AP Sports Writer
FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) — West Virginia coach Dana Holgorsen has changed his mind about who the best player in college football is after watching TCU quarterback Trevone Boykin scramble and constantly leave defenders in his wake.
There was even a play in TCU’s 40-10 victory Thursday night when Boykin scrambled for an 11-yard gain and went out of bounds on the West Virginia sideline — where he slapped hands with a smiling Holgorsen.
“I can’t get No. 2 out of my mind making everybody on the field miss,” Holgorsen said.
Boykin was 32 of 47 for 388 yards and three touchdowns and ran 11 times for 84 yards, with a 2-yard keeper for a score when he hurdled a defender at the goal line.
In their previous game Oct. 17, the Mountaineers (3-4, 0-4 Big 12) lost 62-38 at No. 2 Baylor when Corey Coleman caught 10 passes for 199 yards and three touchdowns to break the school’s single-season record for scoring catches. After the game, Holgorsen called the Bears receiver “the best player in college football. … You can put me on the record for that.”
After watching Boykin break TCU’s career record for total yards, Holgorsen opened his postgame comments saying, “With all due respect to Corey Coleman, Trevone Boykin is the best player in college football.”
West Virginia threw deep on twice on the opening possession of the game, but came up empty when Shelton Gibson and Jovon Durante couldn’t come up with possible touchdown catches.
Then on the Mountaineers’ first drive after halftime, Durante was open deep beyond three TCU defenders but dropped the pass from Skyler Howard that hit the receiver in stride.
All the losses for the Mountaineers have been in consecutive games against the Big 12’s four ranked teams. They previously lost to No. 14 Oklahoma, No. 12 Oklahoma State and No. 2 Baylor — all teams TCU (8-0, 5-0) will face in November.
Wendell Smallwood ran for 113 yards for West Virginia. Howard, who went to high school about 15 miles from the TCU campus, was 16 of 39 for 160 yards with a touchdown and an interception with several drops.
Boykin threw a 17-yard pass to Doctson for the first touchdown, and had his hurdling keeper to make it 14-0 on the second drive.
“I didn’t watch. I saw what was going to happen and I didn’t watch,” coach Gary Patterson said. “I was hoping he’d get down, but, obviously, he didn’t.”
Both those first two drives were kept alive when the Mountaineers were penalized for pass interference on third-and-long plays — twice on the opening drive.
TCU also scored on its first two drives after halftime, going ahead 37-10 when Boykin had a defender charging at him and threw a side-arm sling to Josh Doctson for a 9-yard TD. Boykin was knocked down by the hard shot, but popped right back up to join the celebration for the touchdown.
Doctson had 11 catches for 183 yards.
“I keep telling you just appreciate Trevone Boykin and Josh Doctson,” Patterson said. “They’re pretty special people.”
When Boykin avoided a sack late in the third quarter, making a move that had linebacker Jared Barber flailing to the ground, he ran toward the Mountaineers sideline and had his moment with Holgorsen.
“He was right there, so I didn’t know what else to do,” Holgorsen said. “I could have started yelling at our players, but what good is that going go to. I mean, ‘Congratulations bud, you made a helluva play’.”
TCU and West Virginia entered the Big 12 together in 2012, and their previous three meetings had been decided by a combined five points. There were two overtime games before Jaden Oberkrom kicked a 37-yard field goal on the final play of regulation last year for a TCU victory.
Oberkrom kicked four field goals Thursday night, including a 57-yarder to end the first half and put TCU up 23-10.
Boykin has 12,041 total yards, breaking the previous record 11,925 held by Andy Dalton, the Cincinnati Bengals quarterback who led TCU to an undefeated season and Rose Bowl victory during the 2010 season.
The Frogs’ winning streak is second only to top-ranked and defending national champion Ohio State’s 21 in a row.
“We lost to a really good football team,” Holgorsen said. “I’m tired of saying it, but it’s true.”
AP College Football: www.collegefootball.ap.org