Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl Preview Capsule
TCU (7-5) vs. Michigan St. (6-6), 10:15 p.m. (ESPN)
Line: TCU by 2 1-2.
Series Record: Michigan State leads 1-0.
WHAT’S AT STAKE
Both teams are trying to build momentum for next season after limping down the stretch in 2012. TCU opened with four straight wins in its first season in the Big 12 before losing four of six while the Spartans had a similar finish after opening 5-2.
TCU’s defense against Michigan State RB Le’Veon Bell. The Horned Frogs had the nation’s 10th-best rushing defense during the regular season, allowing 103.92 yards per game, but haven’t seen many backs like Bell. The junior was third nationally with 147.3 yards per game and had 1,648 yards, second-most in Michigan State history.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
TCU: QB Trevone Boykin. TCU appeared to be in trouble when starter Casey Pachall was suspended after being arrested on drunken driving charges and later left the program. Boykin, a redshirt freshman, threw three interceptions in his first game, but bounced back with four TD passes the next week against Baylor. He threw for over 1,800 with 15 TDs.
Michigan St.: DE William Gholston. The Spartans were fifth nationally in points allowed at 16.3 per game and Gholston was a big part of their success. Though he’s been criticized for being a borderline dirty player, the 6-foot-7, 278-pound junior is a disruptive force that the Horned Frogs will need to be aware of on every snap.
FACTS & FIGURES
TCU played more true freshmen (16) than it has scholarship seniors (11) and tied for Texas with the most true freshmen played in the nation. … Michigan State is in its sixth straight bowl game and eighth since 2001. … The Horned Frogs have appeared in a bowl for a school-record eight straight seasons and 11 of the past 12. … The Spartans had the nation’s fifth-toughest schedule and were one of three teams to play three ranked opponents before Oct. 1. … TCU has the nation’s third-longest streak without being shut out, at 254 games.
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