Louisiana Tech vs. TCU Predictions & Analysis: 2011 Poinsettia Bowl

Last Updated: December 12th, 2011 by Adam Markowitz (Bankroll Sports Columnist)
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The TCU Horned Frogs didn’t quite make it to the BCS this year, and they are going to be stuck with a pre-Christmas Day bowl game. They’ll try to win yet another bowl game and make for great Poinsettia Bowl picks when they go against the WAC champs, the Louisiana Tech Bulldogs.

Poinsettia Bowl: Louisiana Tech Bulldogs vs. TCU Horned Frogs
Poinsettia Bowl Location: Qualcomm Stadium, San Diego, CA
Poinsettia Bowl Date/Time: Wednesday, December 21st, 8:00 p.m. (ET)
Poinsettia Bowl Television Coverage: ESPN, ESPN3.com

Click Here For The Rest Of The 2011-12 Bowl Game Schedule And Other Bowl Game Previews

Key #1: The Horned Frogs have to want to be here
And that might not be such an easy thing. Over the course of the last several years, the Horned Frogs have played in some pretty illustrious bowl games. They played in the Rose Bowl last year, the Fiesta Bowl the year before, and even in 2008 when they played right here in the Poinsettia Bowl, they were going against the Boise State Broncos. There were times this year when TCU looked a bit disinterested, just like it did when it lost to the SMU Mustangs in a non-conference tilt on the road. This is a significantly different team this year, and QB Casey Pachall is nowhere near the same type of leader that QB Andy Dalton was. This is a short turnaround as well from the team’s last game, which could be a very dangerous situation to say the least.

Poinsettia Bowl Odds at Wager Web Sportsbook
Louisiana Tech Bulldogs +10.5
TCU Horned Frogs -10.5
Over/Under 55.5
Click Here to Bet The Poinsettia Bowl Picks!

Key #2: Colby Cameron needs to step into the spotlight as a star
Many don’t realize that Louisiana Tech has won seven games in a row coming into this bowl game, as it had to think that it was a team in a lot of trouble in the first month of the year. The Bulldogs were 1-4 in their first five games, and their only win was an OT triumph over Central Arkansas. Three weeks after a 44-26 loss to the Hawaii Warriors, the worst defeat of the season for the team, La Tech turned for Cameron under center. He has done tremendously since that point, completing 56 percent of his passes for 1,403 yards and 11 TDs against just two picks. It’s a far cry from the man that only threw one TD against five picks in limited action as a backup before this season. The problem that Cameron is going to have in this one is going against this TCU defense, clearly the best that he has seen this year. Yes, he won the final five games of the year, but San Jose State, Fresno State, Ole Miss, Nevada, and New Mexico State aren’t quite at the level of the Horned Frogs.

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Key #3: The ground game for TCU has to stay balanced
And that’s really because we just don’t know if we totally trust Pachall to put the ball in the air 35 times to win this game. There aren’t many rushing attacks that operate as smoothly as that of the Horned Frogs. There are three fantastic backs in this backfield in RBs Waymon James, Matthew Tucker, and Ed Wesley, and they are all incredibly experienced. All three are going to finish this season with at least 5.8 yards per carry, and all of them might be beyond 6.0 yards when it is said and done. The Bulldogs only allow 3.4 rushing yards per attempt, a number which is even better than that of the Horned Frogs though, so TCU’s stable of backs could find some troubles in the ground game.

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Posted in College Football - Last Updated on Monday, December 12th, 2011 @ 7:32 am (EST)
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