Tuesday's CFB... Poinsettia Bowl - Northern Illinois vs. TCU....

CollegeKingRex

CTG Regular
It's that time of year again...

Bowl season...

Evidently the big whales at Las Palmas are on the favorite here, because Ron is dealing 13 in a game where I see Scotty at Tradewinds is still using 11.5.

I'll gladly scoop up the 13 here with Northern Illinois in a game I made 10.


A year ago, Northern Illinois was two points away from a MAC championship and stayed home for the holidays. Three years ago, the Huskies were 10-2 but didn't get a bowl invitation. This season, NIU was a disappointing 7-5 but will be leaving tomorrow for next Tuesday's Poinsettia Bowl in San Diego (the best of the four MAC bowl destinations) and the challenge of meeting red-hot TCU.

Northern, which had its seventh straight winning season, is led by third-team All-America tailback Garrett Wolfe, and the Huskies will be as healthy as they have been since their opener at No. 1 Ohio State.

Wolfe is the top rusher in Division I-A with 1,900 yards and 18 touchdowns. He set NIU career records for rushing yards (5,136), touchdowns (57) and 100-yard rushing games (22). The Huskies are in their second bowl in three seasons. Wolfe, who is averaging 158.3 yards per game, will be facing a TCU defense that has allowed just 64.8 rushing yards per game (the fourth best run defense in the country and the No. 4 total defense).

TCU comes into the game on a seven-game winning streak and will be playing in its eighth bowl game in the last nine seasons. The Horned Frogs are a strong defensive team, with All-Mountain West selections in defensive ends Tommy Blake and Chase Ortiz, linebacker Jason Phillips and safety Marvin White.

TCU has been installed as almost a two-touchdown favorite. The Huskies have been big underdogs before a few times in the last few years, but that role hasn't seemed to bother them. While outclassed in the opener, they were certainly not intimidated.

Wolfe had 203 yards rushing on 33 carries and three touchdowns in the 31-10 win over Central Michigan in the home finale. The Huskies scored on their first three possessions and led 21-0 at the half.

Starting quarterback Phil Horvath blew out his knee in the middle of the second touchdown drive against CMU. Horvath was replaced by Dan Nicholson, who also piloted the offense in the season finale at Eastern Michigan. There isn't much known about Nicholson because he didn't play much this year, but he is 4-1 in his career as a starter.

The Horned Frogs, who are back in the AP poll at the bottom, have won seven straight and are enjoying their fourth 10-win season in the last five.

TCU's defense ranks in the Top 10 in Division I-A in run defense, scoring defense and total defense. The Frogs are playing in their eighth bowl game in nine seasons.

Down the stretch, TCU averaged well over 400 yds and 30 pts per game, as they blew thru the latter part of their MWC schedule after surprising (at the time) losses to BYU and Utah.

The success of double-digit dogs in bowls the last decade or so is well-documented. So of course, I've got that going for me. Expect a hungry effort for the Huskies to try to show everyone they underachieved during the regular season. Joe Novak will do a good job of getting his kids ready to play and this should be one that goes to the wire if Nicholson can manage the passing game.

Prediction: Texas Christian 27, Northern Illinois 20
The play: Northern plus 13 for a medium bet

Good luck. Will be back to respond Friday afternoon if anyone has questions....

:shake:
 
i just think n.ill is too one dimensional and TCU will have a field day on this team.good health though buddy
 
A few of those games that NIU lost were due to the injury of Wolfes leg. As you can see, when his hamy healed he and NIU faired exceptionally well. Check the stats in the Iowa/Toledo vs. the CMU/EMU. Huge difference in Wolfes performances and therefore NIU's.

gl CKR.
 
Could be, Stacks. I just think the QB Nicholson is better than what people realize (considering how disappointing Horvath was all season anyways), and they might try to pass more than you'd think.

Thanks fellas, GL to us in this one...
 
I like the play...Horvath and Nicholson get a lot of shit, but the passing game isn't nearly as bad as people think and NIU isn't a one dimensional team..

This is a very live dog...
 
Glad to see I'm not the only one on NIU. Agree with you on the pick. 2nd string Qb's are alway's solid in bowl games especially as DD dogs. Plus Nicholoson has plenty of playing experience. I think Garret Wolfe ends his college career with a great rushing performance. GL CKR & all
 
well im from chicago and dont post much but 2night im on it i like n i u here to keep it close the WOLFER was banged bad in losses but once healed niu did damn good seen them 5 games this yr and 3 for tt tt on a roll there no doubt the team but the play here is on niu to keep it close in a lower then expected game imo gl all happy holdays
 
I will likely tail you Rex, but I do have questions about No Ill On "d" , I saw them play 4 x's this year and I thought their "d" was pathetic.
 
They gave up more yards than their opponents' season averages at an alarming rate this year. Consider the following pedestrian offenses output vs. NIU and their season average YPG:

Team vs. NIU Yards per game
Ohio 509 280.7
Buffalo 349 267.3
Ball st 385 351
Miami,OH 469 323
W. Mich 380 315
Temple 316 215
Iowa 400 385
 
Their defense could be pathetic, but I think you guys give TCU's defense too much credit.

They are good at stopping the run but I took a closer look at their competition - New Mexico has a 1,000-yard back but that's it. The rest of the teams that TCU played were either passing offenses or just plain shitty offenses. And TCU got so far ahead of NM so early that the running game was almost non-existant. That won't happen tonight.

More I look at it, the more I like Northern outright...
 
I don't know shit about TCU, but if they have any kind of offense at all and don't turn the ball over they will score on the No Ill "d", I gather from what you said that the TCU "d" is soft as well, if that is the case should we be on the OVER as well?
 
CollegeKingRex said:
Their defense could be pathetic, but I think you guys give TCU's defense too much credit.

They are good at stopping the run but I took a closer look at their competition - New Mexico has a 1,000-yard back but that's it. The rest of the teams that TCU played were either passing offenses or just plain shitty offenses. And TCU got so far ahead of NM so early that the running game was almost non-existant. That won't happen tonight.

More I look at it, the more I like Northern outright...

If you think TCU's D is shitty, you should probably play the over. A top 15 offense vs. a 100+ ranked defense should yield some points regardless, and the puportedly shitty TCU D should cash an over yielding atleast 21.

The problem I have with the over is that this will be the second best defense NIU has played all year. Shitty or not, it's tough to bet against a defense that will be facing a one dimensional offense making a step up in competition.

Good health.
 
That's the problem.

Northern's offense is NOT one-dimensional.

Nicholson has got a boatload of talent. Hope we'll get to see some of it on display tonight.

I guess we'll find out. I projected 47 points, which is right at the total. Hard to go over that... But a sharp friend of mine is big on the over, for what that's worth...

GL all!
 
CollegeKingRex said:
That's the problem.

Northern's offense is NOT one-dimensional.

Nicholson has got a boatload of talent. Hope we'll get to see some of it on display tonight.

I guess we'll find out. I projected 47 points, which is right at the total. Hard to go over that... But a sharp friend of mine is big on the over, for what that's worth...

GL all!


CKR I respect your position on this play - but for 20 years it seems that every time a backup qb has to play in a bowl game they get beat. While I cant recall in detail which teams they were, its still is he most important position in he game. This kid has to throw against a defense that has 15 interceptions. That spells one thing in college to me. Defensive speed.

As Steelers coach Chuck Knoll said when asked "what is the one thing you cant coach against?" Knoll replied "SPEED - because you cant practice against it."

Good health tonight, and good luck this entire bowl season.:shake:
 
I do like No Ill as well Rex but I think your friend is on to something with that OVER, If TCU "d" is at all on the soft side this could be a track meet, like I said I know very little about TCU but from my observations of NI "d" I question if they can stop anyone and that being said I think NI will have to score alot to win out right not just cover. I am tailing your play here and will be adding the OVER to it. GL always:cheers:
 
Not sure where the "soft D" descriptor came from, because the numbers don't bear it out but oh well. TCU is one of four Division I-A teams in the nation that hasn't allowed any individual to rush for 100 yards this season. The last running back to gain 100 yards against TCU was New Mexico's DonTrell Moore on Oct. 1, 2005. They're currently the 4th ranked rushing defense.

As a pass defense, they held passing teams like Tech to 240 yards under their season average of 440, UNLV 100 yards under its average, SDSU 100 under its passing average, and Colorado State 50 yards under its passing average. It also has 24 sacks on the year. Against similar competition it will be playing tonight.

I guess my definition of soft is a bit different.
 
But who has TCU played to even threaten them..? Its not that there defense isnt good its just getting a bit to much respect(as CKR said) . They played BYU and Texas Tech both obviously pass orientated offenses (and BYU abused them while TT was sliding at the time). After that then who ....Baylor , Army , CSU , SDST , UNLV , New Mexico , Utah , etc....all bad offenses with out any 'star' QB's or RB's....they havent played anyone....TCU has played a collection of bad teams...stopped the Air Force rushing attack? AF stunk this year look at there final 8 or so games who did they beat...any decent defense could slow TCU's opponents...and its not like until recently the TCU offense contributed...it was alot of that sound TCU defense feasting on weak offesnive oppositions for defensive scores and short fields...

Another valid point...backup QB...difference is Nicholson has actually played and is not replacing a QB who played well. Horvath was sort of neutral not good but not bad....

There is alot of pro's for botgh sides but NIU played solid competition in Ohio State and Iowa while having the best offensive player in the game. TCU has shown a strong defense capable of slowing good offenses but what has there offense shown if they other team is not turning the ball over..?? Ballard had 25 YARDS passing @ NM...less then 400 in thegames @ Army, @NM , @UNLV...no matter what you think hopefully you realize the NIU defense is better then those three(yeah NM is questionable comparision)...
 
SportsNut said:
But who has TCU played to even threaten them..? Its not that there defense isnt good its just getting a bit to much respect(as CKR said) . They played BYU and Texas Tech both obviously pass orientated offenses (and BYU abused them while TT was sliding at the time). After that then who ....Baylor , Army , CSU , SDST , UNLV , New Mexico , Utah , etc....all bad offenses with out any 'star' QB's or RB's....they havent played anyone....TCU has played a collection of bad teams...stopped the Air Force rushing attack? AF stunk this year look at there final 8 or so games who did they beat...any decent defense could slow TCU's opponents...and its not like until recently the TCU offense contributed...it was alot of that sound TCU defense feasting on weak offesnive oppositions for defensive scores and short fields...

Another valid point...backup QB...difference is Nicholson has actually played and is not replacing a QB who played well. Horvath was sort of neutral not good but not bad....

There is alot of pro's for botgh sides but NIU played solid competition in Ohio State and Iowa while having the best offensive player in the game. TCU has shown a strong defense capable of slowing good offenses but what has there offense shown if they other team is not turning the ball over..?? Ballard had 25 YARDS passing @ NM...less then 400 in thegames @ Army, @NM , @UNLV...no matter what you think hopefully you realize the NIU defense is better then those three(yeah NM is questionable comparision)...

You act like NIL plays in a superior conference. TCU plays in significantly better conference and has the skins to show for it on defense. They are facing better Oline units game in and game out regardless of running back talent. It's mind boggling that TCU's D has been labeled soft on this thread. Perhaps you can say they're not as good as there top 4 ranking, but soft, come on.

Offensively, the Oline is talent rich with big 12 recruitable talent. 4 of the five Olinemen are multi-year senior starters. Toudeze is the best of the bunch and is a Sunday player. Simms is senior guard and was recruited by most big 12 schools, and senior Center Stephen Culp was a top ten center out of high school. The outweigh NIL's front four by about 45 lbs across the board. They are salty. This is the biggest mismatch in the game in my opinion. The receivers and backs are Big 12 level talent and should be the healthies they've been all year. The one wild card is Jeff Ballard, who has had a tendency to be more of a manager than a playmaker. I actually think they'll run the ball at will tonight, so his questionmark should be mitigated. I can't see a scenario where TCU doesn't get into the 30's.

The only reason I'm not betting the over, is that I can see Garret Wolf getting frustrated early causing him to see that NFL finish line, which results in him mailing it in the second half.

There's some very knowledgeable cappers on the other side so I'm a bit more nervous than I should be. That said

35 to 10 TCU
 
the point is NIU doesnt have to win by 2 TDS though.....I really dont play many things based on who is better or who should win...its mostly about where the line is set...So I am just looking for lines shaded in the wrong direction...

I really dont care much about overall conference strength. I see TCU playing bad team after bad team so they built a resume off bad football teams which NIU is not IMO...Its all opinion till the step on the field..the more talented team is always favored...TCU offense past 3 started showing some life but before that...there offense was there defense...and any solid defense will force bad offenses into mistakes...its not about TCU defense not being good but rather who they were good against...have they faced anyone as talented as Wolfe??

I really dont see anyone here saying there D is soft, overrated yes...cause show me a good offense they shutdown..?? theres probably 4 SEC defenses better alone...thats why ranking are not for me , thats why stats in CFB arent for me...cause they allow 3.5 percarrythey can stop the run..?? Again look at the competition and look at the early big leads...of course opponents cant run...

I dont disagree that if TCU brings it A game it wint get ugly...I just dont see them as motivated here...or 2 TDS better ona neutral field...

I dont think anything your saying is wrong. I just think your relying to much on TCUs defense which hasnt been challenged...BYU made them look silly IMO...obvioulsy Nicholson isnt Beck but Wolfe is a star like Beck is...if NIU was so bad they would have been alot bigger dogs in Iowa or Ohio State.....

Should be interesting I just think Wolfe will not be slowed here and...if NIU doesnt turn it over then 30 pts will be tough to come by...what held up the offense up in there other road games...also TCU seems to coast in teh 2nd Half....

BOL tonite......I have no problem being wrong here....
 
SportsNut said:
Painful to watch NIU's offensive gameplan...something else other thena 1st down run..??

You're joking right. They're being dominated by a superior athletic defensive unit. And Wolfe is being shut out with 6 and 7 man fronts on first down. Do you really think they should be throwing on first down with TCU showing coverage.

7 yards for Wolfe. Yikes.
 
texasfight said:
You're joking right. They're being dominated by a superior athletic defensive unit. And Wolfe is being shut out with 6 and 7 man fronts on first down. Do you really think they should be throwing on first down with TCU showing coverage.

Well, they should have tried something different. Quick slants, a bootleg, a screen, for fucks sakes anything besides the predictable trash they were doing every series. Pitiful playcalling and execution.
 
Well, that was fun. Talk about one-sided...

It sure can't get any worse.

Good comments and discussions, and congratulations, TexasFight. You were a whole lot closer to being right than we were. You said 10 points for NIU. They shouldn't have had ANY.
 
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