When: Dec. 21, 2011 | 8:00 PM ET
Where: Qualcomm Stadium, San Diego, CA
Betting Line: TCU (-9.5)
Predicted Outcome: TCU 34, Louisiana Tech 30
TCU is a couple big plays from being undefeated and in their third straight BCS Bowl. They lost two heartbreakers early in the season: a 50-48 loss in the opening game vs. Baylor and a 40-33 defeat in OT by SMU. Since that loss, TCU has gone 7-0 including a huge victory over No. 5 Boise State.
TCU has a strong defense which allows just over 20 points per game and is led by senior linebacker Tank Carder. Carder will play in his final college game after being named conference defensive player of the year for the second consecutive season.
After last season they lost their quarterback and best player Andy Dalton to the NFL, so there wasn’t high expectations for this offense coming into the season. Sophomore quarterback Casey Pachall has taken over the reins of TCU's offense and has led them to 41.7 points per game (ninth in the nation).
Who will win the Poinsettia Bowl?
Louisiana Tech Breakdown
They started the season 1-4, but just like TCU they have won their last seven games. The main reason for this might be junior quarterback Colby Cameron. Since he's taken over the starting job from freshman Nick Isham, the Bulldogs are 5-0. Cameron has thrown 11 touchdowns to only two interceptions and led the offense to 35 points per game.
Just like TCU and Tank Carder, the Bulldogs defense is led by conference defensive player of the year and linebacker Adrien Cole. He has amassed 121 tackles, including 12 for a loss, and is the driving force of a defense that allows only 22.5 points per game.
The Bulldogs have played two very good non-AQ schools in Southern Miss and Houston. They had both those teams on their heels, only to lose in the final few seconds of each game. This game will be much closer than most think.
LT's defense in third in the country with 20 interceptions so TCU quarterback Casey Pachall will have to be very careful. If the Bulldogs can win the turnover battle they will have a good shot at a huge upset. But TCU's offense should be too much for LT and they will suffer another close loss to a good team.