TCU's first season in the Big 12 finished with a 7-6 record, and the desperate need for improvement at the quarterback position. Never was the more evident than during TCU's 17-16 loss in the Whatever Wings Bowl against Michigan State on Dec. 29.
For the first time since Gary Patterson took over as head coach at TCU he needs much more than a passer who merely drives the bus and stays out of the way. He needs an accurate passer who makes positive plays with his arm.
He has that in Casey Pachall, who if he had remained with the team the Frogs likely finish with nine wins. Who knows what Patterson has in sophomore Trevone Boykin?
In his first year as a starter Boykin showed promise, toughness, good arm strength and athleticism. He also showed his considerable inexperience, which is not his fault, and an inability to consistently make accurate throws.
Patterson does not trust this guy yet to make passes over the middle, or his decision making.
No official word on Pachall's return has been made.
Best case scenario is that Pachall returns to the team and "wins" the job in spring practice. For the sake of his pro chances, Pachall has to be assured the job is his. If not, he needs to transfer to a place where he is guaranteed to play. He can't sit.
This scenario would give TCU one full season under Pachall in '13, and potentially two years of Boykin in '14 and '15. It's not fair to Boykin, but neither is life.
The Frogs' demonstrated they have Big 12 caliber players across the board on defense, and at the skill receiver position. Defensive end Devonte Fields has a chance to be the best defensive player this school has produced since Bob Lilly.
Their offensive line, however, was often overmatched - they were manhandled by Michigan State - and for the season the rushing game averaged 3.9 yards per carry. Their quarterback was erratic.
There are countless positives for TCU's first season in the Big 12, but in order for the Frogs to play on a stage bigger than bowl games named after deep fried food the QB has to be better.
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