2011 Mountain West Champion TCU faces WAC champion Louisiana Tech in the San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl on Wednesday, Dec. 21 at 5 p.m. PT on ESPN. The 18th-ranked Horned Frogs finished the regular season with an overall record of 10-2, including a perfect 7-0 mark in the Mountain West. The Bulldogs went 8-4 overall and posted a 6-1 record in the WAC.
Did you know?
TCU will be making its second appearance this season at Snapdragon Stadium in San Diego, having defeated San Diego State 27-14 on Oct. 8. The Poinsettia Bowl will also mark the seventh time in seven years the Frogs will have played at Snapdragon Stadium. TCU is 6-0 in that stretch. The Frogs had four regular-season wins over the Aztecs while posting Poinsettia Bowl victories over Northern Illinois (2006) and Boise State (2008).
The Series - First meeting
Difference Makers (TCU - 10-2 Overall, 7-0 MW)
Offense: Sophomore quarterback Casey Pachall, a second-team All-Mountain West selection, is closing in on a number of TCU single-season records, including completions, completion percentage, passing yards and touchdown passes. Pachall ranks seventh nationally in passing efficiency with a 161.87 rating (the highest ranked non-senior or junior), having completed 67.8 percent of his passes with 24 touchdowns and just six interceptions. He has thrown for at least one touchdown in nine of 12 games, including multiple scores in eight contests.
Defense: Senior linebacker Tank Carder, the two-time MW Defensive Player of the Year, posted 66 tackles during the regular season, second only to fellow linebacker Kenny Cain. Carder's 224 career tackles rank first among active TCU players. He has returned three interceptions for touchdowns, more than any other player in TCU history.
Special Teams: Senior defensive back Greg McCoy, the MW Special Teams Player of the Year, leads the league and ranks fourth nationally in kickoff return average at 31.6 yards. McCoy, who returned a kick 94 yards for a touchdown in Week 3 against Louisiana-Monroe, also had 99-yard return for a score against UNLV in Week 14. He totaled a TCU single-game record 229 kickoff return yards on six attempts (38.2 avg.) in Week 1 against Baylor, highlighted by 73- and 68-yard efforts to set up TCU touchdowns.
Quote of Note
"(Louisiana Tech) won at Ole Miss and fell to Mississippi State in overtime. They took barely lost at (Conference USA champion) Southern Miss. They got beat 35-34 by Houston. They are a really good football team. They are right there with Boise State and Baylor as far as skill players. They are all over the place with their wide receivers. They've got a good quarterback and a great running back with a big offensive front. Defensively, they've shown they can hold an SEC team to seven points." --- TCU coach Gary Patterson
Difference Makers (Louisiana Tech - 8-4 Overall, 6-1 WAC)
Offense: Junior wide receiver Quinton Patton, a first-team all-WAC selection, led the Bulldogs with 74 catches for 1,135 yards and 10 touchdowns. Patton ranks 20th in the nation with an average of 94.6 yards per game.
Defense: Senior linebacker Adrien Cole, the WAC Defensive Player of the Year, led the Bulldogs with 121 tackles. On the season, Cole recorded one interception for a touchdown (46 yards), two sacks, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery. He also led Louisiana Tech with 12 tackles for loss.
Special Teams: Junior punter Ryan Allen became only the second player in team history to earn national distinction when he was named the winner of this year's Ray Guy Award. Allen finished the regular season ranked first in the nation in punts inside the 20 (37), punts inside the 10 (20) and third in punting average (46.31 yards per punt). He has 29 punts of over 50 yards this season, with four ranking in the top 10 in school history.
Quote of Note
"We're a blue-collar team. I appreciate that more than anything ... we're kind of like the ugly fat kid that sits alone at lunch. It's who we are, but we enjoy that role and have relished it." --- Bulldogs coach Sonny Dykes, the WAC Coach of the Year