Fiesta Bowl: Boise State vs. TCU Preview and Predictions

Jeff SmithCorrespondent IJanuary 4, 2010

January 4, 2010 | 8:00 PM EST, Glendale, AZ, on FOX


Tostitos Fiesta Bowl

Boise State Broncos  (13-0) vs TCU Horned Frogs  (12-0)

Opening Line:  TCU -7  (current TCU -7.5 )

Game Preview: What a game! I know some people don’t like these two squads hooking up because it doesn’t prove as much as beating other opponents but I think this makes for a fantastic game. A dynamic creative offense against a suffocating defense and a rematch from last year’s bowl game which TCU won by a point. This game may not tell us how Boise might fare in the PAC 10 or how TCU would handle the Big 12 but these are two undefeated, talented teams that will give all they can. The winner should even grab the No. 2 ranking which would be pretty amazing. Watch this one if you can…if you can’t—DVR it.

Boise State Preview: The Broncos enter the game with the No. 1 scoring offense in the country, averaging nearly 45 ppg. Sure they run stuff out of some wacky formations but they also have plenty of speed and a very smart quarterback at the helm—Kellen Moore. The interesting thing will be to see how Boise responds to the level competition. They have had a fantastic year beating every opponent by 10 or more save one—Tulsa (go figure). That game was more than two months ago so it will be very interesting to see how they respond to an opponent that will look them in the eye and go punch for punch. Look for the Broncos to try and make some things happen on special teams, maybe a fake or a crafty return to try and get things going. If it hits they are off to the races, if not it could spell disaster.

TCU Preview: I can’t hold it back…I really like the Horned Frogs. In their recent run they have established themselves as a fearsome defensive team but this year they have an offense to match. In fact they are ranked 4 in the country in both scoring offense and defense—pretty amazing. All year long they have answered every test on their schedule and with the Mountain West enjoying a solid bowl season all those victories are looking even more impressive. But it will be all for not if they don’t win this one. Coach Patterson has turned down opportunities to coach at bigger schools the last few years because he is wicked smart and believes he can get it done where he is. I believe and he will prove it in this one that as he outmanoeuvres the Broncos on an even bigger stage than last year’s Poinsettia Bowl.

Game Prediction: Both teams will score on their first possession as they feel each other out. After that the momentum will shift to TCU whose play makers on D and gutsy QB Andy Dalton will will begin to shine. Boise will not quit and just when it looks like there is no hope they will make a game of it. This may not be the highest scoring bowl but it will be the best. Sorry Championship game.

Score Prediction:

TCU Horned Frogs  – 31
Boise State Broncos  – 27

Pick: TCU deserves to be the heavy fave but it is a little too much for this game given the competition. I would play on the ML with the Frogs but the payoff doesn’t justify it.  Maybe just watch this one for pure football sake or find some interesting prop bets.  How about the over under of how many times there is talk of a playoff throughout the game (16.5—unless they announcers have been gagged).

Boise State Broncos Football Betting Trends:
  • Boise State is 5-0 SU in its last 5 games
  • The total has gone OVER in 4 of Boise State’s last 5 games
TCU Horned Frogs Football Betting Trends:
  • TCU is 6-1 ATS in its last 7 games
  • TCU is 5-0 SU in its last 5 games
  • The total has gone OVER in 4 of TCU’s last 5 games