When the 2015 schedule came out, TCU fans circled the month of November. Oklahoma State, Oklahoma and Baylor in four weeks – with pushover Kansas between OSU and OU.
But a combination of injuries and a woeful offensive performance had the Horned Frogs and Jayhawks tied at 10 at the half.
On senior day, TCU’s Heisman hopeful Trevone Boykin left the game in the second quarter with a high ankle sprain, according to the TCU radio broadcast.
TCU head coach Gary Patterson said Boykin’s absence forced Doug Meachem and Sonny Cumbie to adapt on the fly, adding that Boykin’s mobility allows TCU to be less concerned with pass protection.
“You have certain plays so you have to change your whole game plan when he isn’t in the game,” Patterson said. “You go from a Heisman contender to two guys that haven’t played a whole lot.”
Boykin only attempted eight passes on the day before giving way to Bram Kohlhausen who completed 13 of 19 passes for 112 yards.
The Frogs looked like they had the spark they needed when true freshman Kavontae Turpin returned a punt 49 yards for a touchdown just before Boykin’s injury. But Turpin’s return and a Jaden Oberkrom field goal was all TCU had going in the first half.
Their first offensive score came in the third quarter when redshirt freshman Foster Sawyer connected with Shaun Nixon for a 42-yard touchdown. Sawyer, who will likely compete for the starting job next year with Kenny Hill, did not complete another pass.
With Boykin out, TCU turned to the run game en route to a 23-17 win at home.
Aaron Green lead the way on the ground as he rushed for 177 yards on 30 carries. Green said he knew the game was on his shoulders once Boykin was sidelined.
“You know we have inexperienced people out there throwing the ball,” Green said. “I know I had a career high in carries and it’s just what we have to do to win.”
Green said he never could have imagined the sheer volume of injuries this year.
“I don’t think you ever really imagine or think that a season will go this way. I mean you just have to be mentally strong and prepared for it. I can’t even tell you how many people we have just out,” he said.
This week it was Boykin. Last week it was Josh Doctson, who suffered a wrist injury in the loss to Oklahoma State. The wide receiver had just one catch for 12 yards during Saturday’s win vs. Kansas.
TCU now looks ahead to Oklahoma and Baylor over the next 13 days with uncertainty surrounding two of their biggest stars.
“Don’t get the indication I’m throwing in the towel,” Patterson warned. “Because that’s not going to happen.”