FORT WORTH — When TCU opened the season Saturday night against LSU, they had two quarterbacks on the field at the same time.
Casey Pachall was under center and Trevone Boykin was wide right. By the end of the night, both would be leading the team at quarterback.
"I think we're going to need different quarterbacks in every game we have, depending who we play, to give us an opportunity to win," TCU head coach Gary Patterson said. "We felt like we needed a more athletic guy, to have more of a running back type of guy, for them to defend in the backfield, and I thought it made a difference in the ball game."
It was a game that TCU lost, 37-27.
Patterson says Pachall, his starting quarterback, has a lot more experience. He's 15-3 as a starter, but both will see lots of action, and the game might dictate who will take the ball.
"The thing I’m not going to do is this: I was watching the NFL and there is not a quarterback controversy, there's not anything else," Patterson said. "The key was, we needed a spark, so we tried Trevone [Boykin] and it happened to work, and so we stayed in that direction."
For Pachall, it was his first start since he was suspended to enter a drug rehabilitation center 11 months ago. The two-quarterback system is something the offensive line has to adjust to on the fly.
"It doesn't really affect anything," TCU guard Eric Tausch said. "We trust both guys. Both are unbelievable athletes, unbelievable football players, and you just keep your head down and keep working hard. Both bring different styles of play to the game and its fun to play for both of them."
"Casey is the older guy," Patterson said. "He'll keep it [the starting spot] unless there is a definite show that one is better that the other."
Using two quarterbacks does give a team an insurance policy, but it's a system worth keeping only if a school is winning.