Big 12 football notebook: Status unknown for TCU quarterback
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. -- TCU quarterback Trevone Boykin left Saturday's loss against Oklahoma State with a knee injury. His status for Saturday's game against West Virginia is unknown. Coach Gary Patterson declined to discuss it on Monday's Big 12 coaches' teleconference.
Boykin's counterpart appears just fine. Mountaineers Coach Dana Holgorsen said Geno Smith calmed down during the open week after blaming himself for WVU's back-to-back losses where the offense scored just three touchdowns.
"He was probably a little too hard on himself," Holgorsen said. "He wasn't the reason we lost two games. It was a collection of things. We lost two games to two good football teams. There are a whole bunch of 5-2 football teams out there. Just because we dropped the last two games doesn't mean we're a bad football team."
Smith has completed 50 of 87 passes for 418 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions. Both his interceptions came against Kansas State and were his first of the season. He also nearly lost a fumble.
"We got him back on track last week just worrying about what he needs to worry about and learning to control what he can control, which is getting in the right frame of mind and taking care of the football and delivering the football where we tell him to deliver the football," Holgorsen said.
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WVU AND TCU play at 3 p.m. on Fox at Mountaineer Field. The Big 12 announced Monday the Fox and ABC networks will pick a time and channel Sunday for WVU's Nov. 10 game at Oklahoma State.
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SMITH WAS named one of the 16 semifinalists Monday for the Maxwell Award, given annually to the national player of the year. Smith and Kansas State quarterback Collin Klein are the only Big 12 players on the list. Smith ranks No. 4 nationally in passer efficiency and No. 5 in total offense.
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TEXAS RALLIED Saturday to beat Kansas 21-17 with a touchdown with 12 seconds to play. That touchdown came on a pass from backup quarterback Case McCoy, who saved the Longhorns in relief of ineffective starter David Ash.
Coach Mack Brown said Monday Ash will remain the team's starter. Ash passed for 63 yards and two interceptions against Kansas, but had been completing 70 percent of his passes for 12 touchdowns and three interceptions. McCoy was 5-for-7 for 67 yards in the fourth quarter against the Jayhawks, who are increasingly competitive, but still 1-7 overall and 0-5 on the Big 12.
"There definitely are things you can look at and say, 'We're getting better here, we're getting better here, we're getting better here,' but still at the end of the day it's about winning, regardless of whether you played tough or played close," Kansas Coach Charlie Weis said. "Are there silver linings? Yes. Are there things you can grow from? Yes. It still comes down to we've lost 100 in a row in the Big 12 at home and on the road. We need to beat somebody so we can start to move on the other direction."
Kansas has actually lost 17 straight in Big 12 play and 28 in a row against current conference members. The Mountaineers play host to the Jayhawks Dec. 1.
"I said before Charlie Weis is the right coach there and Kansas is lucky to have him," Brown said. "They're going to beat somebody, especially at home, for sure. They're playing better at home than on the road, but people better look out."
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THE KANSAS STATE team that pummeled WVU Oct. 20 had 17 college transfers in the two-deep, including 13 junior college transfers. Seven start on defense.
"Our feeling has not been a community college player versus a high school player," Kansas State Coach Bill Snyder said. "It's just a matter of quality young people that fit into the program and can do the things we'd like for them to do and most importantly and significantly are capable of meeting the demands of the program.
"I guess, obviously, people would say a community college guy has a little more experience than a high school youngster, but experience is not always the answer. We just want good, quality young people that fit with what we're trying to do."
The Mountaineers sent their coaches out last Monday, Friday and Saturday to recruit and Holgorsen said a focus was on finding junior college players. West Virginia starts two - nose guard Shaq Rowell and linebacker Josh Francis - and recruited one last year.
Offensive lineman Mark Glowinsky is redshirting this season.
"I think we need some junior college help," he said.
Contact sportswriter Mike Casazza at firstname.lastname@example.org or 304-319-1142. His blog is at blogs.dailymail.com/wvu.