After last week’s loss to West Virginia, TCU (3-6, 1-5 Big 12) is on a three-game regular season losing streak for the first time in Gary Patterson’s tenure as head coach.
Iowa State (1-7, 0-5 Big 12) has not won since Week 3 against Tulsa and is winless at home in 2013.
The teams are set to meet this Saturday in Ames, Iowa, with both hoping to end disappointing season on a high note.
TCU could be without as many as four startersSaturday. Running back B.J. Catalon and cornerback Jason Verrett might miss the game because of injuries. Running back Waymon James could miss playing time because of a suspension, and wide receiver Brandon Carter may miss a second straight game due to a family situation.
The Cyclones have some uncertainty in their own starting lineup. Cyclones’ head coach Paul Rhoads said Monday that he does not know whether Sam Richardson or Grant Rohach will start at quarterback this week. Richardson has started the last ten games for Iowa State, but Rhodes said the quarterbacks’ performance in practice this week will determine the starter. Starting running back Aaron Wimberly has missed the Cyclones’ last two games with a hamstring injury, and his return date is unknown.
For the Frogs, tailbacks Aaron Green and Jordan Moore are likely to see increased playing time if Catalon and James are sidelined. The Frogs could look to pass the ball more as well, a strategy that yielded results last week against West Virginia.
Quarterback Casey Pachall threw the ball 58 times for 394 yards and three touchdowns Saturday. Trevone Boykin moved from quarterback to wide receiver and caught 11 passes for 100 yards.
“I think Trevone would be a lot better quarterback if he were throwing to Trevone,” Patterson said. “We’ve been saying we needed a go-to guy, and there were a couple other guys that made plays, but I think [Pachall] kind of looked to him. And he went up and made plays when people were draped all over him. That’s what…your go-to guy is supposed to be like.”
The receivers played a much better game as a group than weeks past and didn’t drop as many passes. Wideout Josh Doctson says holding on to the ball is a mental issue.
“It’s definitely a mindset thing,” Doctson said. “For the West Virginia game, I know my first pass was a drop. You’ve just got to have a short memory…You’ve just got to know that you dropped it, accept it and move on.”
The sophomore receiver finished last week with eight catches for 92 yards and a touchdown. Cornerback Kevin White said Doctson is one of a number of players trying to show more leadership and push the team to improve.
“A lot of guys are trying to step up,” White said. “Jason [Verrett], he’s not really a vocal guy, but he’s been trying to get guys going. Elisha [Olabode] and myself-there’s a lot of guys that are trying to step up. Offensively, a lot of guys are trying to step up. Receiver-wise, Josh [Doctson] is trying to get guys going. There’s a lot of guys that are trying to step up, trying to get it turned around for these last three games and going into next year.”
Iowa State will not make it to a bowl this year, and the Frogs’ bowl chances are slim, so the motivation Saturday is different than it has been all season.
“This time of year, you get a chance to play for pride,” Patterson said.