The TCU Horned Frogs (7-2, 4-0 MWC) will attempt to play spoiler to the No. 5 Boise State Broncos (8-0, 3-0 MWC) on Saturday, as both teams try to avoid a first conference loss.
The last two times these two teams met was the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl in 2009. In that game, the Broncos squeaked by with a 17-10 victory to cap off an undefeated season. They also avenged their bowl-game loss to TCU from the year before.
TCU will forgo its previous plans to enter the Big East—instead choosing to join the Big 12 after this season, Tom Luicci of The Star-Ledger reports.
Where: Bronco Stadium (Boise, ID)
When: 3:30 p.m. ET on Nov. 12, 2011
Boise State -15, according to SportsBook.com
Ten months ago, I correctly predicted that TCU would suffer a loss before they left the Mountain West Conference. However, I’m willing to admit two losses before Boise State was something I didn’t see coming.
Given the way these two teams have played this season, Boise State deserves a spread this high. Their passing offense is miles better thanks to Kellen Moore’s dynamic play.
However, anything over two touchdowns in this rivalry is too high for my taste.
I’d take TCU.
Considering these teams both average over 40 points per game, a high over/under like this was in the cards. Both the Broncos and Horned Frogs have top-35 defenses, making it tough to see tons of points if you look solely at the stats.
However, TCU allowed 50 points to the Baylor Bears in a Week 1 loss. They are prone to letting prolific offenses put up points, and the Broncos fit that description.
Boise State has yet to allow more than 30 points in a game this season, but the Broncos have only faced one good offense (Georgia).
Expect lots of points in this contest—take over.
Key Injuries (According to College Injury Report)
Doug Martin (RB) is probable for the Broncos with a leg injury he suffered in last week’s game. The team’s leading rusher is expected to be a go come Saturday.
Tekerrein Cuba (S) is questionable for the second straight game with a sprained knee. Before the injury, he was leading the Horned Frogs defense in tackles.
BCS/Top 25 Poll Implications
TCU ruined their chances at a National Championship run in Week 1.
Boise State, however, is still a potential contender for the biggest game on the college football calendar. A loss to anyone will end hopes for a Boise State championship, so they have much more to lose in this game.
TCU isn’t new at all to the role of spoiler.
Keys to Boise State Win
The Broncos need to play their own game and not think about the gravity of the situation. All four of the teams above them in the BCS rankings have incredibly difficult games in the final stretch of the season.
Boise State is the better team, but TCU is no slouch. Both the passing and running game of the Broncos have been working all season, so they should continue to stay balanced instead of favoring one or the other.
On defense, Boise State should take chances. The offense can be trusted to score points, so blitz and jump routes to try and give yourself a big lead early.
Keys to TCU Win
TCU’s expectations for the season dropped after a Week 1 loss, but the Horned Frogs know there’s a future after this season. They have to prove themselves with a Big 12 entrance coming up very soon.
The TCU running game needs to continue its success, but TCU’s chances ride on the arm of sophomore quarterback Casey Pachall.
He needs to rebound from a poor game against Wyoming last week.
Boise State 39, TCU 32