Boise State-TCU: San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl Preview
Denial (di-nahy-uh-l): noun. Refusal to recognize or acknowledge; a disowning or disavowal.
Fate (feyt): noun. The universal principle or ultimate agency by which the order of things is presumably prescribed; the decreed cause of events.
These, together, will be the theme of this year’s San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl.
What was a very good season for non-BCS schools overall—three teams finishing in the top 11—ended up being a rough one for those not named Utah, as the BCS wanted no part in allowing a second team into its club.
Bad news for the Broncos and Frogs—great news for the Poinsettia Bowl.
Though the game may have the longest name of all the bowls—15 syllables depending on the pronunciation of poinsettia—this marquee matchup will feature two of the most accomplished football programs of the 2008 season, the No. 11 TCU Horned Frogs and the No. 9 Boise State Broncos. It has been considered a better matchup and more intriguing game than both the Sugar and Orange Bowls.
The Horned Frogs will arrive in San Diego with a 10-2 record having suffered losses to National Championship-bound Oklahoma and current No. 6 Utah, both on the road.
The Broncos will come in as WAC champions and undefeated for the third time in five years. They cruised through their schedule and never trailed a game in the second half.
San Diego plays host to one of the nation’s best defenses vs. one of the nation’s best offenses in a battle between rival conferences.
The Horned Frogs boast the nation’s number one rushing defense and the second-best defense overall. Led by All-American defensive end Jerry Hughes, the Frogs are giving up fewer than 11 points per game and a measly 48.7 yards on the ground.
This will put a real damper on the Broncos' running game, forcing much more pressure on young quarterback Kellen Moore and an offensive line that has been inconsistent all year.
They will have their hands full with Hughes, who has 14 sacks and six forced fumbles to his name. TCU is second in the nation with 43 sacks on the year.
In recent history, however, the Broncos have been an offensive factory, producing points like T.O. produces imploding NFL locker rooms.
Even with the passing of the torch to freshman quarterback Kellen Moore, not much has changed.
TCU was unable to keep up with Sam Bradford and his Sooner offense, and Moore will be the second-best quarterback they will have seen. Moore has completed 70 percent of his passes for over 3,200 yards and 25 touchdowns to nine different receivers. He has proven that he can keep his composure in a big game with the Broncos’ win over Oregon in Eugene.
The Broncos will have a lot to prove after a season where many people said that they couldn’t hang with the top tier of Mountain West Conference teams. The naysayers include Mark May—who will be working the game for ESPN, the network announced earlier this week—and MWC commissioner Craig Thompson.
It all comes down to who will have the best showing in San Diego: the TCU defense or the BSU offense.
Prediction: The game will be close. Vegas has TCU favored by 2.5. The Horned Frogs will be the best team the Broncos have faced and could spoil an undefeated season.
But that won’t happen.
The Broncos’ passing attack will prove too much in the warm weather of San Diego.
Broncos come out on top, 28-17.
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