12/28 Reliant Stadium 7PM CT TV:
This is one of the bowl games that invited a Mountain West team as an at large that gave the MWC a 5th bowl game. When the season began people were looking at TCU as a possibility of being in the BCS but inconsistent QB play, injuries on offens, a defense that underachieved in the first half of the season. TCU in the second half of the season played well by finishing a strong 4-2 and had chances to beat BYU at home if they cold have scored a TD instead of settling for 3 field goals.
As for Houston this was their first season without 4 year starter and NFL draft choice in Kevin Kolb and are also do not have their head coach Art Briles who left to become the coach at Baylor. The offensive coordinator is coaching the team in this game so the explosive offense will still be the same.
The one weakness that TCU's defense has is in the secondary and with Houston running 3 to 5 wide out sets this could cause problems for TCU. The Horned Frogs can combat this stuff if they get a good pass rush by Chase Ortiz and Tommy Blake.
Houston has an edge in this game because of the style that TCU plays, because when Houston plays teams that do not have explosive offenses they won those games this year. Which means TCU better decide if redshirt Freshman Andy Dalton is going to play all of the game or if Marcus Jackson will get some playing time. I assume Andy Dalton will start but Jackson will get some playing time.
Anthony Alridge is a player to watch from Houston, Alridge averages over 6 yards per carry and had over 1,500 yards on the ground. So, the Cougars who throw and score a lot of points are balanced in their overall attack.
TCU puts the offensive load on RB Aaron Brown and when healthy was one of the best RB's in the league but has been hurt most of the year.
This is an intriguing game because TCU has a very good defense but not a great secondary and Houston has a high powered passing game and an above average running game. Then TCU has a pretty good run game but are not really set on any single quarterback.
If TCU can get pressure on the QB and control the ball offensively with Aaron Brown then TCU has a good chance of winning. TCU has the pressure of keeping the Mountain West undefeated in bowl games, but this game will be close and look for TCU's defense to make plays and pull this game out.