Thursday, October 04, 2012

Casey Pachall needs help; TCU needs a QB

Bad news for TCU:
TCU starting quarterback Casey Pachall has been suspended indefinitely after he was arrested for suspicion of driving while intoxicated early Thursday morning.

Coach Gary Patterson announced the suspension hours after police say Pachall was pulled over for running a stop sign near TCU's Fort Worth campus.

"I've got ... a person who obviously needs help," Patterson said. "Until I can come up with some answers, it's not about one season, it's about a lot of seasons."
Yeesh. As you may or may not recall, Pachall also admitted to failing a drug test about eight months ago after that massive bust at the house he was living in with linebacker Tanner Brock, who got charged with some serious stuff and booted from the program. Pachall reportedly had to attend some rehab classes; that was the extent of his punishment.

That turned out to pretty fortunate (or something) for TCU seeing as how Pachall is currently fifth in the country in pass efficiency; he's completing 66.0 percent of his passes with 10 touchdowns and a pick for a team that lost one of its two starter-type running backs halfway through the second game of the year. FYI, those numbers are almost identical to the ones he'd put up at this point last year, when he finished 12th in pass efficiency and had 25 touchdowns and seven picks. So he's pretty good and pretty valuable, especially since the nominal backup is Trevone Boykin, a redshirt freshman who had started taking reps at running back this week until the Pachall news broke.

Given the complete lack of other alternatives, Boykin will be starting Saturday against Iowa State. Expect a lot of the veer, which TCU had largely gotten away from with Pachall but was a significant part of the offense with Andy Dalton around. Boykin's established himself as a good enough runner (129 yards and a touchdown this year) to make himself useful in that regard; it's the passing game that will suffer to some degree, and that probably won't be totally offset by the presumed improvement in the run game.

If there's any good news, is that's the schedule increases in difficulty almost linearly: Iowa State, at Baylor, Texas Tech, at Oklahoma State, at West Virginia, Kansas State, at Texas, Oklahoma. It would obviously be beneficial if Pachall could get himself together sufficiently to be back for some of those latter five games. Actually, there is other good news: TCU's defense is legitimately excellent. TCU struggled for a while last week and finished with a meh 24 points against a crappy SMU team yet was never really challenged, mostly because of a defense that's now giving up 7.25 points per game (albeit against some admittedly terrible offenses thus far).

So the margin for error at quarterback is larger than it would be at a lot of other places; it's still not large given the aforementioned schedule. Until/unless Pachall comes back, incrementally downgrade expectations for TCU and incrementally upgrade expectations for the various Big 12 teams on the schedule that appeared to be of comparable quality to the Pachall-quarterbacked version of TCU.

In conclusion:



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