Boykin injured, TCU struggles to beat winless Kansas
FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) -- Trevone Boykin tried to jog with his TCU teammates to the locker room at halftime after injuring his right ankle early against winless Kansas. This was supposed to be a bounce-back from his first loss in more than a year.
The Heisman Trophy candidate just couldn't keep up, eventually slowing and walking gingerly behind the pack. His day was over, and now the 13th-ranked Horned Frogs are likely to face the tough finish to their schedule with Boykin and standout receiver Josh Doctson slowed by injuries.
TCU did enough without the national leader in total offense, getting touchdowns on backup Foster Sawyer's only completion and KaVontae Turpin's zigzagging 49-punt return in a 23-17 win over the Jayhawks on Saturday.
But the question now is whether -- and how well -- Boykin can play on a gimpy ankle while Doctson nurses left arm and wrist damage that limited his availability. The Horned Frogs (9-1, 6-1 Big 12, No. 15 CFP) have games remaining against 12th-ranked Oklahoma and No. 4 Baylor.
"This group will battle," coach Gary Patterson said. "They'll play hard the next two weeks. So don't get any indication I'm all set to throw in the towel 'cause that's not going to happen."
Doctson, who had season lows with one catch for 12 yards, was injured in last week's 49-29 loss to Oklahoma State that ended a 16-game winning streak and severely damaged TCU's national title hopes.
Boykin's Heisman chances took a hit with four interceptions against the Cowboys, and his school-record streak of 24 straight games with a touchdown pass, tied for longest in the nation, ended with his early exit against the Jayhawks.
On his second play of the game, Boykin turned awkwardly on his right ankle as he slipped while trying to cut and was tackled by Kansas linebacker Joe Dineen Jr. He didn't return after getting sacked on TCU's last offensive play of the first quarter.
Boykin returned to the sideline in the second quarter, but was clearly limping. He stood on his left leg only while the band played the school song after the game.
Asked if the ankle was sprained, Patterson said, "I think so."
"I think Trevone will be back," Patterson said. "We just couldn't take a chance. They said he shouldn't go, and I said, `OK.'"
Kansas (0-10, 0-7) didn't trail at halftime for the first time this year, but couldn't avoid a 35th straight road loss and 13th overall. The Jayhawks have their first 10 games for the first time since 1954, when they finished 0-10.
"We stressed the heck out of the fact that we thought we matched up pretty well with these guys," Kansas coach David Beaty said. "Go out there and expect to win. Don't be surprised if you're up at halftime."
The Horned Frogs tried two backups to Boykin in Bram Kohlhausen, a senior transfer from Houston, and Sawyer, a redshirt freshman who played for a private Fort Worth high school.
Shaun Nixon was open over the middle and turned Sawyer's completion into a 42-yard touchdown, breaking a tackle on the catch-and-run score early in the fourth quarter.
"He's a Heisman candidate, so you're absolutely going, `Wow,'" Kansas coach David Beaty said of Boykin's injury. "I hope the kid's OK. Because he's that good of a player."
The only other TD for the Horned Frogs was Turpin's flashy return, when he stopped and changed directions twice for a 7-0 lead in the first quarter.
The Frogs also leaned on the running game. Aaron Green had a career-high 177 yards and boosted several drives that ended in scoring range, including two on downs and one when Kohlhausen was intercepted by Fish Smithson at the Kansas 10.
TCU still managed 487 yards without much from Boykin and Doctson, including 279 on the ground. Nixon had seven catches for 78 yards.
Ryan Willis threw for 203 yards, including a 10-yard score to Tyler Patrick on fourth down to get Kansas within 23-17 with 6:19 remaining.
The Frogs struggled to move the ball soon after Boykin was injured, and again in the fourth while trying to protect the slim lead.
But the defense came through with three straight stops, including an interception by Ty Summers and Terrell Lathan's clinching fourth-down sack of Willis in the final 2 minutes.
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