The Alamo Bowl is scheduled for Thursday, December 28th at 9:00 PM ET between the Stanford Cardinals from the Pac-12 versus the TCU Horned Frogs from the Big-12. The spread opened with TCU as a -2 point favorite and has been pushed up to -2.5 and even -3 at some offshore shops. The total sits on the lower end of the spectrum for the college game at 49.
Both teams enter the contest off defeats in their conference title games with both losing to the same team twice in the same season. The Cardinals are coming off a loss in the Pac 12 title game to USC 31-28 while TCU again could not hang withOklahoma in the Big 12 title game losing 41-17. A lot to determine in this contest as motivation will play a huge role in determining who comes out on top.
The Horned Frogs
TCU is left to again wonder what-if after opening the season 7-0 and being ranked as high as #4 in the CFP rankings. They did, however, have a quality bounce-back year after going 6-7 last season. TCU is appearing in the Alamo Bowl for the 2nd time in the last 3 years with their previous appearance being the thrilling second-half comeback versus Oregon in 2015 where they trailed 31-0 at halftime.
The Horned Frogs will look to their defense that ranks just outside the top 10 in points allowed per game at 17.6. They have a dominant pass rush led by their dominant duo of Mat Boesen and Ben Banogu (combined for 20 sacks and 30 TFL).
The TCU offense is led by quarterback Kenny "The Thrill" Hill who had a solid year throwing for 2,798 yards and 21 touchdowns versus only 6 interceptions. The offense averaged just over 33 points per game on 414 yards per game. They will have their hands full in a contest versus a solid Stanford defense.
The Cardinals enter the contest looking to extend its winning streak in bowl games to 4. In addition, they are looking to get to double-digit wins for the 6th time in the past 7 seasons with coach David Shaw.
This Stanford team resembles many of the past as they take a tough defense and ground an pound offensive attack to the field. Stanford's offense is led by Heisman finalist running back Bryce Love who runs behind a strong offensive line. One of the best game matchups will be the Cardinal's stout offensive line versus the beast like defensive line of TCU.
Love joins Toby Gerhart, Andrew Luck, and Christian McCaffrey in a run of recent Stanford football players to finish runner-up in the Heisman race. He needs 27 yards to finish with over 2,000 on the season. He currently has 17 touchdowns on the year and is averaging 8.3 yards per carry. Stanford fans should enjoy watching Love on the field as this may very well be his last game before turning pro.
Finally, a quality matchup for bowl season that pits two ranked opponents against each other. While TCU will deal with the disappointment of what could have been I believe that dominant defensive line will be able to at least slow Bryce Love and allow the Horned Frogs to win a lower scoring game. TCU 27-Stanford 20.