Trevone Boykin was not incredibly effective in his last game against Oklahoma State, going 21-of-40 passing for 185 yards, one touchdown and one interception while also tallying 19 rushing yards on nine carries. That was his fourth-career start after stepping in when Casey Pachall left the team to seek help for substance abuse.
Now Boykin has been thrust back in the starting role after Pachall suffered a broken arm last month. And the Horned Frog offense has again struggled with him behind center, ranking eighth or worse in the Big 12 in scoring offense (eighth, 27.8 points per game), total offense (ninth, 331.2 yards per game), rushing offense (eighth, 141.3 yards per game) and passing offense (10th, 189.8 yards per game).
Still, Cowboy defensive coordinator Glenn Spencer said the Cowboys are wary of Boykin’s dual-threat qualities and ability to improvise when a play breaks down.
“That’s their weapon,” Spencer said. “He’s a capable thrower, but whatever formation they’re in — any time, any down and distance — you know he can pull it down and run it. He’s a great running back.
“It’s the same issues we always talk about, (they’ll) spread the field and it’ll be a lot of one-on-one matchups at times and guys have to tackle well in space.”
Conventional wisdom says the Cowboy defensive ends will be crucial in containing Boykin. But Spencer said that job could also fall on defensive tackles and linebackers, depending on the call.
“We just try to change that up, just like you change up your looks,” Spencer said.