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College Bowl Preview III
By Jonathan Hull

Bowl seaons kicks into high gear this week with 12 games scheduled between Wednesday and Saturday. So far this year I'm 6-1 in bowl games with my lone loss coming Christmas Eve when SMU put together one of the best defensive performances of the bowl season so far to blow out Fresno State in the Hawai'i Bowl. 

In fact, it's a pair of defensive performances that have been the talk of the bowl season so far. Two individuals have put on an absolutely clinic and have seen their draft status soar as a result. SMU DE Margus Hunt had three tackles for loss, two sacks, forced two fumbles and recorded a safety -- all in the first half. 

After a somewhat pedestrian regular season with just six sacks and 8.5 tackles for loss, Hunt's draft stock went down a bit, but after shining on a national stage Monday, scouts will be looking hard at the 6 foot, 8 inch, 280-pound DE again. He's a phenomenal athlete and the surface is just now being scratched.

Hunt didn't play high school football, growing up in Estonia and spending his time throwing the discus, shot put and hammer in track and field. He moved to Dallas to attend SMU, and was encouraged to give football a try after SMU dropped its men's track program. The move is paying off, and now Hunt could ride this momentum into a late first-round selection. He doesn't look like anything worse than a second-round pick.

BYU LB Kyle Van Noy also made a huge impact as he led the Cougars to a victory in the Poinsettia Bowl. Van Noy had 3.5 tackles for loss, 1.5 sacks, forced a fumble he recovered in the end zone for a TD and returned an interception for a score as well. Every time a play was being made by the BYU defense it seemed like Van Noy was the one making it.

That performance just capped what has been a stellar year for the junior LB, who finished with 24 TFL and 13 sacks. He's like a 3-4 OLB prospect in the NFL, and is on a lot of scouts' radars right now. His performance under a national light gives him a lot of momentum for the draft process should he decide to leave school early. Second round almost seems too late for him, but this a very talented group of defensive players in this year's draft.

Who will stand out this week and improve their draft status with a breakout performance? I throw out a few names to watch for in my third edition of the bowl preview.

Little Caesers Pizza Bowl

Central Michigan (6-6) vs. Western Kentucky (7-5)

6 p.m. Dec. 26, ESPN

Last bowl appearance: Central Michigan 44, Troy 41, 2 OT (2009 GMAC); Western Kentucky has never played in a bowl game.

Last meeting/series: This is the first meeting between the two programs.

2013 draft prospects: Central Michigan, OT Eric Fisher, SS Jahleel Addae, QB Ryan Radcliff; Western Kentucky, TE Jack Doyle, OG Adam Smith.

Reasons to watch: Sometimes one player might make a game worth watching. In this case, it's Western Kentucky junior RB Antonio Andrews, who is No. 1 in the nation in all-purpose yards. Andrews averages 134 rushing yards and 34 receiving yards per game. He's also one of the top return specialists in the nation. To say the least, he's the most vital player on the field for either team. Western Kentucky also has one of the top pass rushers in the country, but unfortunately senior DE Quanterus Smith, who led the nation in sacks, isn't able to play with a blown out knee. On paper, Central Michigan isn't very impressive. The Chippewas haven't beaten a team with a winning record this season. They aren't without some great players, though. Senior OT Eric Fisher is a potential first-round pick in April. That makes Smith's absence from this game even more unfortunate because him matching up against Fisher would be primetime worthy. CMU has finally found an offensive identity with the emergence of junior RB Zurlon Tipton, who has at least 112 yards in each of the last six games. He's also scored 13 TDs during that span. Tipton and the ground game is CMU's best shot of pulling out a win.

Prediction: Western Kentucky 32, Central Michigan 30 -- With no wins against teams with winning records, how can one pick Central Michigan to win this game? The Sun Belt is no longer that far behind the MAC in level of competition. It's Western Kentucky's first bowl game ever, and it should end in the Hilltoppers first bowl win ever as well.

 

Military Bowl

San Jose State (10-2) vs. Bowling Green (8-4)

3 p.m. Dec. 27, ESPN

Last bowl appearance: San Jose State 20, New Mexico 12; Idaho 43, Bowling Green 42 (2009 Humanitarian)

Last meeting/series: This is the first meeting between the two programs.

2013 draft prospects: San Jose State, TE Ryan Otten, DE Travis Johnson, OT David Quessenberry; Bowling Green, DT Chris Jones.

Reasons to watch: It's surprising how impressive the top of the WAC was this season. San Jose State along with Utah State and Louisiana Tech proved to be very good teams. It's a shame Louisiana Tech won't be playing in a bowl, and a major mistake by that program's administration. But that's a rant for another space on another day. San Jose State showed a lot of promise this season, and feature a pass-heavy offense. Junior QB David Fales was third in the nation in passing efficiency. Fales was a Juco standout before coming to San Jose State this season. He'll get a pretty good test from the Bowling Green defense, though. The Falcons only average 23 points per game on offense, but rank ninth nationally in scoring defense at 15.75 points per game. They're also seventh in the nation in total yards allowed. Their best player is senior DT Chris Jones, who is fourth in the nation in sacks and ninth in tackles for loss. Jones is a constant disruption and will be playing in the NFL next season. The Spartans have a great player on the DL as well, though. DE Travis Johnson has 12 sacks and 19 TFL this season, and like Jones, should hear his name called in New York in April.

Prediction: San Jose State 28, Bowling Green 14 -- Bowling Green's defense will keep it in this game, but the Falcons don't have much to offer on offense. Fales is going to impact the game no matter how good the Falcons defense plays, and they can't count on their offense to make plays in return.

 

Belk Bowl

Cincinnati (9-3) vs. Duke (6-6)

6:30 p.m. Dec. 27, ESPN

Last bowl appearance: Cincinnati 31, Vanderbilt 24 (2011 Liberty); Wisconsin 34, Duke 20 (1995 Hall of Fame)

Last meeting/series: This is the first meeting between the two programs.

2013 draft prospects: Cincinnati, TE Travis Kelce, LB Greg Blair, RB George Winn, SS Drew Frey, CB Dominique Battle, DE Dan Giordano; Duke, WR Conner Vernon, QB Sean Renfree, FS Walt Canty

Reasons to watch: For the Duke campus to be focused on anything other than basketball in late December is certainly a rare occasion. This is Duke's first bowl game since 1995, and the Blue Devils will be looking for their first postseason victory since 1960. Coach David Cutcliffe is getting some ACC Coach of the Year talk for getting the Blue Devils back into a bowl game. They did on the arm of QB Sean Renfree, who put up impressive numbers as did his favorite target WR Conner Vernon. Since 2000, Cincinnati has missed a bowl game just three times. In other words, the Bearcats are just about the opposite of Duke when it comes to qualifying for bowl games. The Bearcats are also opposite of Duke when it comes to style of play. Cincy depends more on the ground game, particularly from RB George Winn, and strong defense. The Bearcats are underrated as a defensive unit. They give up plenty of yards, but allowed just 17 points per game this season. LB Greg Blair was one of the surest tacklers in the nation.

Prediction: Cincinnati 34, Duke 24 -- Cincy's head coach Butch Jones might now be gone, but the Bearcats shouldn't miss a beat. And even though new coach Tommy Tuberville won't be taking the reins quite yet, there is enough senior leadership to keep Cincy's head above water while preparing for Duke. And Duke isn't playing well enough right now to keep pace with the Bearcats.

 

Holiday Bowl

Baylor (7-5) vs. UCLA (9-4)

9:45 p.m. Dec. 27, ESPN

Last bowl appearance: Baylor 67, Washington 56 (2011 Alamo); Illinois 20, UCLA 14 (2011 Kraft Fight Hunger)

Last meeting/series: This is the first meeting between the two programs.

2013 draft prospects: Baylor, WR Terrance Williams, QB Nick Florence, OC Ivory Wade; UCLA, RB Johnathan Franklin, LB Anthony Barr, DE Datone Jones, TE Joseph Fauria, OG Jeff Baca, CB Aaron Hester

Reasons to watch: This is one of the best early bowl game matchups, but anyone wanting to watch better be ready for a late night. There will be no lack of scoring in this one, which means a long night. Almost all of that is due to Baylor. The Bears have the No. 1 offense in the nation and are fifth in scoring. QB Nick Florence leads the nation in total offense and WR Terrance Williams averages more receiving yards (144) per game than anyone in the country. Baylor has been held to less than 41 points a mere three times this season. Unfortunately, Baylor also ranks 119th in total defense and 114th in scoring defense. The Bears don't do anything well on defense. And that's a problem against UCLA, which has plenty of offensive weapons to take advantage of the porous Baylor defense. It all starts with Johnathan Franklin at RB. Franklin is ninth in the nation in rushing, and is also a threat catching the ball out of the backfield. He's a complete RB, who will be a very good NFL player. Unlike Baylor, UCLA actually has some playmakers on defense. Junior LB Anthony Barr has 20.5 TFL and 13.5 sacks, and looks like a first-round pick. DE Datone Jones is also a force in the backfield with 17.5 TFL and should be second day draft pick.

Prediction: UCLA 54, Baylor 50 -- The average over/under for this game is 80 points. Take the over. This will be the highest scoring bowl game of the year. This one will truly be decided by who gets the most stops because stops will be at a premium. UCLA makes more plays on defense, which gives the Bruins the edge.

 

Independence Bowl

Ohio (8-4) vs. Louisiana-Monroe (8-4)

2 p.m. Dec. 28, ESPN

Last bowl appearance: Ohio 24, Utah State 23 (2011 Famous Idaho Potato); This is La-Monroe's first bowl game in program history.

Last meeting/series: This is the first meeting between the two programs.

2013 draft prospects: Ohio, OC Skyler Allen, OG Eric Herman, DT Neal Huynh; La-Monroe, WR Brent Leonard.

Reasons to watch: Louisiana-Monroe made a lot of headlines early this season with an upset win against Arkansas and two near wins against Auburn and Baylor. The Warhawks have a pass-heavy attack centered around junior QB Kolton Browning, who is also the team's leading rusher with just 441 yards. Ohio also started the season hot, winning its first seven games before the Bobcats finished the season losing four of their last five. It's stunning how much the Ohio offense seemed to regress late in the season, and much of it had to do with the struggles of junior QB Tyler Tettleton. Last season, Tettleton was much more efficient as well as more of a dual-threat. He hasn't lived up to the expectations that came with his junior year. Junior RB Beau Blankenship has helped pick up some of the slack for Tettleton, though, rushing for 1,500 yards this season.

Prediction: Louisiana-Monroe 35, Ohio 27 -- Ohio has been on a losing path for the last half of the season, and you know Monroe is going to be pumped about its first ever bowl bid. It's incredible to think both La-Lafayette and La-Monroe are both in bowl games when each program was one of the worst in the nation for so many years.

 

Russell Athletics Bowl

Rutgers (9-3) vs. Virginia Tech (6-6)

5:30 p.m. Dec. 28, ESPN

Last bowl appearance: Rutgers 27, Iowa State 13 (2011 Pinstripe); Michigan 23, Virginia Tech 20, OT (2011 Sugar)

Last meeting/series: Virginia Tech 48, Rutgers 22 (2003); Va. Tech leads series 11-3.

2013 draft prospects: Rutgers, LB Khaseem Greene, CB Logan Ryan, LB Steve Beauharnais, OT R.J. Dill, DT Scott Vallone, WR Mark Harrison; Virginia Tech, QB Logan Thomas, WR Corey Fuller, LB Bruce Taylor, WR Marcus Davis, OT Nick Becton

Reasons to watch: Virginia Tech in a bowl game is nothing new. The Hokies are making their 20th consecutive bowl appearance, despite have their worst season since 1992, which was the year before their bowl streak started. The Hokies have struggled mightily on offense this season, which was a complete surprise considering how much hype surrounded QB Logan Thomas, who has failed to live up to expectations. Thomas has thrown for nearly as many INTs (14) as TDs (17), which is unacceptable for a guy who was considered a first-round NFL Draft prospect coming into the season. It hasn't been all his fault, either. Va. Tech has no ground game to speak of, and Thomas ended up being the team's leading rusher with 528 yards. The Hokies defense has been solid once again, although far from their typical production. Defense is pretty much the only reason Rutgers is in a bowl game. For all of Va. Tech's offensive struggles, the Scarlet Knights are five times as bad, ranking 100th in total offense and 94th in scoring offense. But Rutgers defense has been suffocating at times, allowing just 14 points per game. LB Khaseem Greene has emerged as one of the top playmakers in the country, and should be a first-round pick in April.

Prediction: Rutgers 20, Virginia Tech 17 -- Any team that can score more than 20 points has a chance to beat Rutgers. Can't Virginia Tech top 20 points against the Scarlet Knights? It's hard to think so considering how dominant Rutgers has been on defense and how putrid the Hokies offense is currently. This would be Rutgers first win against its former Big East foe since 1992 as well as is sixth consecutive bowl win.

 

Meineke Car Care Bowl of Texas

Minnesota (6-6) at Texas Tech (7-5)

9 p.m. Dec. 28, ESPN

Last bowl appearance: Iowa State 14, Minnesota 13 (2009 Insight); Texas Tech 45, Northwestern 38 (2010 TicketCity)

Last meeting/series: Texas Tech 44, Minnesota 41 (2006 Insight Bowl); Texas Tech leads series 1-0.

2013 draft prospects: Minnesota, WR MarQueis Gray; Texas Tech, QB Seth Doege, SS Cod Davis, OT LaAdrian Waddle, WR Darrin Moore

Reasons to watch: The reason isn't Minnesota. The Gophers lost six of their final eight games, and if it wasn't for some soft early scheduling, they wouldn't be bowling this season. Minnesota ranks 111th in total offense and averages just 21 points per game. Their defense is solid, but its numbers are padded by a weak Big Ten. If the Big Ten had nine conference games this season, chances are the Gophers wouldn't still be practicing. Meanwhile, this is the same Texas Tech squad that has entertained bowl fans for many years. There are those in Lubbock who say the Red Raiders aren't the same, but they're still a pass-heavy team. The Red Raiders are second in passing yards per game (361), 15th in scoring offense (37.75) and their QB is one of the most prolific in the country. Seth Doege was getting some Heisman hype at one point this season, and averaged 331 passing yards per game. Doege is 15th in passing efficiency. At times, it seemed the Red Raiders defense had taken a step forward, but that didn't prove to be the case late in the year as they surrendered more than 50 points four times this season.

Prediction: Texas Tech 38, Minnesota 21 -- The Gophers rank 11th in pass defense, but they didn't see an air attack close to what Texas Tech offers this season. And while Tech's defense is nothing to write home about, it's good enough to keep Minnesota at bay. And don't expect Tommy Tuberville's missing presence from the Tech sidelines to be an issue, either. The Kliff Kingsbury hire will likely have the Red Raiders even more focused. 

 

Armed Forces Bowl

Rice (6-6) vs. Air Force (6-6)

11:45 p.m. Dec. 29, ESPN

Last bowl appearance: Rice 38, Western Michigan 14 (2008 Texas); Toledo 42, Air Force 41 (2011 Military)

Last meeting/series: Air Force 22, Rice 16 (1998); Air Force leads series 5-1.

2012 draft prospects: Rice, TE Vance McDonald, WR Sam McGuffie; Air Force, None.

Reasons to watch: It's not bowl season without the triple-option attack of Air Force. The Falcons actually run the most innovative triple-option in college football with coach Troy Calhoun using a variety of formations, for the Flexbone to shotgun, to perform the offense. As usual, Air Force has one of the most prolific running games in the country, averaging 328.75 yards per game. Senior Cody Gets is Air Force's top RB with 110.22 rushing yards per game. To its credit, Rice also has a pretty stout ground attack, ranking 29th with 201 yards per game. The Owls don't have one standout RB, but have three different players averaging at least 51 yards per game. Junior RB Charles Ross averages 61 yards per game to lead the Owls, while junior QB Taylor McHargue has rushed for 628 yards this season and a team-best 11 TDS. Turner Peterson averages 51 yards per game.

Prediction: Air Force 33, Rice 32 -- Ironically, neither team does a good job defending the run. Both give up close to 200 rushing yards per game, and it's likely there will be more than 500 rushing yards combined from the two teams. Air Force gets the edge for toughness and more experience playing in bowl games.

 

Pinstripe Bowl

Syracuse (7-5) vs. West Virginia (7-5)

3:15 p.m. Dec. 29, ESPN

Last bowl appearance: Syracuse 36, Kansas State 34 (2010 Pinstripe); West Virginia 70, Clemson 33 (2011 Orange)

Last meeting/series: Syracuse 49, West Virginia 23 (2011); Syracuse leads series 32-27.

2012 draft prospects: Syracuse, QB Ryan Nassib, SS Shamarko Thomas, WR Alex Lemon, WR Marcus Sales, DE Brandon Sharpe; West Virginia, QB Geno Smith, WR Tavon Austin, WR Stedman Bailey, OC Joe Madsen, OG Josh Jenkins, LB Terence Garvin

Reasons to watch: For the first time since 1993, Syracuse and West Virginia will not be playing for the Ben Schwartzwalder Trophy that was always linked to the rivalry between these two teams that dates back to 1945. The only trophy to be awarded in this game is the George Steinbrenner Trophy that goes along with the Pinstripe Bowl. There are some online petitions out there for those would like to see the Schwartzwalder Trophy also on the line, but for now, that piece of hardware appears to be staying at Syracuse, which has won the last two meetings against the Mountaineers. Not only is this a matchup between two longtime Big East rivals, it also pits two of the nation's most prolific QBs against one another. West Virgnia's Geno Smith hasn't received much press over the past two months when the Mountaineers lost five consecutive games, but he still had an incredible season. Smith only threw six INTs in 490 pass attempts to go with 4,004 yards and 40 TDs. Other than a two-week span against Texas Tech and Kansas State, Smith was still Heisman worthy. Syracuse senior QB Ryan Nassib is one of the most underrated QBs in the nation, and a player who could emerge as a second-day draft pick. Nassib is a three-year starter and just completed his best season with 3619 yards and 24 TDS with just nine INTs. There's no arguing Smith has the better weapons around him. Tavon Austin is absolutely lethal, and might be the most electrifying player in all of college football. And, Stedman Bailey is no slouch, either. Nassib's top two targets of Alex Lemon and Marcus Sales certainly aren't Austin and Bailey, but they are reliable and likely to be in the NFL next season.

Prediction: West Virginia 54, Syracuse 40 -- Points are going to be scored at a high rate in this game, which is typical any time West Virginia takes the field. The Mountaineers rank eighth in total offense, but 107th in total defense. Nassib and Syracuse are capable of putting plenty of points on the board, but West Virginia has too much fire power in the end.

 

Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl

Arizona State (7-5) vs. Navy (8-4)

4 p.m. Dec. 29, ESPN2

Last bowl appearances: Boise State 56, Arizona State 24 (2011 Las Vegas); San Diego State 35, Navy 14 (2010 Poinsettia)

Last meeting/series: This is the first meeting between the two programs.

2013 draft prospects: Arizona State, LB Brandon Magee, DT Will Sutton, RB Cameron Marshall, WR Jamal Miles, FS Keelan Johnson; Navy, None.

Reasons to watch: After missing out on the bowl season for the first time in nine years, Navy is back in the postseason. And as usual, the Midshipmen employ a traditional triple-option offense that is rarely seen in today's football. There's certainly a place for it still in the game, though. Navy's run of making bowl game in eight of the past nine seasons proves it. As a side note, I'd love to see a big-time program other tha Georgia Tech use a triple-option offense again. There are enough option-based offenses at the high school level to recruit the right type of player. But that's another rant for another day. Navy ranks sixth in the country in rushing yards, averaging 275.58 yards per game. Senior RB Gee Gee Greene leads Navy in rushing with 63.75 yards per game, but two other rushers average at least 52 rushing yards per game. Todd Graham had a promising first season as coach at Arizona State, and the potential the Sun Devils particularly showed on defense is very encouraging. Junior DT Will Sutton is undersized for the next level, but emerged as one of the most disruptive players in the country with 10.5 sacks and 20 TFL. Sophomore LB Carl Bradford has been a force as well, also recording 10.5 sacks and 17.5 TFL. The Sun Devils rank second in the nation in both sacks and TFL.

Prediction: Arizona State 27, Navy 20 -- Arizona State is too disruptive at the line of scrimmage for the Navy offense to function consistently. And, the Sun Devils will try to strike early with promising sophomore QB Taylor Kelly to make the Midshipmen play from behind -- something an option offense rarely does well.

 

Alamo Bowl

Texas (8-4) vs. Oregon State (9-3)

6:45 p.m. Dec. 29, ESPN

Last bowl appearances: Texas 21, Cal 10 (2011 Holiday); BYU 44, Oregon State 20 (2009 Las Vegas)

Last meeting/series: Texas 61, Oregon State 16 (1987); Texas leads series 2-0.

2013 draft prospects: Texas, DE Alex Okafor, DE Jackson Jeffcoat, FS Kenny Vacarro, WR Marquise Goodwin, WR/RB D.J. Monroe, CB Carrington Byndom, WR Mike Davis; Oregon State, CB Jordan Poyer, DE Scott Crichton, WR Markus Wheaton.

Reasons to watch: Perspective is everything, and these are two fan bases with two very different perspectives. After the past two seasons, Oregon State fans are thrilled to see the Beavers back in a bowl game. Last year, the Beavers were dreadful, and it was thought wholesale changes to the coaching staff might be on the horizon. But the administration stuck with Mike Riley and the Beavers stunned the college football world by starting the year 6-0 with a pretty young team. Expectations at Texas are always high, and for many of the Longhorns faithful, the Alamo Bowl is a disappointment. Texas started the season 4-0, and many thought the Longhorns were on their way back among the nation's elite teams. Turns out the usually stout defense Texas boasts wasn't so stout. Texas lost their final two games of the year. That along with rival Oklahoma being booted out of the BCS relegated the Longhorns to the Alamo Bowl instead of the Cotton Bowl. It seems the coaching at Texas is the biggest thing lacking. Mack Brown and his staff have not properly used some of the talent available to them. For example, freshman RB Johnathan Gray averages nearly 5 yards per carry, but has received at least 20 rushes just once in a game. The Longhorns continue to have unrest at the QB position with David Ash and Case McCoy, but who is taking the snaps shouldn't matter. The Horns have so much talent at RB that they should have a run-based offense. We'll see if Major Applewhite will call more running plays as the offensive coordinator than the departed Bryan Harsin did. That run-based offense would give Oregon State troubles much like Oregon's did late in the season. But the Beavers' passing game would also provide issues for the Texas defense. Sean Mannion still makes plenty of mistakes at QB, but improved as a sophomore. He's got two incredible receivers to throw to in junior Markus Wheaton and sophomore Brandin Cooks. But the Beavers have won with defense this season. Sophomore DE Scott Crichton is already a solid NFL Draft prospect, while junior CB Jordan Poyer is one of the best in the country at his position.

Prediction: Texas 30, Oregon State 27 -- It's tough to trust Texas, but fact is the Horns are 9-4 in bowl games under Brown and have won eight of their last 10 postseason affairs.

 

Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl

Michigan State (6-6) vs. TCU (7-5)

10:15 p.m. Dec. 29, ESPN

Last bowl appearances: Michigan State 33, Georgia 30, 3 OT (2011 Outback); TCU 31, Louisiana Tech 24 (2011 Poinsettia)

Last meeting/series: Michigan State 26, TCU 19 (1953); Michigan State leads series 1-0.

2013 draft prospects: Michigan State, DE William Gholston, RB Le'Veon Bell, TE Dion Sims, CB Johnny Adams, DT Anthony Rashad White, OG Chris McDonald; TCU, OG Blaize Foltz, WR Skye Dawson, RB Matthew Tucker, LB Kenny Cain, WR Josh Boyce.

Reasons to watch: Other than the BCS Championship game, this might be the biggest defensive battle of the bowl season. Michigan State ranks fourth in total defense and allows just 16.33 point per game. The Spartans have an impressive defensive line headlined by DE William Gholston. Meanwhile, TCU's defense ranks 18th nationally and allowed just 23 points per game while playing in the offensive happy Big 12. To illustrate how strong the Horned Frogs were at times on defense, they held Baylor -- the top offense in the country -- to 21 points and Oklahoma to 24 points. They've also got an impressive DE that stands out as the team's biggest superstar in freshman Devonte Fields, who has nine sacks and 17.5 TFL this season. Offense is an issue for both teams, though. Despite having junior RB Le'Veon Bell -- the third leading rusher in the country -- Michigan State struggles to put points on the board. It's odd to see a back like Bell, who has rushed for 1,648 yards, but has accounted for just 12 TDs this season. The Spartans rank 107th in scoring offense with 20.25 points per game. TCU hasn't been much of a force on offense, either, ranking 64th in total offense and 60th in scoring offense. The Frogs lost several key players to injury or off the field issues, including junior QB Casey Paschall, who many thought could have been a second-round pick in the NFL Draft before his run in with the law.

Prediction: TCU 23, Michigan State 17 -- Points aren't going to come easy in this game as both defenses will likely dominate. TCU has shown more of an ability to find the end zone, though, as dual-threat redshirt freshman QB Trevone Boykin has progressed significantly since taking over in the fifth week of the season.  

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