Trevone Boykin is a polarizing figure at times for Horned Frog fans. He has the natural ability to float two beautiful fade passes to Josh Doctson in the back corner of the end zone, but also accrue two personal foul penalties in the same game.
Whether the junior quarterback is causing you to gripe or to cheer, one thing is certain: he is getting better.
Boykin’s on-field production has improved throughout his three years at the helm of the TCU offense, most notably in the percentage of passes he has completed each season.
As a freshman who was thrown into the starting role after Casey Pachall’s suspension from the team, Boykin performed admirably, completing 57 percent of his passes and leading the Horned Frogs to the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl.
In 2013, Boykin split time between quarterback and receiver, but still improved his completion percentage to 59 percent while rushing for a career-high seven touchdowns in one season.
This season, Boykin’s completion percentage jumped to 64 percent after two games, and that number includes a contest against Minnesota where Boykin repeatedly threw risky long passes to Kolby Listenbee and others to try and beat the Golden Gophers’ press coverage.
In just two games, Boykin accumulated 48 percent of the passing yards he had all last season.
And just for fun, Boykin is on pace to throw for 3,468 yards and 24 touchdowns, while rushing for 726 yards and six more touchdowns.
But how much of Boykin’s statistical improvement comes from personal growth, and what can we attribute to co-offensive coordinators Doug Meacham and Sonny Cumbie’s new Air Raid offensive scheme?
The Air Raid offense demands accuracy from its quarterback, as placing the football behind a receiver can make the difference between a four-yard gain and a 20-yard gain, something that Boykin realized in an interview earlier this month.
“I’ve been working on my mechanics because ball placement is key in this offense. Being accurate is one of the most important things,” Boykin said.
An Air Raid attack can also inflate a quarterback’s completion percentage as short, high-percentage passes are expected on first and second down.
Another advantage for Boykin in the Air Raid system is that the fast pace and quick decision making doesn’t give the quarterback time to overthink the play.
Instead, Boykin will be relying on his instincts and experience from all the reps in practice to get TCU down the field this season.
Coach Patterson said this week that Boykin needs to make sure he doesn’t overthink in the pocket, noting that as Boykin gets older, the game is supposed to get slower for him.
“If you’re not careful, you get too hyped to play in the ballgame and then you speed it back up because you’re trying to think about too many things,” Patterson said about Bokyin’s play.
Patterson finished his remarks about Boykin by noting that just like his completion percentage, the junior quarterback keeps on improving.
“[Boykin] just needs to let the game come to him. And he’s going to. Every game we play he’s going to get better and better,” Patterson said.