturday’s victory, the only game of the four at home.
"This is the four-game swing we talked about that we needed to do it, and we’ve got two hard games left," Patterson said. "Every week you just try to win by one."
Boykin has helped TCU win by an average of 26.8 points, throwing for 1,802 yards and 19 touchdowns — 18 in TCU’s last four wins — and three interceptions. His career-best 174.0 rating puts him in the top 10 in the FBS.
But don’t forget about his running game.
Boykin has rushed for 242 yards and a pair of touchdowns a year after totaling 707 yards and eight scores on the ground, averaging 4.6 yards per carry in 2015 after averaging 4.7 last season. He ran for 123 yards and three touchdowns in a 41-20 win over Kansas State on Nov. 8, TCU’s first victory over the Wildcats in three tries since joining the Big 12 in 2012.
Boykin extended the nation’s longest streak with a touchdown pass to 20 games with five against Texas — four to freshman KaVontae Turpin, who finished with 138 receiving yards. Boykin’s big day moved his touchdown total to 74, breaking Andy Dalton’s school record of 71.
The Frogs’ 13-game winning streak is the second longest in the FBS behind Ohio State at 18.
Scoring early against TCU might be difficult for Kansas State (3-1, 0-1). The Frogs have allowed only 9.6 points per game before halftime.
"It’s vital for us to be able to not just score early, but to score throughout the course of the ballgame," coach Bill Snyder said. "I think early is important. If you fall behind a team like that, it’s pretty difficult to get back on the table."
Kansas State lost 36-34 last week when Oklahoma State’s Ben Grogan hit a 37-yard field goal with 32 seconds left. Joe Hubener had scored on a 5-yard run with 3:01 left to give the Wildcats the lead, but they failed on a two-point conversion.
The Wildcats have allowed 69 points in their last two games after giving up three in the first two.
Along with Boykin, Kansas State will be tasked with slowing down Aaron Green and Josh Doctson. Green has run for 504 yards and six touchdowns while Doctson has 722 receiving yards and eight scores.
Turpin has totaled 245 receiving yards and six TDs.
"It’s a long season," Patterson said. "We get through next week, we’re halfway through. I’m not trying to be a playoff team yet. I’m just trying to win the next ballgame."