2012 Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl
Saturday, December 29, 2012, 10:15 pm Eastern, TV: ESPN
Texas Christian Horned Frogs vs Michigan State Spartans
Sun Devil Stadium – Tempe, Arizona
Opening Line: TCU -2
Current Line: TCU -2 1/2 (-115)
Opening Total: 43
Current Total: 40 1/2
Opening Money Line: TCU -140 / Michigan St +120
Current Money Line: TCU -130 / Michigan St +110
The 7-5 TCU Horned Frogs and 6-6 Michigan St Spartans meet for only the second time ever Saturday in the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl in Tempe, Arizona. Michigan St won only previous meeting in 1953.
TCU is 13-14-1 all-time in bowl games. TCU is playing in their 14th bowl game since 1998. The Horned Frogs are 9-4 in those games and have won 6 of their last 7 bowl games, including 31-24 in the Poinsettia Bowl against Louisiana Tech last season.
Michigan St is 8-14 all-time in bowl games. The Spartans upset Georgia 33-30 in the Outback Bowl last season to snap a 5 game losing streak in the post-season.
TCU was 4-5 in the Big 12 under coach Gary Patterson. The Horned Frogs moved from the Mountain West to the Big 12 this season. TCU has losses at home against Iowa St 37-23 Texas Tech 56-53 in triple overtime, Kansas St 23-10 and Oklahoma 24-17 to close out the regular season, along with a road loss at Oklahoma St 36-14. Strangely, TCU did not win a conference home game this season. After a 4-0 start, TCU has gone 3-5 since after quarterback Casey Pachall was kicked off the team after being arrested for DUI. TCU has home wins over Grambling 56-0 and Virginia 27-7, along with road wins at Kansas 20-6, SMU 24-16, at Baylor 49-21, West Virginia 39-38 in double overtime and 20-13 at Texas. The Horned Frogs are 5-7 ATS and the total is 4-7 this season.
TCU is averaging 397 yards per game, including 239.5 passing and 157.5 rushing yards. The Horned Frogs are outscoring teams 29-23 this season. TCU is +5 in turnovers with 27 giveaways. The Horned Frogs are averaging 65 penalty yards per game, and have allowed 25 sacks. TCU is 70/195 on third and fourth down conversions and 38/54 scoring in the red zone including 27 touchdowns. The Horned Frogs are allowing 332 yards per game on defense, including 228.1 passing yards and 103.9 rushing yards. TCU is in the top 18 nationally in total defense and against the run. The Frogs have forced 32 turnovers and 26 sacks. TCU opponents are 59/185 on third and fourth down conversions and 30/36 scoring in the red zone with 16 touchdowns. The Horned Frogs have 4 defensive/special teams touchdowns.
TCU quarterback freshman Trevone Boykin took over as the starter from Pachall. Boykin has completed 154 of 263 passes (58.6%) for 1,853 yards with 15 touchdowns and 9 interceptions, and also has 114 carries, 380 yards and 3 rushing touchdowns. Running back B.J. Catalan has 116 carries for 562 yards, along with 23 catches for 152 yards and a touchdown. Matthew Tucker has 110 carries, 487 yards, and 5 touchdowns, along with 8 catches, 69 yards and a touchdown. Aundre Dean has 63 carries, 278 yards, and a receiving touchdown on his only catch of the season. Running back Wayman James is out for the season with a torn ACL. Laderice Sanders only has 3 carries, but has 2 touchdowns.
Receiver Josh Boyce has 61 catches, 800 yards with 7 touchdowns, and also has a rushing touchdown. Brandon Carter has 34 catches, 579 yards, and 6 touchdowns. Skye Dawson has 34 catches, 455 yards and a touchdown. LaDarius Brown has 25 catches, 351 yards and 5 touchdowns. Four other Horned frogs are out for the season including 3 defensive players. Cornerback Deante’ Gray has a punt return for a touchdown.
Michigan St was 3-5 in the Big Ten under coach Mark Dantonio. The Spartans have home losses to Notre Dame 20-3, Ohio St 17-16, Iowa 19-16 in double overtime, Nebraska 28-24 and Northwestern 23-20, along with a 12-10 road loss at Michigan. Other than to undefeated #1 Notre Dame, all other losses were by 4 points or less. Michigan St has home wins over Boise St 17-13 and Eastern Michigan along with road wins over Central Michigan 41-7, Indiana 31-27, Wisconsin 16-13 in overtime, and Minnesota 26-10 to close out the regular season and become bowl eligible. Michigan St is 4-8 ATS and the total is 2-9-1 this season.
Michigan St is averaging 370.3 yards per game on offense, including 218.8 passing yards and 151.6 rushing yards. The Spartans are outscoring teams 20-16 this season. Michigan St is 74th or worse in all offensive categories including 90th in total offense and 109th in scoring out of 124 teams. The Spartans are even in turnovers with 18 takeaways and 18 giveaways. MSU averages 55 penalty yards per game and has allowed 19 sacks this season. The Spartans are 85/208 on third and fourth down conversions and 34/42 scoring in the red zone with 21 touchdowns. On defense, Michigan St is allowing 273.2 yards per games, including 173.7 passing and 99.6 rushing yards. The Spartans are in the top 10 nationally in all defensive categories. Michigan St has forced 16 sacks this season. Spartan opponents are 58/187 on third and fourth down conversions and 23/28 scoring in the red zone with 9 touchdowns.
Spartan quarterback Andrew Maxwell has completed 228 of 431 passes (52.9%) for 2,578 yards with 13 touchdowns and 9 interceptions. He has been sacked 19 times this season. Running back Le’Veon Bell has 350 carries, 1,648 yards and 11 touchdowns, along with 30 catches, 154 yards and a touchdown. No other Spartan has more than 20 carries this season. Maxwell has only attempted only 81 more passes than Bell has carries.
Receiver Bennie Fowler has 41 catches, 524 yards and 4 touchdowns. Keith Mumphery has 41 catches, 511 yards and a touchdown. Tight end Dion Sims has 33 catches, 451 yards and 2 touchdowns. Tony Lippett has 35 catches, 380 yards and 2 touchdowns. Aaron Burbridge has 26 catches, 342 and a touchdown.
TCU is 10-1 ATS after a straight up loss, 20-6 after failing to cover, 6-2 after scoring less than 20 points, 0-5 in neutral site games, 0-4 in bowl games and on grass.
Michigan St is 12-4-1 ATS after allowing less than 170 passing yards, 8-3 after a cover, 5-2 after rushing for more than 200 yards 3-7 overall, 7-18-1 after passing for less than 170 yards, 1-4 after allowing 100 rushing yards or less, 1-5 against Big 12 teams, 0-4 after a straight up win, and 0-7 on grass.
This should be a defensive struggle between two teams with great defenses and not so great offenses. TCU is great at stopping the run, and they will get a chance to show that off as Bell averages 30 carries a game. TCU is better on offense and I think that will be the difference. TCU wins a close, low scoring affair in the desert.
Our college football handicappers are red hot this bowl season. We have winners for every bowl game.