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Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl 2012: TCU's Trevone Boykin making most of big chance

The Horned Frogs redshirt freshman cites help from his teammates for his growth as a player.

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SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Had it all gone according to plan, Casey Pachall would have been the quarterback to lead Texas Christian to a bowl game. But as we all know in sports, things can change at the drop of a hat.

An injury. Academics. Or in Pachall's case, an arrest. Pachall's suspension from the team allowed Trevone Boykin to take over the starting job in the fifth game of the season, and a little more than two months later, Boykin and the Frogs' offense are in Arizona for the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl against Michigan State Saturday night.

Boykin came to TCU as a quarterback. With Pachall atop the depth chart to open this season and injuries affecting the roster at running back, Boykin took snaps at running back for a week in September. But when Pachall was lost, Boykin, a redshirt freshman, was back as the signal caller.

He's most certainly more of a running threat than as a passer, but Boykin was quietly one of the top redshirt freshman QBs in the nation this season. He threw as many touchdown passes as Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel of Texas A&M, 14, and was 3-1 as a starter on the road with wins at Baylor, West Virginia and Texas.

Boykin has guys he looks up to on the team for guidance, but smiled when he mentioned that there are teammates who look at him as a leader. "That's nice to hear," he said.

Boykin feels TCU can beat Michigan State on the edges with the Frogs' speed, but noted that the Spartans aren't like any defense in the Big 12.

"They're way more aggressive," Boykin said. "They're bigger."

Boykin was hooked on TCU when he watched former quarterback Andy Dalton in the Rose Bowl. The spread offense he ran in high school in Texas made him a good fit in coach Gary Patterson's program.

Pachall can return to the team next season and compete against Boykin to get his job back. He'll be a senior.

"The possibility of Casey Pachall coming back, being a part of that, I think competition makes everybody better," TCU Patterson said. "Now knowing he (Boykin) can push for the starting role since he's been a starter I think makes both of those guys better now. It's not just 'I'm the older player so I play.' It's more of a 'Now there's two of them back here.' You've got to compete and get ready to go."