October 07, 2014
TCU quarterback Trevone Boykin (2) throws to an open teammate during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Oklahoma at Amon G. Carter Stadium, Saturday, Oct. 4, 2014, in Fort Worth, Texas. (AP Photo/Brandon Wade)
Brandon Wade

FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) Trevone Boykin remembers that good feeling after his first victory as TCU's starting quarterback, and thinking then about the potential for the Horned Frogs.

That was two years ago at Baylor, when TCU was in its inaugural Big 12 season with freshman Boykin making his second start after suddenly being thrust into the job.

When the No. 9 Frogs (4-0, 1-0 Big 12) travel south on Interstate 35 to play No. 5 Baylor (5-0, 2-0) on Saturday, it is a matchup of the only undefeated teams left in the Big 12 Conference. And Boykin is coming off his best game so far in TCU's new spread offense, 395 total yards in a 37-33 upset at home of then-No. 4 Oklahoma, the eight-time league champ.

''I guess you can say I'm going in with a lot more confidence,'' Boykin said Tuesday. ''We're going in on a roll as a team, not just an offense. Right now we just have to click on all three phases and my performance will be based on what the other 10 guys without the ball do, and my decision making.''

Boykin threw for 261 yards and four touchdowns in that 49-21 win at Baylor in 2012, a week after losing his starting debut with three interceptions in a 37-23 loss to Iowa State. Boykin was preparing to be a tailback against the Cyclones before quarterback Casey Pachall's DWI arrest three nights before the game.

When Pachall returned to the team last year as a senior, Boykin spent time at receiver and his six starts at quarterback came after Pachall broke his arm. Boykin became the first TCU player ever with a 100-yard rushing game, 100-yard receiving game and 200-yard passing game in the same season.

After TCU finished its first two Big 12 seasons 11-14 overall and just 6-12 in Big 12 games, coach Gary Patterson hired two new co-coordinators to change the offense.

The dual-threat quarterback has been a perfect fit in what so far is the nation's most-improved offense - the Frogs' 516 total yards per game is a 171-yard increase from last season. Boykin is one of only six quarterbacks from a Power Five conference to be his team's top passer (294 yards per game with 10 TDs and two interceptions) and rusher (65 yards per game, three TDs). He is second in the Big 12 and eighth nationally with 359 total yards a game.

''I've been a Trevone Boykin fan for a while. He's just maturing and growing up,'' Patterson said. ''He's a great athlete, he's running the offense, he's doing the things we need him to. ... Every week he gets more confident.''

Boykin is the only opposing quarterback with a win at Baylor the past four seasons. The Bears had a nine-game home winning streak before that and have since won 12 in a row there, including the first two games at their new on-campus stadium a month ago.

In a span of two weeks, including an unprecedented weekend of upsets to which TCU contributed, the Frogs went from unranked back in the top 10 for the first time since the final poll of the 2010 season. They finished that year No. 2 behind Auburn after going 13-0 with a Rose Bowl victory over Wisconsin with Andy Dalton at quarterback.

''I'm just a small piece of the puzzle. I have great people around me,'' Boykin said.

Unlike the past two seasons, when he also practiced some at receiver and running back, Boykin now only has to worry about being a quarterback. He is unfazed by the suddenly high rankings.

''I had fun doing those things, just being a football player. But when you have a job and set a goal and your main focus is on it, it's a lot less stressful,'' he said. ''I'm just going to go out and have fun and be the same person I've been since Day 1.''

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