If there were ever a bad week to catch the number 3 rated passing offense in the NCAA, this Saturday is probably that time.
Coming off a huge loss to Oklahoma State that might prove to be the dagger to TCU’s playoff dreams, it’s not far fetched to think that the 15th ranked Horned Frogs will be more than a little upset on Saturday. In order to have any chance of grabbing a playoff spot, TCU will have to handily defeat their next three opponents, starting with the Kansas Jayhawks.
Offensively, TCU is one of the best teams in the nation. Led by quarterback Trevone Boykin, the team is averaging 46.7 points per game and 621.4 total yards per game. The passing attack is the gem of the offense as the Horned Frogs are averaging nearly 400 yards passing per game and have thrown for 31 touchdowns. TCU has also only thrown 9 interceptions this season, proving they can air it out while also protecting their possession.
Defensively, TCU’s pass defense has excelled while their run defense has been shaky, comparatively speaking. Opponents are averaging 233 yards passing per game but have only reached the end-zone 12 times. When they run the ball, however, they’ve been able to score a touchdown 19 times and are averaging 162 yards rushing per game. They don’t force too many turnovers, however, grabbing just 4 interceptions and 7 fumble recoveries.
5 Players To Watch
No. 2: QB Trevone Boykin (6’2, 205, Sr.)
Up until last week’s less than Trevone performance against Oklahoma State, Boykin was considered one of the front runners for the Heisman Trophy. While that performance may have hurt his Heisman hopes, he’s still one of the most dangerous players in the game. A true dual threat, Boykin has thrown for over 3,000 yards and has 29 touchdowns while also accumulating 597 yards rushing and 8 touchdowns on the ground. He’s averaging 440 total yards per game and is always a touchdown waiting to happen. With Boykin looking to rebound from his 4 interception outing last week, the KU secondary will have their hands full trying to contain this offensive weapon.
No. 9: WR Josh Doctson (6’3, 195, Sr.)
Boykin’s clear favorite target is Josh Doctson. When it comes to yards receiving, no one even comes close to Doctson. He has 14 receiving touchdowns on 1315 yards receiving so far this year, both a single season record for TCU, with an average of 16.9 yards per catch and 146 yards per game. However, Doctson is beat up due to an injury to his left hand and wrist that occurred during last week’s game against Oklahoma State. He is listed as probable, however, and could have a record day against the Jayhawks secondary if he can play through the injury.
No. 25: WR KaVontae Turpin (5’9, 152, Fr.)
If Doctson is hindered in anyway, KaVontae Turpin will be the next man up. Turpin is the next leading receiver with 462 yards receiving and 6 touchdowns. While Doctson may be in the spotlight, Turpin is a solid receiver who is averaging 14 yards per catch and 51 yards receiving per game. He’s proven to be a reliable pairing with Doctson and is sure to see his fair share of catches this Saturday.
No. 22: RB Aaron Green (5’11, 205, Sr.)
While the passing game is the star of this TCU offense, Aaron Green does his best to make sure everyone knows the Horned Frogs aren’t a one sided. Green has rushed for 796 yards and has 9 rushing touchdowns on the season. He also has 45 yards receiving and 1 receiving touchdown. On the rare occasion the ball is handed off and it’s not Boykin who is running it, it will be Green getting his number called.
No. 30: S Denzel Johnson (6’2, 205, Sr.)
On the defensive side of the ball, Denzel Johnson has been an absolute beast so far this season. He’s logged at least one stat in almost every defensive category. He’s leading the team in tackles for a loss (8), and interceptions (1) and he’s third on the team in total tackles with 54. He’s all over the field at times and will for be all over the Kansas offense.
Wave The Wheat If…
Ryan Willis makes it through the entire game. Last week Ryan Willis got banged up during the Jayhawks game against Texas but is currently on pace to start this week’s game against TCU. Kansas is running out of quarterbacks to play this year as they’ve already lost three to injuries. If Willis can make it through the rest of the season without being forced to stay on the sideline because of an injury, that’ll be a good step in the right direction.
Plough The Field If…
KU fails to keep TCU under 70 points. It sounds very pessimistic but when you pair a defense that is allowing 48 points per game against an offense that is one of the best in the nation and also happens to need three statement wins to prove to the selection committee that they still deserve a spot in the playoffs, it can lead to a very bad day. TCU won’t be holding back, they can’t afford to. There’s no such thing as running up the score when a spot in the playoffs is on the line.
It’s not going to be pretty this weekend for Kansas fans. The Jayhawks will most likely be subject to the age old “wrong place, wrong time” mantra. TCU will be doing everything it can to make up for their last game. As long as KU doesn’t suffer any injuries and can work on some in game scenarios, it’ll be a moral victory.