We have a couple of good looking matchups in the late night hours with some ranked teams taking the spotlight. In the Alamo Bowl, the Stanford Cardinal take on the TCU Horned Frogs. The Alamo Bowl is one of the better pre-New Year’s bowl game, and it isn’t a bad matchup here. TCU have some good memories from the Alamo Bowl. In the 2016 Alamo Bowl, TCU came from behind to erase a 31-0 deficit against the Oregon Ducks and win a wild one in overtime. It was the largest comeback in bowl history. Quarterback Vernon Adams was injured for Oregon, and the cards crashed down for the Ducks. That game was one of many reasons why Mark Helfrich doesn’t have a coaching job right now.
Gary Patterson hopes that he won’t have to bury out of a hole like that against Stanford. He and the TCU defense will have to contend with running back Bryce Love. Instead of declaring for the draft, Love is going to play in this game and then make a decision at a later date. Here is a guy that has been banged up for the majority of the year with a bad high ankle sprain.
He could have said he was going to sit it out and get healthier, but Love will be suiting up for the Alamo Bowl tonight. He already proved to everyone that he is one of the more resilient players in college football. Love was limping off the field in games, yet continued to go out on the field and carry his team.
Scouts have taken note of his effort in more than one way. He could certainly be a character guy that would fit in with any team in the NFL. Stanford found a quarterback this season as well. Entering the year as a backup, K.J. Costello seized his opportunity and didn’t let go of the starting job. Costello came a hair short of leading Stanford to a Pac-12 Championship over USC.
The game could have gone either, and if you’re asking me, Stanford was robbed of a touchdown on a 1-yard dive play at the goal line. Costello was efficient with 2 touchdowns and no interceptions in the losing effort, 31-28 USC. He was steady under center, as he threw 11 touchdowns and 2 interceptions in the regular season. In his first ever year getting college experience, look for him to be a sleeper in 2018. Costello showed plenty of promise. We’ll see how he handles the TCU defense in the Alamo Bowl. Head below for our free Stanford vs. TCU pick.
Stanford Cardinal vs. TCU Horned Frogs Betting Odds:
vs. TCU -3(-115)
Over 49 (-105)
Betting odds provided by Bovada.lv
Stanford vs. TCU Pick:
The TCU Horned Frogs were not a bad football team this season. They finished with a record of 9-3, but just couldn’t slay the dragon in the Big-12. Two of their three losses came against the same team, the Oklahoma Sooners. They weren’t even closer either. Oklahoma beat the Horned Frogs 38-17 in the first meeting, and then they beat them down for a 41-17 win in the Big-12 Championship. TCU did not apply anything from the first game to the second. It’s fair to say that their defense got exposed. Nonetheless, their defensive numbers looked good on paper this season.
They allowed 329 yards per game for 19th in the nation. Against the pass, they didn’t offer much resistance, though, as they were 75th in that regard. For Stanford to win this game, they must get a quality game from quarterback K.J. Costello. Costello has been a pleasant surprise for Stanford and surely is capable of putting together another nice performance in the Alamo Bowl. TCU are 4th against the run, allowing 99.8 yards per game. However, I feel those numbers are a little deceptive. Take a look at their schedule. How many schools did they have to face that have a physical running attack, like Stanford.
This will be their first test against a team who can really pound the rock. The Cardinal averaged 205.8 yards per game for 30th in the FBS. Bryce Love chugged out 1,973 yards and 17 touchdowns with an insane 8.3 yards per carry. The extra time off should certainly help his ankle. Look for Stanford to get some yards from Love, and Costello hit the play-action downfield. Kenny Hill had a nice year for TCU, throwing for 21 touchdowns and 6 interceptions with a 67.2% completion percentage. I just don’t know if TCU are going to be ready for a physical contest against the Stanford Cardinal. Love isn’t going to be denied here. Costello can be sneaky good, and I expect him to have a nice night, along with Love pounding away on the ground. I feel more comfortable siding with Stanford in the Alamo Bowl.
PICK: STANFORD +3 (-105)