Poinsettia Bowl Preview

December 21, 2011
By K. Becks

Since correctly picking Temple to beat Wyoming in the bowl season opener, I have dropped three straight.

Hopefully things will turn around for my College Bowl Mania entry tonight.

Here is a preview of tonight’s game.

San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl

TCU vs. Louisiana Tech

After losing high scoring affairs to both Baylor and SMU, it appeared as though TCU had fallen in the rankings of best college football teams in Texas after seemingly being the best just one year ago. However, a victory over then undefeated Boise State thrust the Horned Frogs back into the BCS bowl conversations. Although TCU did not make a BCS bowl, they proved to the nation that they were not as down and out as they looked against Baylor on the opening Friday of the season. While TCU looks like a big favorite in their bowl game tonight, fans should be cautious of guaranteeing a victory for the Horned Frogs.

TCU’s defense is not nearly as hard to move the ball against as it was last season. In fact, the Horned Frogs gave up an average of 21.3 points per game this season, nearly ten points more than they did a year ago. However, Gary Patterson’s team has managed to survive thanks to a pretty powerful offense led by first year starting quarterback Casey Pachall. Pachall has a cannon for an arm and can lead his team down the field quickly thanks to good decision making and the ability to buy time with his legs. While Pachall may be the key to victory for the Horned Frogs, the glue that keeps this offense together is the running game. Thanks to a trio of backs, TCU may make Louisiana Tech’s solid defense look helpless tonight.

As mentioned, Louisiana Tech’s surprising WAC title is thanks to their defense. In addition to stopping TCU’s run game, the Bulldogs are going to need to find a way to force Pachall into making a few mistakes. The Bulldogs are capable of doing so, as they lead the WAC in interceptions with 20, but did not face a quarterback quite like Pachall on a weekly basis in their conference. While it would be a major upset, Louisiana Tech does have a chance to win this game thanks to their optimistic play on defense.

Many people think that this game may be a blowout, considering TCU’s position in the rankings and the fact that Louisiana Tech rarely plays on the big stage. However, the Bulldogs will likely surprise these fans. I believe that Gary Patterson’s ability to get his players focused for games will play a big role in this one, and the Horned Frogs will come away with a close victory. I have TCU for 33 points in this game, so it is an important one considering my College Bowl Mania entry.

Final Score: 38-34 TCU

- K. Becks

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