California vs. TCU - Cheez-It Bowl - 12/26/18 College Football Pick, Odds, and Prediction
TCU Horned Frogs (6-6) at California Golden Bears (7-5)
College Football: Wednesday, December 26, 2018 at 9:00 pm (Chase Field)
The Line: California Golden Bears 0 -- Over/Under: See the Latest Odds
The California Golden Bears and TCU Horned Frogs will square off at the Cheez-It Bowl on December 26th at Chase Field.
California picked up some impressive victories this season against Washington & USC and earned their first Bowl appearance since 2015 after finishing their regular season with an overall record of 7-5 (4-5 Pac-12). California dropped their first three Pac-12 games this season, however, closed out their regular season winning 4 of their last 6 and will hope to win their 2nd consecutive Bowl game after defeating the Air Force Falcons at the Armed Forces Bowl in 2015.
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On the season, California is averaging 22.8 ppg on 350.2 total yards per game (188.1 passing yds/g; 162.1 rushing yds/g). Offensively, California has been led by RB Patrick Laird who had 5 TD’s on the season while averaging 77.7 rushing yds/g on 18.0 att/g. Laird has also gotten it done in the passing game as he has 4 receiving TD’s on the season while averaging 24.3 receiving yds/g. QB Chase Garbers has completed 61.0% of his passes for 14 TD & 7 INT while averaging 128.5 passing yds/g. The top receiving targets for the Golden Bears have been Vic Wharton III (4.2 rec/g; 41.8 yds/g; TD), Moe Ways (2.6 rec/g; 28.8 yds/g; TD), and Kanawai Noa (3.5 rec/g; 40.8 yds/g; 2 TD).
Defensively, California is holding their opponents to an average of 21.3 ppg on 319.4 total yards per game (187.1 passing yds/g; 132.3 rushing yds/g). The Golden Bears defense forced 24 turnovers on the season, however, California still finished the season with an overall turnover margin of -2.
The TCU Horned Frogs won their last two games of the season to finish their season with an overall record of 6-6 (4-5 Big 12) and earned their 5th consecutive trip to a Bow Game. TCU struggled during the middle of the regular season as after a shocking loss to the Kansas Jayhawks, the Horned Frogs fell to 3-5 on the season, however, TCU won 3 of their last 4 games to keep their bowl streak alive including solid wins agianst Baylor and Oklahoma State to end the season.
On the season, TCU is averaging 24.7 ppg on 374.6 total yards per game (226.8 passing yds/g; 147.8 rushing yds/g). Offensively, TCU has been led by WR Jalen Reagor who had 9 receiving TD’s on the season while averaging 88.4 yds/g on 6.0 rec/g. The other top receivers for the Horned Frogs have been Taye Barber (2.5 rec/g; 25.0 yds/g; 2 TD) and Jarrison Stewart (2.1 rec/g; 18.2 yds/g). The QB situation has been tough for TCU this season as they lost starter Shawn Robinson for the season midway thought he season. Mike Collins replaced Robinson and completed 56.4% of his passes for 1059 passing yds, 6 TD & 2 INT however, he hurt is foot towards the end of the season and was replaced by Grayson Muehlstein who looked impressive over the final two games of the season. Leading the way for the Horned Frogs backfield has been Darius Anderson who has 3 rushing TD’s on the season while averaging 54.4 yds/g on 11.3 att/g.
Defensively, TCU is allowing their opponent to average 24.4 ppg on 344.4 total yards per game (202.6 passing yds/g; 141.8 rushing yds/g). The Horned Frogs have forced 16 turnovers on the season however, finished the regular season with a turnover margin of -6.
California’s offense can at times struggle to generate points however, with a defense that has a knack of creating turnovers while also ranks 16th in the country in total defense, the Golden Bears are a tough team to beat as long the offense doesn’t turn the ball over. TCU has had a tough year as after losing Shane Robinson to injury and dismissing their most dynamic offensive player in KaVontae Turpin, the offense had real trouble putting points on the scoreboard. I think that this game has the makings of a low-scoring battle however, I think the Golden Bears will be able to pull out a victory if they limit their turnovers. Take California to win.