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TCU quarterback Trevone Boykin shining, rather than wilting under microscope

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – After a red-letter junior season that saw him pass for 3,901 yards, 33 touchdowns and 10 interceptions, TCU quarterback Trevone Boykin put himself squarely into the thick of the Heisman Trophy race heading into 2015. According to his head coach, he has proved he belongs there so far.

Through seven games this year, Boykin is set to eclipse his touchdown and yardage mark by a long shot. He has completed 66.4 percent of his passes for 2,539 yards and 25 touchdowns with just five picks. Not the prototypical statue in the pocket quarterback of yesteryear, Boykin has rushed for 50-plus yards five times this season and has found pay dirt four times on the ground.

On an offense that has some of the best skill players in the country – I know, it seems like every Big 12 team does – Boykin is the shining star. With the help of his No 1 receiver Josh Doctson, head coach Gary Patterson says Boykin has lived up to the Heisman hype so far, and has put TCU in a place where it can still achieve the goals it set out for itself at the beginning of the season.

“I think you judge it with how you help your team, and we wouldn’t be 7-0 if it wasn’t for Trevone Boykin and Josh Doctson. The biggest thing for (Trevone), and I think he’s figuring this out, is to just go ahead and go win, keep doing what he’s doing, stay focused and know that if he wins and plays the way he’s been playing, especially being on national TV, all that is going to take care of itself. Our next ballgame is a Thursday night ballgame. A lot of people are going to get a chance to see him play,” Patterson said.

Boykin is now in the midst of year three running TCU’s spread offense from the quarterback position – he spent his sophomore season primarily as a wide receiver – and things appear to have really clicked for him so far this year.

“I think especially with Josh Doctson and the way he’s played, (Trevone) has a comfort zone knowing if he has to he can put it up and have people that are going to go catch it. Especially Josh can elevate and do that. Give him Kolby (Listenbee) back, give him (KaVontae) Turpin back, some guys back where you have your whole arsenal,” Patterson said.

Other than a lackluster performance in Week 1 against Minnesota, where the national Heisman microscope might have been a bit too intense, Boykin has taken his efficiency to a new level in 2015. Through seven weeks his quarterback rating is 180.7, which is up from 145.9 last year.

“The first ballgame against Minnesota was the only game that I thought he tried to rush it and tried to do too much. That’s one of the things that he’s not trying to do the rest of the season. The last six ballgames he’s just letting the game come to him,” Patterson said.

Letting the game come to you is easier said than done when you’re in the national spotlight every week. Boykin has set a standard that people expect him to uphold every week, and pressing would only be natural, but Patterson said other than that first week, he hasn’t seen the hype affect his quarterback.

“I’ve talked to him enough that he understands my point of view on it. He’s been very quiet and tried to take care of his business and just tried to be a good role model. I think as long as he’s doing that he’s got a chance to play good every week,” Patterson said.

Boykin will be the next Heisman hopeful looking to keep his dreams alive against West Virginia. The Mountaineers were less than successful in stopping Baylor's phenom QB Seth Russell, and Boykin will provie another tall task for Tony Gibson's defense.

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