Offensive breakdown: TCU


    Since spring practice, head football coach Gary Patterson has faced the same question.

    Who will be the starting quarterback?

    His answer? Watch the LSU game.

    Senior Casey Pachall impressed many during spring and fall camps after returning from rehab. Sophomore Trevone Boykin flashed his talents last season and continued to improve in the spring and fall.

    Patterson praised both Pachall and Boykin during the fall. Boykin has too much talent to stay on the bench, Patterson said, but Pachall is the older, more experienced quarterback who would get the starting nod in a tie.

    Boykin threw for 2,054 yards and 15 touchdowns and ran for 417 yards and three touchdowns in 12 games last season. That mobility in the pocket separates Boykin from the Frogs' other quarterback option.

    Pachall, the All-Big 12 preseason quarterback, is a more traditional pocket-passer, throwing for 948 yards and 10 touchdowns in just four games last year.

    Whether Patterson relies on a running quarterback or a pocket-passer, Boykin and Pachall will be working with a new leader in the receiving group.

    Josh Boyce, the Frogs' leading receiver last season and TCU's all-time leader in career receptions (161) under Patterson, left early for the NFL. Boyce's departure leaves the top receiving spot to junior Brandon Carter.

    Last season, Carter had 36 catches for 590 yards and six touchdowns, second behind Boyce (66 catches, 891 yards). Sophomore LaDarius Brown and junior Cam White both hauled in over 20 catches. Brown finished fourth among TCU receivers in receptions (27) and yards (385) as a freshman.

    Transfers Ja’Juan Story and Josh Doctson, who both sat out last season due to NCAA transfer rules, give the Frogs more depth at the position. Story transferred from Florida after redshirting his freshman season. Doctson spent one season with Wyoming, finishing fifth on the squad with 35 catches for 393 yards and five touchdowns in 2011.

    Freshman Ty Slanina also received a lot of praise from Patterson for his work during the fall.

    When the Frogs move away from the air attack, they will have plenty of options with a three-pronged rushing attack featuring sophomore B. J. Catalon, Nebraska transfer Aaron Green and a healthy Waymon James.

    Catalon burst onto the scene last season, leading the Frogs with 582 yards on 123 attempts. James, who sat out last season with an ACL injury, had 875 yards on 121 attempts in 2011. He ran for 99 yards in his first Big 12 game against Kansas before suffering an injury in the fourth quarter.

    Green provides the team with another experienced Big 12 running back, having played with the Cornhuskers in 2011. The sophomore posted 105 yards and two touchdowns on just 24 carries as true freshman.

    Like last season, the success of the running game will depend on a young offensive line. Only sophomore tackle Aviante Collins and senior Eric Tausch return to a line that allowed a conference-worst 29 sacks in 2012. Tausch is listed as a starting guard on the depth chart, but also saw work at center and tackle.

    Sophomore Joey Hunt is slated to start at center while sophomores Halapoulivaati Vaitai and Jamalle Naff will have to step up after Micheal Thompson (injuries) and Tayo Fabuluje (transfer to BYU) left the team. Hunt, Naff and Vaitai all played in at least five games last season.

    The young offensive line was a concern for Patterson during the fall, especially with the pressure that will come from the LSU defense.

    The offense will need to be more productive than last season (28.3 points per game, eighth in Big 12) to succeed, but the return of Pachall, James, Catalon and experienced receivers will help the offense pick up where it left off last season.