Trevone Boykin scampered up the middle, left his feet and soared into the end zone over two oncoming defenders.
It was the type of touchdown one would expect from a Heisman candidate looking to bolster his resume. However, it just so happens it might be the play that jolts TCU to a Big 12 title and College Football Playoff spot as well.
Boykin’s front-flip finish across the goal line extended an already commanding lead Saturday at a sold-out Amon G. Carter Stadium. The third-year quarterback accounted for 342 yards of total offense and four touchdowns, and TCU left with a statement 41-20 win over No. 7 K-State.
“I told him (Boykin) before the ballgame — maybe I shouldn’t have said anything to him — that I have a great deal of respect for him,” K-State head coach Bill Snyder said after the game. “I’ve always thought he was a great player. (The media) talks like he has all of a sudden come onto the forefront, but he’s been here. I’ve seen him, he’s a very talented young guy.”
No. 6 TCU (8-1, 5-1) earned its second victory over a top-25 opponent in as many games, leap frogging K-State in the Big 12 standings. They will play their final three games of the season against teams with a combined record of 10-18.
K-State (7-2, 5-1) remains in the hunt for a conference championship despite the loss, but are likely out of College Football Playoff contention with two losses on the year.
The Wildcats had no answers for Boykin and TCU. Despite finishing with 410 yards of total offense, senior quarterback Jake Waters and the K-State offense could not find a consistent groove. The running game averaged just 1.8 yards per carry — 34 total — and the team finished five for 14 on third down. Meanwhile, the defense allowed over 553 yards of total offense and nearly seven yards per snap.
“They played extremely well, we had difficulty in many aspects of the game,” Snyder said. “More of it was my responsibility than others. They’re awfully good.”
The only positive of the night for K-State was senior wide receiver Tyler Lockett, who broke his father’s record for the most receiving yards in K-State history. Lockett finished the night with 196 yards and a touchdown in the loss, his 13th career 100-yard receiving game.
“For me it’s about team,” Lockett said. “I try to lay down my life out there for my teammates, and I’m pretty sure they did the same thing. Like I said, it feels great but it doesn’t feel the same because we lost.”
TCU jumped out to a quick 14-0 lead in the game following touchdowns from Boykin and wide receiver David Porter. The senior wideout finished the day with a surprising performance — seven receptions for 84 yard and a touchdown.
K-State responded with a big play, 70-yard pass from Waters to Lockett with 42 seconds left in the first quarter to pull within seven points. However, it ended up being the final bit of scoring from the Wildcats for more than 20 minutes after Lockett had a 91-yard kickoff return negated for holding later in the first half.
“It hurt,” Snyder said about the penalty. “There are elements that if you could have every one of them back then maybe we’d be in the ball game, but you don’t get them all back. It was key at the time, but they just played so well. We might have had a difficult time anyways.”
Boykin led TCU on five more scoring drives in the game. K-State only scored twice after first quarter, one of which from backup quarterback Joe Hubener. TCU third-string running back, freshman Aaron Green, complimented his star quarterback with 171 yards and a touchdown on the ground himself.
“They dictated the tempo the entire time,” senior wide receiver Curry Sexton said. “The whole first half we were starting out inside our own 10, they were getting the ball on the 50-yard line. They were killing us in the field position game, it seemed like they had the ball the entire first half. We just weren’t able to dig ourselves out of the hole we created.”
K-State will return to action in 12 days when they travel to Morgantown, West Virginia to take on the Mountaineers at 6:00 p.m. TCU travels to Lawrence, Kansas next Saturday to take on the Jayhawks.
“It’s going to be about how we respond to things” Snyder said. “I accept the responsibility for what happened tonight, I do. But we have to define if we are who we really are. If we’re the kind of young people that I believe we are, I think we’ll respond fine.”