Top-15 Alamo Bowl matchup changes with Boykin suspension

SAN ANTONIO (AP) — Gary Patterson is like the fans. TCU’s coach wanted to see the matchup of big-play quarterbacks in the Alamo Bowl, with Trevone Boykin for his No. 11 Horned Frogs and Vernon Adams, Jr. for No. 15 Oregon.

But Boykin won’t play Saturday night. His college career abruptly ended when Patterson suspended the one-time top Heisman Trophy contender, who left his room after curfew in San Antonio and then got charged with assault on a public servant.

“Sometimes you have to make decisions you don’t want to,” Patterson said Friday. “My feelings went out to him. My feelings went out to the team. He’s our starting quarterback. I’m a fan. I wanted to see him against Vernon Adams. That’s the disappointing thing, just for the kids, and for him, all of them.”

Boykin, who broke NFL quarterback Andy Dalton’s passing records at TCU, has apologized in an online post. He said he has no excuses for his “very poor decision” and that he was embarrassed.

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Oregon (9-3), with top-rated FBS passer Adams and standout running back Royce Freeman, went from a slight underdog to a touchdown favorite after Boykin was suspended within hours after his arrest outside a bar near San Antonio’s famed River Walk around 2 a.m. Thursday.

Adams, the graduate transfer who succeeded 2014 Heisman Trophy winner Marcus Mariota after the Ducks were national runner-ups last season, has thrown for 2,446 yards with 25 touchdowns and six interceptions. He has played only nine games because of a broken finger.

“This is my first and last bowl game, but I’m excited to get out here and show what I got too,” Adams said.

TCU (10-2) and Oregon are two of the nation’s top offense. The Frogs are third at 564 yards a game, and Oregon fourth at 548 yards per game.

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But TCU will also be without star receiver Josh Doctson, who set school records with 79 catches for 1,327 yards and 14 touchdowns even while missing two games and parts of two others with a broken left wrist.

Boykin has accounted for 56 percent of TCU’s offense since 2012. He threw for 3,575 yards with 31 touchdowns and ran for 612 yards and 10 more scores this season.

After sharing the Big 12 title and getting snubbed for a playoff season last season, TCU started this season ranked No. 2 in the AP poll. The Frogs started 8-0 before losing at Oklahoma State, then lost at Oklahoma with Boykin out because of a sprained right ankle.

“Our motto this year was prove them right. I mean, everybody counted us out,” TCU receiver Kolby Listenbee said. “For this game, it’s prove them wrong.”

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Some other things to know when the Alamo Bowl has two top 15 teams for the second year in a row after no such matchups the first 21 games:

DUCK CALLS: Matt Lubick has been promoted from Oregon’s receivers coach to offensive coordinator to replace Scott Frost, who left to become Central Florida’s coach. Third-year coach Mark Helfrich made the expected move official Friday, and said Lubick will call plays in the Alamo Bowl.

GO GREEN: Senior running back Aaron Green leads TCU with 1,171 yards rushing and 10 touchdowns. He is the Frogs’ first 1,000-yard rusher in five seasons, and has the most yards since LaDainian Tomlison’s 2,158 in 2000.

BIG GAINS: Oregon sophomore running back Royce Freeman is the only FBS player with at least 100 yards from scrimmage in every game this season, and has a national-best 71 plays that have gained at least 10 yards. His is the Pac-12 leader with 142 yards rushing per game, and needs 100 yards to break LaMichael James’ single-season record 1,805 set in 2011.

IN HONOR: Oregon sophomore receiver Darren Cunningham is switching from No. 7 to No. 22 in honor of late New Mexico safety Markel Byrd. Cunningham’s longtime friend and former prep teammate in San Diego was killed a single-car crash Dec. 22. Byrd wore No. 22 for the Lobos.