SCHUYLER DIXON, AP Sports Writer
FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) — No. 10 TCU’s new high-powered offense will see one of its models when Texas Tech visits Saturday.
Red Raiders coach Kliff Kingsbury says the offenses are “very similar,” with one big difference: Horned Frogs quarterback Trevone Boykin.
“If you look at what he’s done, his numbers, you’ve got to put him up there in the Heisman talk with the top three guys,” Kingsbury said. “He’s been phenomenal. He’s been as dominant a player as there is in the country when it comes to running the football and throwing it and really protecting it.”
Boykin is thriving in his first season under TCU co-offensive coordinator Sonny Cumbie, who shares Kingsbury’s roots as a quarterback at Texas Tech and spent the last of four seasons as an assistant in Lubbock on Kingsbury’s staff in 2013.
Cumbie joined the Horned Frogs along with former Oklahoma State offensive coordinator Doug Meacham when defensive-minded coach Gary Patterson decided he needed to do something to try to keep up with the fast-paced spread offenses in the Big 12.
Now both sides get to compare notes on the same field.
“I think it will be interesting,” Texas Tech running back DeAndre Washington said. “We pretty much know what they’re going to do on offense. They know what we’re going to do on offense. I think it will definitely be fun going against coach Cumbie.”
Kingsbury says Boykin’s ability to run is what makes the two offenses different, but the junior just threw for a career-high 410 yards in a bounce-back win over Oklahoma State after the Horned Frogs (5-1, 2-1 Big 12) blew a 21-point lead in the final 11 minutes and lost on a last-play field goal at Baylor.
TCU, long known for producing top-ranked defenses, is fifth nationally in scoring offense and seventh in total offense, and the most improved offense in the country in both categories.
“People say, ‘You look calm,'” Patterson said. “Well, when you’re going into a ballgame and you know that you can score points, as a head coach and also a defensive guy, that’s all you’re asking for.”
Things to consider as Texas Tech (3-4, 1-3) tries to improve to 3-0 against TCU since the former Southwest Conference foes were reunited in the Big 12 when the Frogs joined in 2012:
GRANT’S STATUS: Texas Tech leading receiver Jakeem Grant is expected to play after getting stitches from a cut on his chin sustained at an off-campus party where shots were fired last weekend. Grant, who has 50 catches for 629 yards and five touchdowns, is also battling ankle and shoulder injuries. “I think they’re both things we can manage,” Kingsbury said.
DON’T FORGET THE DEFENSE: With all the attention on TCU’s offense and the defense giving up the big lead in the 61-58 loss to Baylor, the Horned Frogs still have the Big 12’s best unit in sacks per game (3.8), tackles for loss per game (8.3), interceptions (11), takeaways (17) and fewest first downs (110).
WASHINGTON’S ROLL: Tech’s Washington has set career highs in rushing in consecutive weeks. He had 138 in a loss to West Virginia two weeks ago and 164 in last week’s 34-21 win over Kansas. That was the most yards rushing for pass-happy Texas Tech since Taurean Henderson had 169 against Kansas in 2004.
BOYKIN AGAINST TECH: Boykin threw for 332 yards, a career high at the time, and four touchdowns in a 56-53 loss in triple overtime in Texas Tech’s last visit to Fort Worth two years ago. Last year he became the first TCU quarterback since 1987 to rush for 100 yards (101) in Tech’s 20-10 win.
WEBB OVER CUMBIE: Tech quarterback Davis Webb should overtake Cumbie on the school’s career passing yardage chart. He’s 159 yards shy of Cumbie’s total of 5,116, which is ninth in school history.