MORGANTOWN - In the increasingly secretive world of competitive gamesmanship, TCU Coach Gary Patterson made the bold statement Tuesday that he expects his starting quarterback will be ready to play Saturday at No. 22 West Virginia.
That would be Trevone Boykin, and that would be the team's backup when the season started. Boykin left last week's loss to Oklahoma State game with a knee injury.
If he can't play, the Horned Frogs (5-2, 2-3 Big 12) would be on their third quarterback of the season. Casey Pachall left the team earlier this month to get inpatient treatment at a drug and alcohol facility.
"We don't know if he's going to play or not, but they don't know if any of our guys are going to play, either," WVU Coach Dana Holgorsen said. "What we can do is prepare for what's on tape."
TCU is 1-3 with Boykin. His first start came against Iowa State and that loss ended TCU's 12-game overall winning streak and 25-game conference winning streak, both the longest in the Football Bowl Subdivision.
He can hand the 23rd-ranked Mountaineers (5-2, 2-2) a third straight loss for the first time since 2001 when TCU visits Mountaineer Field at 3 p.m. Saturday (WVAH).
"He's going to be a really fine football player," Cyclones Coach Paul Rhoads said. "We had enough film on him to have a good idea what kind of football player he was, but that didn't make us feel any better."
In his first start, Boykin was 23-for-40 for 270 yards, one touchdown and three interceptions. A week later, he was 22-for-30 for 260 yards, four touchdowns and no interceptions in a win against Baylor.
He's followed that by completing 47 of 84 passes for 517 yards, five touchdowns and three interceptions in two losses - though one was 56-53 in three overtimes against Texas Tech and one was 36-14 after leading 14-0 against Oklahoma State.
"He's got a strong arm and does a nice job delivering things on time and he's an outstanding runner," Rhoads said. "We thought he was very, very explosive and tough to bring down. He's going to give teams fits for a number of years."
Boykin is also learning the position. Patterson thought enough of the runner in Boykin to try and get him on the field as a running back. Boykin was practicing at running back the week he was asked to replace Pachall.
In his four starts, he's run 46 times for 130 yards and a touchdown.
"He's a dual-threat guy who's dangerous with his feet, especially with his weapons around him," Holgorsen said.