Is Trevone Boykin a good-enough passer to win the Heisman?
Second-ranked TCU won their season opener at Minnesota Thursday, although a six point margin was probably closer than they would have liked – the Horned Frogs came into the game favored by more than two touchdowns. Last season only four of TCU’s games were decided by six points or fewer, and three of those games came against ranked teams.
The close call was in part due to a shaky passing performance from quarterback Trevone Boykin, who completed just 62 percent of his 42 passes with an interception and 5.9 yards per attempt.
Those numbers aren’t too far off from his 2014 statistics, when he completed 61% of his passes for the season and finished as our 67th-ranked passer in the FBS in our grades. His play under pressure was a problem last season, as well, with a large drop-off in grade, passer rating, and YPA. He was also below average as a deep passer, with a 36.4 accuracy percentage on 20+ yard throws (78th in the country).
What made up for it was Boykin’s rushing ability, which was among the best in the country – only eight QBs graded better on the ground in 2014 than Boykin. His running helped bail the Horned Frogs out against Minnesota, as he gained 92 yards and a touchdown on 18 carries.
It’s that electric dual-threat ability that makes Boykin a Heisman candidate this season. But it’s fair to wonder whether he can be efficient enough as a passer to stay in the race – and keep TCU at the top of the polls and in the playoff race. The evidence from 2014 suggests he can be a little one-dimensional, and that was again on display Thursday against Minnesota.