Casey Pachall: How the TCU Offense Can Move on Without Its Star Quarterback

Alex BallentineFeatured ColumnistOctober 9, 2012

DALLAS, TX - SEPTEMBER 29:  Casey Pachall #4 of the TCU Horned Frogs warms up in the rain before kickoff against the SMU Mustangs on September 29, 2012 at Gerald J. Ford Stadium in Dallas, Texas.  (Photo by Cooper Neill/Getty Images)
Cooper Neill/Getty Images

Star quarterback Casey Pachall will disenroll from TCU for the fall semester in the wake of a DWI arrest last week.

Patterson announced his decision at Tuesday's Media luncheon according to Stefan Stevenson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

Casey Pachall will not play football for TCU the rest of 2012.

— Stefan Stevenson (@FollowtheFrogs) October 9, 2012


The loss of Pachall is a big blow for the Horned Frogs. They had their nation-leading 12-game win streak snapped in the first game without Pachall against Iowa State on Saturday.

After an offseason drug raid that led to the dismissal of four players, the sudden departure of led back Ed Wesley and injuries all over the field, the news just comes as another challenge to a Frogs team that should be plenty used to adversity at this point.

As difficult as moving on without Pachall will be, the Frogs must find a way to produce points without him as the toughest part of a brutal schedule quickly approaches. The Frogs' next seven opponents have a combined record of 26-6 on the season with four of those opponents ranked inside the top 15 right now.

Looking ahead, here's what must happen for the Frogs to make the most out of a season that has been defined by difficult situations.


Keep B.J. Catalon Involved

Senior running back Matthew Tucker was forced to sit out last week's loss to Iowa State with an injury to his ankle, but even when he comes back, freshman B.J. Catalon needs to be a big part of this offense.

The Houston-based freshman led the team in carries last week with 13 and made the most of his opportunities with 86 yards rushing. Add in his 19 yards receiving and the freshman actually put together a nice game with over 100 yards of total offense. Catalon struggled to hold onto the ball, but that's something that can be worked on in practice and should be corrected moving forward.

On the season, Catalon has 44 touches for 258 yards on the season—that's an average of 5.9 yards every time he touches the ball. Compared to other backfield options Tucker (4.4) and Aundre Dean (3.7), Catalon is the most explosive back the Frogs have.

While Dean and Tucker should still see carries between the tackles, Catalon needs to see opportunities on outside runs and swing passes to help Boykin get comfortable.


Shorten The Passing Game

The greatest advantage to Pachall's skill set was his ability to distribute the ball all over the field. With his impressive arm strength, Pachall could make just about any throw you would want and connected on deep routes with routine accuracy.

With Trevone Boykin at the helm, the offense will no longer have that luxury. Boykin has a good arm, but isn't ready to push the ball down the field vertically like Pachall could.

This should mean a decreased effort on getting the ball to speedsters down field and more on simple passes that get them the ball in space. The Frogs will have a difficult time stretching defenses vertically with Boykin at the helm, but they have plenty of receivers with the shiftiness and acceleration to make something happen on shorter routes.

Josh Boyce is one of the best in the country at getting yards after the catch, so fans should expect a big dose from him going forward. By utilizing short passes, TCU can still utilize their speedy receiving corps without setting up Boykin for failure.


More Read Option

Boykin has one thing over Pachall—speed. According to Rivals, Boykin came out of high school running 4.5 40-yard-dash. That type of straight line speed is rare to find in a quarterback and needs to be utilized.

The zone read has long been a part of the Horned Frogs playbook, but with Boykin taking over for the season, it needs to become a staple. With the overall speed that the Frogs have all over the offense, spreading the field horizontally will open up the running lanes necessary to make big plays.

With Boykin running the read option, the Frogs will be able to isolate defensive ends and slow down the pass rush. The read option forces opposing defenses to play conservatively or give up the big play. With a new quarterback, anything that can be done to slow down the defensive line has to be a big positive.


Boykin has shown that he can make plays when given space in the running game, the read option needs to be a big aspect of the new-look Frogs offense.

Replacing Pachall won't be easy, and it's definitely not ideal for TCU. If they can have other players step up and modify the gameplan for Boykin, the offense can still be a dangerous unit.