Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego, CA, will be the site for the 2011 Poinsettia Bowl. This year, the 16th ranked (10-2, 7-0) TCU Horned Frogs [-10] will take on the betting underdog (8-4, 6-1) Louisiana Tech Bulldogs [+10] on Wednesday, December 21, 2011, beginning at 8 PM ET on ESPN. According to Poinsettia Bowl picks specialists at BOVADA, TCU and Louisiana Tech are both projected to combine and score an OVER/UNDER total of 55.5 points by night’s end.
For the Horned Frogs, many expected this team to be BCS Bowl bound again after capturing the MWC title in perfect fashion. After upsetting Boise State, TCU was poised for a conference championship and delivered with a convincing 56-9 victory over UNLV in the season finale.
But much like the general public, the players by now expect things to go less than perfect when their fate rests on the hands of the current BCS system. TCU eventual fear became a reality when Wisconsin and Oregon were announced as the participants in this year’s Rose Bowl. By looking at the current NCAA bowl lines, there’s no question I’m taking TCU to win the 2011 Poinsettia Bowl.
“We’re probably going to celebrate more on winning the conference championship than we are going to be waiting on the BCS,” said TCU linebacker Kris Gardner. “But definitely fingers crossed.”
For the LA-Tech, their bath to the 2011 Poinsettia Bowl started very different from TCU’s but finished in similar fashion. After beginning their season by losing four of their first five games, the Bulldogs finally got into a rhythm, finishing the season on a 7-game tear.
With only four returning starters and 17-year-old Nick Isham as the starting signal-caller, Louisiana Tech certainly took everyone by surprise this season. The Bulldogs put the league on notice when they defeated Idaho, 24-11 back in Week 6, which is the time this team turned the corner. The win over the Vandals was just the beginning of a run that would catapult them to face a nationally ranked opponent like TCU.
“That kind of always has to be our mentality this year,” said second-year head coach, Sonny Dykes. “Getting picked to finish fourth or fifth in our conference this year gave us extra motivation but these guys really did so much work in the summer and up to right before fall camp. If you look at it, that has really been the difference in this team and has been one of the main reasons as to why we have been successful. Our attitude changed sometime this spring. We became a much more unified team and a lot less selfish and became a team that didn’t play for accolades, but rather for the guy next to us.”
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