The Frogs are finalizing their preparation for the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl against Michigan State on Saturday night. I have a feeling that this one is going to be close, but if the Frogs follow these Keys to the Game, they will emerge with the victory.
Contain Le’Veon Bell: I am not saying Le’Veon Bell is the only weapon the Michigan State offense has, but its close. Bell has rushed for over 100 yards in seven of the Spartans twelve games this season. He is a dynamic player and if the Frogs defense can’t contain him, things could get ugly. The good thing for TCU is that they were number one in the Big 12 against the run only allowing 103.9 yards per game.
Score early/maintain the lead/Force MSU to pass: One of the hardest things for a running team to do is come from behind in a game. If the Frogs can get up by 10-14 points early in the game, it could force Michigan State to adjust their game plan. If the Spartans are forced into throwing more than they would like, it will benefit TCU who intercepted a Big 12 best 21 passes this season.
Control the line of scrimmage: This goes for both the offensive and defensive lines for TCU. Michigan State was ranked first against the rush and third against the pass in the Big Ten this season. The Frogs offensive line has to create lanes for the backs to run through and they must keep Trevone Boykin off the ground. On the flip side, if the TCU defensive line allows the Spartans offensive line to push them around, it will be a long game for the Frogs.
Turnovers: Michigan State had at least two turnovers in their two most recent losses to Northwestern and Nebraska. The Frogs led the Big 12 in interceptions with 21 and also recovered 11 fumbles this season. MSU quarterback Andrew Maxwell threw 9 interceptions this season. If the Frogs can force the Spartans to turn the ball over, it will be hard for Michigan State to overcome. I wouldn’t be doing this season any justice if I also didn’t reiterate that TCU must hold onto the ball themselves. We all know how that has gone this season.