Thursday, November 12, 2009

BCS Buster: Week 11 Preview

Game of the Week - Utah @ TCU

This is a battle for sole possession of first-place in the MWC, with both teams coming off convincing wins. The Frogs have been rolling and getting better every week while the Utes have a freshman quarterback, Jordan Wynn, who is coming off his first career start. That would be just one of several reasons why TCU will win this ball game. If you compare schedules, you will notice the Frogs have played a much harder slate of games than the Utes. Utah has played San Jose State, Oregon, Colorado State, and UNLV on the road this season. None of these opponents, outside of Oregon, has a winning record. At home, the Frogs have outscored opponents 180-41 while averaging 45 points per contest and allowing just 10.

As mentioned above, the Utes are starting a freshman quarterback while the Frogs have proven quarterback Andy Dalton under center. Though Wynn had a good game against New Mexico at home, one has to remember that the Lobos haven’t won a game all season so a decent-to-good performance should have been expected. Dalton, on the other hand, has been a true leader on the field and has showcased his incredible decision-making ability all season. He has thrown 16 touchdowns this season and only three interceptions; that’s just one interception per 69 pass attempts.

The defense of the Frogs speaks for itself, allowing 11.2 points-per-game on the year and only 25 points over their past four games. Utah has a good defense as well, allowing 16.4 points-per-game. Their downfall has been their opponents. Oregon has been their only true competition to date and, so far, their only loss. The Utes will need to neutralize Dalton and keep defensive end Jerry Hughes from getting at their young and inexperienced quarterback. The Frogs must stop running back Eddie Wide and force Wynn to beat them. No matter whose game plan works, both teams will come out swinging, hoping to stand alone at the top of the MWC.

Players to Watch: TCU: QB Andy Dalton; RB Joseph Turner; DE Jerry Hughes; LB Daryl Washington; Utah: QB Jordan Wynn; RB Eddie Wide; FS Robert Johnson; LB Koa Misi

Prediction: TCU 34; Utah 13

Other Games to Watch

Idaho @ Boise State:
After surviving a scare from Louisiana Tech, the Blue Turf Darlings head home where they are nearly unbeatable. But the Vandals will bring their potent offense run by quarterback Nathan Enderle (questionable) as they try to outscore the Broncos in what should be a shootout. Prediction: Boise State 44; Idaho 20

Fresno State @ Nevada:
The Bulldogs look to keep their WAC conference title hopes alive against first-place and red hot Nevada. Prediction: Nevada 28; Fresno State 17

Houston @ UCF: The Cougar offense is reason enough to watch this game. Enjoy the fireworks and the wonderful workings of Heisman hopeful Case Keenum. Prediction: Houston 47; UCF 33

Photo Courtesy of TCU Athletics Media Relations