TCU sack leader Boesen back vs. Oklahoma for Big 12 title
By STEPHEN HAWKINS
Nov. 28, 2017
FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) — TCU defensive end Mat Boesen was tangled under two Oklahoma linemen when he whipped his legs around while trying to get off the ground. That got him kicked out of the game.
The No. 10 Horned Frogs expect to have Boesen back for the entire rematch against the No. 2 Sooners, this time in the Big 12 championship game Saturday and a week after his TCU single-game record 5 1/2 sacks against Baylor.
"He just plays with a lot of energy," TCU coach Gary Patterson said of the 6-foot-4, 235-pound former prep wrestler from California. "For his size, he plays with great leverage. He can play with bigger guys and then he has the speed to come off the edge and turn the corner."
Boesen now leads the Big 12 with 11 1/2 sacks, and has a sack in all but one of the last seven games. The exception was TCU's 38-20 loss in Norman on Nov. 11, when he was ejected 2 1/2 minutes into the second quarter and only a couple of plays before Rodney Anderson's 24-yard TD run that put the Sooners up 24-7.
That was also the drive before emerging running back Darius Anderson, already with a touchdown in the game, had his last carry before getting sidelined by a foot injury. Patterson said Tuesday that there is a chance Anderson could be back for TCU's bowl game, but he won't play Saturday.
"When they put other people in, they've got other good players. It's not like they're putting in scrubs when those guys go down," Oklahoma coach Lincoln Riley said. "They've got a deep roster, and they've got lot of really good players."
TCU (10-2, 7-2 Big 12) won its last two games to get into the title game while playing without two defensive starters, leading tackler Travin Howard and safety Niko Small.
Patterson expects Howard and Small both to be back Saturday against the Sooners (11-1, 8-1). But the Frogs will have to play the first half without safety Nick Orr, suspended by the conference for throwing a punch during a brawl late in the third quarter of their 45-22 win over Baylor last Friday.
"I thought the kid was defending himself," Patterson said. "It is what it is, and you go about your business. I'm not happy about it. ... You've just got to roll with the punches and find a way to go win."
Patterson said Orr will still serve as a team captain for the championship game. Orr won't be able to play until after halftime, ending his streak of 38 consecutive TCU starts.
As for the earlier Boesen ejection against Oklahoma, Patterson had a different take after watching video of the play.
"I kind of threw him underneath the bus," Patterson said the week after the first Oklahoma game. "To be honest with you, if I would have been Mat Boesen, then I would have done the same thing. ... When people run counters, we cut it. We cut it, and they didn't like it, and two guys basically went after him."
Boesen now leads the Big 12 in sacks and Ben Banogu, on the opposite end of TCU's line, is third with 7 ½.
"He's got a really good player that's playing on the other side," Patterson said when asked this week about Boesen's emergence.
Banogu had one of TCU's eight sacks against Baylor, though the Bears could never contain Boesen.
"He was awesome in the Baylor game, 5 1/2 sacks and he was close to having two or three more, and several other pressures," Riley said. "He's a relentless player. ... He's really good technically. He's got a great motor."