When the No.6 TCU Horned Frogs finished off their regular season finale with a 55-3 win over Iowa State, the Big 12 seemed certain to have a team in the College Football Playoff. However, the Horned Frogs hope for a title shot was dashed when the selection committee dropped TCU completely off the map.
For No.9 Ole Miss, the realization of missing the College Football Playoff came a little earlier, but it was no less shocking. The injury to Laquon Treadwell took a little steam out of the offense, but they recovered nicely by season’s end. Ole Miss rose as high as No.3 in the country before bottoming out with a pair of last second losses in back to back games. To think that Ole Miss’ playoff chances were dashed inside the three yard line both times could have been disheartening. However, the Rebels bounced back in their season finale to knock Mississippi State from the post season playoffs as well.
No.6 TCU Horned Frogs (11-1) vs. No.9 Ole Miss Rebels (9-3)
Where: Peach Bowl- Georgia Dome
When: Wednesday Dec. 31, 2014 12:30 p.m.
The Peach Bowl has two of the best teams in country ready for battle. Both teams were a couple of plays and a selection committee’s decision away from joining the inaugural College Football Playoff. However, as programs, each team has something to prove, and they need to play well to garner the respect they rightfully deserve.
Neither team was on the championship radar, but they made early statements with colossal victories. Ole Miss was the only team to defeat the Alabama Crimson Tide this season, while TCU handled Oklahoma on the same day.
Trevone Boykin and the TCU offense averaged 43 points per game this season. The Horned Frogs lowest output of the season was a 30-7 win over Minnesota. Now after nearly a month off, TCU will face their toughest defense of the season. Ole Miss strangled offenses to become the No.1 scoring defense in the nation, so this should become one of the most intense battles of the post season.
Bo Wallace led a Rebels’ offense that had very few shortcomings this season. For the most part they stepped up to every challenge. However, in two of their three losses, Ole Miss only scored seven points combined. Wallace can’t try to force the offense to match the high powered TCU attack early on. That could be a recipe for disaster against that opportunistic defense.
Hopefully by game time, both teams are motivated to play their best ball. According to CBS Sports TCU is a 3.5 point favorite, and the O/U is only 56. That means somebody expects a game in the 27- 30 point range.
The Ole Miss secondary has performed big time throughout the season. They’ll be put to their final test on the final day of the year. TCU loves to hit big pass plays with multiple receivers. Still, it all begins with the connection to Josh Doctson and his ability to get deep. If all goes well, Doctson will surpass the 1000 yard mark early in this game. TCU has five players with 29 or more catches, and Boykin’s ability to spread the ball around might be his best attribute.
So far, the Big 12 has not fared well in the Bowl games. Only West Virginia decided to show up, and they were using their backup quarterback, making his second start. With that said, TCU has been consistent throughout the year, so they should be ready to take on the Ole Miss Rebels. Will this game come down to the final possession?
TCU Horned Frogs 34
Ole Miss Rebels 27