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2011 Poinsettia Bowl Preview: Louisiana Tech Vs. TCU

A extremely quick 2011 Poinsettia Bowl preview.

Next Game

TCU Horned Frogs
@ Louisiana Tech Bulldogs

Wednesday, Dec 21, 2011, 5:00 PM PST
San Diego County Poinsettia Bowl - Qualcomm Stadium, San Diego, CA


Complete Coverage >

The TCU Horned Frogs take on the Louisiana Tech Bulldogs in the luxurious Poinsettia Bowl Wednesday night. This will be TCU's third Poinsettia Bowl appearance in the last six years and it will be their last as they are heading to the bigger and better things in the Big 12. One thing TCU can not do in tonight's game is to take Louisiana Tech lightly, yes they are from the WAC but they have a potent passing offense. Looking back at TCU's defense they have been vulnerable to the deep passing game, and Louisiana Tech is 45th in the country in that category.

Wide receiver Quinton Patton is the wide receiver that TCU must focus on as he was second in the WAC in receiving in yards per game at 94.6. On the year Patton had 73 receptions for 1,135 and 10 touchdowns while averaging 15.55 yards per reception. So, TCU will need to provide some extra coverage to his side of the field. The quarterback situation for Louisiana Tech is fluid as both freshman Nick Isham and junior Colby Cameron are listed as being the starter. Both have comparable stats, but based on who has played lately it should be Cameron who TCU will see tonight since he has played in the last five games. Cameron has 11 touchdowns to only two interceptions in his five games as a starter.

Louisiana Tech was just average in total defense this year and that is the weak spot of the team. The TCU offense will need to have quarterback Casey Pachall show up like he did against the Boise State rather than his performances against UNLV and Colorado State where he had less passing yards in those two games combined compared to the Boise State win.

Also, TCU needs to pound the ball against the Louisiana Tech defense so that the passing game can open open. The rush defense for Louisiana Tech ranks 25th in the nation, but they have not seen an attack this good since they faced Nevada. If TCU can get their running game to churn out some yards that should allow Pachall to be able to pass against the defense and use the play action to their advantage to beat the corner backs.

TCU has the edge in nearly every position group per Stats Inc.

TCU vs. Louisiana Tech Matchups

Here is a good read from SB Nation's Bill Connelly about the game and he predicts a TCU win:

Thanks to stellar defense and decent special teams, Louisiana Tech has a chance in this one, but their margin for error is small. If they can minimize the effectiveness of TCU's run game and take advantage of occasional glitches in the TCU secondary, they could stay much closer than most are predicting. But the best time to take advantage of TCU is early in the game, and without a fast start, they will probably wear down. This is one of the more high-quality matchups in the early bowl schedule, and as I said at the start, Louisiana Tech is already a bit of a winner in this one. But TCU still holds the edge and should head off to the Big 12 next year riding an eight-game winning streak.

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