The 2011 college football bowl season continues this week with the Louisiana Tech Bulldogs (8-4) of the Western Athletic Conference traveling to San Diego, CA to take on the 16th ranked Texas Christian Horned Frogs (10-2) of the Mountain West Conference Wednesday evening (8:00pm ET) in the Poinsettia Bowl. Louisiana Tech has won seven games in a row going into this game after a 1-4 start to their season, and won their first ever WAC Title. The Bulldogs close out the regular season with a 44-0 home win over New Mexico St. on November 26 to easily cover the 23 point line. TCU also won seven straight games to close out the regular season, including a 56-9 shellacking of UNLV on December 3. The Bulldogs are 10-2 ATS this season, while TCU is 6-6 ATS in 2011.
The Bulldogs average 30.6 points per contest on offense to rank 42nd in the nation in scoring, and they average 397.5 yards per game to rank 49th nationally in total offense. The Louisiana Tech defense ranks 34th nationally with 22.5 PPG allowed and 55th in the nation in total defense with 364.8 YPG allowed. TCU under the leadership of first-year starting quarterback Casey Pachall, averages 41.7 PPG to rank 9th in the nation in scoring while averaging 443.9 YPG to rank 28th nationally in total offense. The Horned Frogs defense under Head Coach Gary Patterson has traditionally been a strength, and this season they are not quite as dominant as a year ago but still very formidable allowing 21.2 PPG (30th nationally) and 346.3 YPG to rank 32nd in the country in total defense.
Louisiana Tech vs. Texas Christian Spread, Line and Betting Odds:
Louisiana Tech Bulldogs +9
@Texas Christian Horned Frogs -9
Over 56 (-110)
Under 56 (-110)
Louisiana Tech vs. Texas Christian Pick:
Louisiana Tech is 7-0 ATS in their last 7 games overall, and 5-0 ATS in their last 5 non-conference games. TCU is 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games against WAC teams, and 0-6 ATS in their last 6 non-conference games. The under is 5-2 in Louisiana Tech’s last 7 games overall and 4-1 in their last 5 non-conference games. The under is 7-1 in the Horned Frogs’ last 8 games against the WAC and 7-0-1 in their last 8 bowl games. The two teams have no recent meetings.
Texas Christian boats an explosive offense and a strong defense that while not dominant, can still shut down opponents. Louisiana Tech has played everyone tough this season, even when they started out slow to begin the season, and their only loss by a margin of more than one touchdown was to Hawaii 44-26 in the last game prior to their win streak. The Bulldogs will be able to put up some points against a less than dominant TCU defense, and make a game of it behind their passing game with QB Colby Cameron (1,385 passing yards, 11 TDs, 2 INTs) and wide receiver Quinton Patton (73 receptions, 1,135 yards, 10 TDs). TCU is vulnerable against the pass, allowing 220.2 YPG through the air (56th nationally) and Baylor (with Heisman Trophy winner Robert Griffin III) and SMU were able to put up 414 and 349 yard respectively through the air against the Horned Frogs in their two losses. La. Tech has been on a roll and has come close to upsetting Southern Miss. (19-17 loss Sept 3), Houston (35-34 loss on Sept. 17) and Mississippi St. (26-20 OT loss on Sept. 24), all of those being bowl teams who have been ranked at some point this season. This will be another game that will be much closer than most people expect, take Louisiana Tech plus the points in this game.