A difficult season for TCU will become more treacherous after shocking news Thursday regarding star quarterback Trevone Boykin.
San Antonio police arrested Boykin in connection with an alleged assault on a police officer during a night out with friends, as ESPN.com’s Mark Schlabach notes:
Mark Schlabach @Mark_Schlabach
#TCU QB Trevone Boykin charged with third-degree felony assault of a police officer. $5,000 bond.2015-12-31 14:40:24
Schlabach also reports that Boykin, a senior, disobeyed team rules before the incident occurred.
Mark Schlabach @Mark_Schlabach
According to sources, Trevone Boykin was in his hotel room when TCU coaches did curfew check at midnight Thursday and then went back out2015-12-31 14:55:03
TCU head coach Gary Patterson released a statement through the school expressing his frustration in the matter, via ESPN.com’s Jake Trotter:
Jake Trotter @Jake_Trotter
Boykin suspended for the Alamo Bowl, per TCU. https://t.co/AfdwWM7zrc2015-12-31 15:11:23
Boykin’s arrest is another in a series of disappointments for a Horned Frogs team that entered the 2015 season as a national title contender. Injuries to Boykin and star receiver Josh Doctson, coupled with a poor defense, derailed those hopes as TCU limped to a 10-2 record.
With the surging Oregon Ducks next on the slate, TCU’s downward spiral appears primed to continue.
After starting the season 3-3 with a new quarterback in Vernon Adams Jr., Oregon reeled off six straight victories to close out the year, including wins over Stanford and USC.
Since returning from injury after sitting out the Oct. 10 loss to Washington State, Adams is tearing up opposing defenses. The graduate transfer has thrown 21 touchdowns to just four interceptions in his last six games while throwing for over 300 yards in four of those contests.
Star running back Royce Freeman is also in the midst of a fantastic season, rushing for 1,706 yards and 14 touchdowns. Freeman has 847 rushing yards in his last six games, with Oregon averaging 45 points per game over that span.
The Ducks rely on perimeter speed, something TCU struggled with this season. Just ask Oklahoma State receiver James Washington, who burned the Horned Frogs for 184 yards and three scores.
Oregon’s offense is now back on track, but TCU is going in a different direction. Since Boykin picked up a nagging ankle injury in Week 10 vs. Kansas, the Horned Frogs have struggled to consistently move the ball. Without Boykin for most of the game, TCU put up a measly 23 points against Kansas and was stagnant before a late surge gave it 29 points against Oklahoma. When Boykin returned against Baylor, the offense failed to take advantage of a depleted Bears team, putting up 28 points in a rain-soaked overtime match.
Senior backup quarterback Bram Kohlhausen, the presumed starter for the 2016 Alamo Bowl, struggled to move the ball through the air, an area of weakness for the Oregon defense. He completed only five passes against Oklahoma and threw for only 122 yards against Kansas. That's not a good sign going against an Oregon defense ranking third-to-last in passing defense in the FBS, right behind Kansas.
Making matters worse will be the absence of Doctson, by far TCU’s top receiving option. This will allow Oregon to focus on KaVontae Turpin, the Horned Frogs’ top playmaker, who is second on the team with eight receiving touchdowns.
With Turpin as the biggest threat through the air, Oregon can pack defenders in the box to slow down running back Aaron Green, a 1,000-yard rusher who becomes TCU’s primary ball-carrier with the limited passing game.
TCU's expected offensive struggles will give plenty of opportunities for the Oregon offense to rack up points. The Horned Frogs give up a modest 26 points per game, but the Ducks’ extra possessions will cause that number to increase.
Boykin accounted for 4,187 yards and 40 touchdowns this season. With him, TCU had a chance. Without him, TCU will end its season on an even more sour note.
All statistics are courtesy of ESPN.com.