TCU HORNED FROGS (12-0)
vs. WISCONSIN BADGERS (11-1)
Rose Bowl – Pasadena, CA
Kickoff: Saturday, Jan. 1, 5:00 p.m. EDT
Line: TCU -3, Total: 58
TCU looks to complete a perfect 13-0 season when it faces Big Ten powerhouse Wisconsin in Saturday’s Rose Bowl. This game pits TCU’s top-ranked defense (215 YPG and 11.4 PPG) versus the high-powered rushing offense of Wisconsin (247 YPG). The Badgers have three games of 70+ points this year, including two of the past three contests. Odds.
Wisconsin has rushed for at least 140 yards in each of its 12 games, including a stunning 341 YPG average in the past three contests. During this stretch, sophomore Montee Ball has 518 rushing yards and 11 TD, while James White has 459 yards and 5 scores. RB John Clay only has four carries in the past three games because of a knee injury, but he expects to be a much bigger factor in the Rose Bowl. In 36 career games, Clay has 3,337 rushing yards and 40 touchdowns. QB Scott Tolzien ranks fourth in the nation in passing efficiency with a 74.3% completion rate, 16 TD and 6 INT.
TCU senior QB Andy Dalton ranks just behind Tolzien for fifth place in passing efficiency, throwing 26 TD and just 6 INT. He is a big part of the Horned Frogs offense, which is among the nation’s best. They rank in the country’s top 10 in rushing yardage (261 YPG), total yardage (492 YPG) and points scored (43.3 PPG). Dalton will also be looking for redemption (and his 42nd career win) after throwing three interceptions in last year’s 17-10 Fiesta Bowl loss to Boise State. He has been bothered by an elbow injury, but will start in his final collegiate game. Scores.
Wisconsin’s three games of 70+ points is eye-popping, but the Horned Frogs defense is simply amazing. They have only allowed 200 passing yards ONCE this year and only two teams have gained over 100 rushing yards. Sure they played some MWC cupcakes, but they also stymied BCS schools with quality offenses like Baylor (479 total YPG this year, 263 vs. TCU) and Oregon State (255 total yds vs. TCU) with both Rodgers brothers healthy.
TCU is playing in its 27th bowl, carrying an 11-14-1 record. This is also the Horned Frogs’ sixth consecutive bowl, posting a 4-1 record in the first five. The loss was a 17-10 defeat to Boise State in last season’s Fiesta Bowl.
Wisconsin makes its 22nd bowl trip in school history, sporting an 11-10 record. This season marks the ninth straight bowl trip and 14th bowl in the past 15 seasons for the Badgers. They are 8-5 in these most-recent 14 bowls.
Wisconsin has won its last three Rose Bowl games, but the FoxSheets show two reasons backing TCU as the pick:
Gary Patterson is 16-4 ATS (80.0%, +11.6 Units) after gaining 275 or more rushing yards last game as the coach of TCU. The average score was TCU 38.8, OPPONENT 13.9 – (Rating = 3*).
TCU is 26-8 ATS (76.5%, +17.2 Units) after gaining 275 or more rushing yards last game since 1992. The average score was TCU 35.2, OPPONENT 14.4 – (Rating = 2*).
The FoxSheets give a five-star reason to expect the Over.
Bret Bielema is 14-1 OVER (+12.9 Units) off a win by 10 points or more over a conference rival as the coach of WISCONSIN. The average score was WISCONSIN 38.1, OPPONENT 23.6 – (Rating = 5*). Las Vegas odds.