Here is a short five question and answer about the Poinsettia Bowl. These five questions were asked by Tucker here on BR, and I asked him five questions about the Poinsettia Bowl. After reading this article, go check out the questions I asked him regarding the Poinsettia Bowl.
1. With less than a 175-yard difference between rushing yards and passing yards, it is obvious that TCU has a balanced offense. How have they been able to maintain that balance, and how will that come in to play against a good Boise State defense?
TCU's quarterback play has been very steady this year with starter Andy Dalton and Marcus Jackson, who filled in for a few games while Dalton was injured. The reason for the success is from the experience that Dalton received last year when he was a starter as a redshirt freshman.
For the first time in a while TCU has a threat at the wide receiver spot in Jimmy Young, who has had four games over 100 yards receiving, plus a 226-yard game against Wyoming. Young can stretch the field and has averaged over 16 yards a catch, and that can open up plays across the middle.
The running game has always been strong, and this year Aaron Brown was suspended for a few games, which lead to Joseph Turner getting experience and emerging as another weapon in the running game.
Aaron Brown is their star back, but both are good enough to split time and save each other from getting too fatigued late in games.
Boise's defense is very good, and TCU struggled against teams with good defenses when they lost to Utah and Oklahoma. TCU is a patient team and opportunistic team, which means they will keep Boise State honest by trying to balance the playbook.
TCU has the weapons on offense to be balanced, and even in the games they lost they kept the plays even, so even with the good defense Boise has it will be difficult for TCU to get yards. They will stick to their game plan.
2. The TCU defense is very good, but Boise State will be the second-best offense they will have faced this season, and Oklahoma was able to throw for over 400 yards and score 35 points. What will TCU do to keep the Broncos from putting up similar numbers?
The key for TCU is to get pressure on the quarterback, and that starts with defensive end Jerry Hughes, who led the nation in sacks and was a second team AP All-American selection. The TCU defense was still coming together in the Oklahoma game, and if you look after the big first quarter they held their own, but that could be because Oklahoma was up so big.
Boise, while they have good athletes, do not have the same level of players that Oklahoma has, but if TCU cannot get pressure on the quarterback, then Moore will have a field day passing the ball.
Also, TCU does not want to give up the big play, but TCU has allowed the short and midrange gain. When TCU played Utah, the Utes just keep running medium range routes to move down the field and had very few plays over 20 yards.
3. TCU is ranked 14th nationally in rushing yards but have zero backs with at least 500 yards. Of the eight players with at least 100 yards and 31 carries, who do the Bronco defense need to concern themselves with while the Frogs have the ball?
There are two backs. The main one is Aaron Brown, and the other is Joseph Turner. Brown would have had more yards, but he was suspended for three games, and by the time he got back the other running back Joseph Turner emerged as a threat. Both backs are legitimate starters and both needed to be accounted for.
Also, TCU likes to put wide outs in the shotgun formation for designed draws, but that is maybe once or twice a game.
4. The Horned Frogs were very good at home but lost two road games and won a very close one at Colorado State. How will they overcome this in their travel to San Diego when they face a team that is, arguably, the second-best team they will have faced and is a team that travels well?
The Colorado State game was a factor of TCU not caring with the next week's game being the BYU game. Also, you need to look at who the road games were: Oklahoma, who is in the title game, and Utah, who is in the Sugar Bowl. The other road games were blowouts, so the traveling factor will not really affect how TCU plays besides the quality of opponent they are playing.
5. TCU is arguably the best team in the MWC and just a couple of missed field goals from a possible BCS berth, so how big is this game for the Horned Frogs? Especially with the rivalry between the WAC and MWC, what would a win do for TCU and the MWC? A loss?
TCU was very close to getting to a BCS game if they just could have finished off Utah, and this game is huge because TCU is full of young players. They will bring back their top running back, quarterback, wideout, and also their defense is young. A win against a top 10 team could propel TCU to a high ranking next year.
The same will be said for Boise State, and in my opinion, the winner of this game will be considered the front runner to make a BCS Bowl game along with BYU and Tulsa.
The conference rivalry is huge because if TCU wins, it will show that the MWC is better then the WAC, just because Boise was the champ and TCU was not the champ. For the WAC, if Boise wins, it will validate how good Boise is and proves that they are most likely just as good as Utah and just build upon how good Boise is.
Final Score: TCU 20, Boise State 17