The Frogs have several things to address, on both sides of the ball, in the final game of the 2016 season. But establishing a stronger identity on offense, led by the running game, is probably first on most fan’s list.
Become tougher on offense. Patterson hammered that theme following the 30-6 loss to Kansas State that finished the regular season. The zero-touchdown performance convinced Patterson that the Frogs were outmuscled by a more physical defense, and the coach promised a tough set of bowl practices. Georgia may be expecting an uptempo aerial attack, but it might be time to lay down a bet on a grittier, heavy-pounding look from the TCU offense.
Oh. Well that’s not very nice.
With such a small spread in this game, it's essentially a coin flip, and I believe the game will actually reflect that spread. These are two similar teams and odds are that this game will be decided by a play or two either way. There's a good chance that play will be a turnover, and given his history, I wouldn't be surprised if it's TCU's Kenny Hill with that ill-timed turnover. That's why I'm going to go with Georgia to win the Liberty Bowl. Pick: Georgia -1.5
The tipping point of this matchup comes down to Jacob Eason verses the TCU defense. If they can pressure the young QB and force a turnover or two, the Frogs should have enough on offense to get the job done.
TCU’s defense ranks just 83rd in the FBS against the pass, allowing 245 yards per game. The Horned Frogs probably aren’t as terrible as that ranking suggests, coming from the pass-heavy Big 12, but it is a promising matchup for the freshman signal-caller nonetheless. Eason will need to be wary of a pass rush that has racked up the sixth-most sacks (40) in the nation this season. Georgia’s offensive line will need to put forth one of its best performances to give its young quarterback the best chance to succeed.
Patterson is feeling nostalgic as he returns to the site of his first bowl win, looking to cap 2016 with his 150th win at TCU.
“I’ve always been the one that thought ‘I just take care of football’ and everything else would take care of itself,” said Patterson, who could reach the 150-win plateau with a victory Friday. “Every year I become more appreciative to be in the profession I am in, and that I get to do this kind of thing. This is neat for me – to come back where my career really got started, meet up with old friends.”
Not a bad haul just after the holidays.
The players that play in the AutoZone Liberty Bowl in Memphis on Dec. 30 are receiving a Bass Pro Shops shopping trip, Oculus Pro Team HD binoculars, a Bulova watch, Nike athletic shoes, sport sandals, a backpack, sunglasses and a football.
Words never before heard in the Gary Patterson era: “that weak TCU run defense”. I may be in the minority here, but I believe GP will have a game plan to slow down the talented Bulldog duo in the backfield.
There isn’t a single player to point out on the offensive line that needs to step up. All five guys — plus the tight ends — need to have strong showings to keep Georgia’s offense on track. If the line can open some holes, it’ll make life far easier on Chubb and Sony Michel and allow them to exploit that weak TCU run defense. The tackles will need to deal with the pass rushing prowess of Josh Carraway in order for Jacob Eason to have time to find his targets. The more time he has, the more likely he is to throw the ball with some touch and make a completion. The line doesn’t need to have its best game of the season in order to produce a win, but it will need to get damn close.
The freshman guard went off against Bradley in the final preseason game for the Frogs.
TCU guard Desmond Bane was selected Tuesday as the Big 12 men’s basketball newcomer of the week. Bane earned the recognition by scoring a team-high 18 points to accompany seven rebounds and three assists in last week’s 74-42 victory over Bradley.