When Vernon Adams went down and we were left with Jeff Lockie and Taylor Alie there was some consideration among the fan base as to whether Bralon Addison should move to QB. Addison was a QB in high school and has elite athleticism. Ultimately, Adams came back, threw a bunch of pretty passes, and we all patted ourselves on the back and tried to make ourselves forget that we hated on Vernon Adams at one point.
Boykin did make the transition from wide receiver from wide receiver to quarterback at TCU and the result is one of the most dynamic college football players in the country. Boykin has elite athleticism and NFL talent, although that talent more likely than not will be at the wide receiver position.
(I highly recommend listening to the song with lyrics. It has some NSFW language. Upper Echelon by Travi$ Scott. 10/10)
One of the biggest facets of his passing game is the touch he puts on passes. He has the arm strength to hit the intermediate routes although they might not be the most accurate to beat solid coverage. On occasion he'll throw a deep ball that seems ill advised but one of his many talented wide receivers are able to make a play on it. When he's splitting the safeties with a pass to the middle or arcing it just over an underneath defender to the sidelines he's at his best.
The athleticism that Boykin has is really in a class all by itself. The only other quarterback with comparable athleticism performing at a high level is DeShaun Watson at Clemson. The mere threat of Boykin breaking loose will play a significant factor in how Oregon plays defense. Defensive ends can't shoot up field on pass rushes because if they get too high Boykin could escape out the side. One of the things we heard from anonymous PAC-12 coaches to college football writers is how much Oregon has missed Mariota's running threat. Defenses across the conference had to game plan for Mariota to take off and run. Boykin poses the same threat in this game.
Much like Adams does, Boykin uses his athleticism to extend plays. TCU may be without their top receiver but I really worry about some of our linebackers holding in coverage that long. I also worry about the pass rush against a quarterback so athletic. It'll be really important for Balducci and Buckner to collapse the pocket because no one is catching him from behind.
The edge in this battle goes to Boykin. But like Boykin, Adams is exceptional at extending plays, and I would say is even. Against Stanford, Oregon State, Washington, and Arizona State we saw Adams at peak "I will make this play last for ten seconds if I have to" mode. Adams' ability to keep his eyes downfield at all times and hit people deep on the run meshes perfectly with Darren Carrington's unique ability to get open all the time.
Adams is clearly superior to Boykin on the deep ball. Adams arcs the ball so beautifully forty yards downfield. Sometimes the pass happens in a pocket of perfect protection like against USC. Sometimes it happens across the field throwing against his body, like against Washington. Sometimes it happens running backwards fifteen yards behind the line of scrimmage and finding an open Dwayne Stanford in the end zone, like against Arizona State.
While Boykin is the better quarterback all around, mostly due to his arm strength and elite athleticism, both of these quarterbacks are going to put on a show on January 2nd.