Originally posted on Fox Sports Arizona  |  Last updated 12/2/12
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (AP) -- There might not be anything wild going on at the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl. Well, at least not on offense. In its first season with a new name, the bowl could have a decidedly defensive feel when TCU and Michigan State meet at Sun Devil Stadium on Dec. 29. "Both teams have outstanding defenses," Michigan State coach Mark Dantonio said. "But you never know how games are going to play out." Oklahoma and Iowa were locked in a defensive struggle in last year's game, then known as the Insight Bowl, before the Sooners pulled away for a 31-14 victory. This could be an even lower-scoring game. Playing the nation's fifth-toughest schedule, Michigan State (6-6) finished the regular season fourth in total defense, allowing 273.2 yards per game. The Spartans finished 10th in scoring defense, giving up 16.3 points per game. TCU (7-5) was 18th nationally in total defense, allowing 332 yards per game, and held six of its 12 opponents to a season low in points while giving up 23.8 points per game. It has to keep up in the bowl game, right? Well, not everyone agrees on that. "I've always said be careful what you wish for, what you talk about, because it usually changes when you give two teams a month to prepare for a ballgame," TCU coach Gary Patterson said. "They said when I played in the Rose Bowl (in 2011) it was going to be a scoring fest. It ended up 21-19. For us, we want to find a way to win the ballgame." TCU had an up-and-down first season in the Big 12. Playing more true freshmen (16) than seniors (11), the Horned Frogs won their first four games, then lost three of four, including a 56-53 shootout loss to Texas Tech in triple overtime. TCU bounced back to beat West Virginia in double overtime in another wild game to become bowl eligible, then picked up another big win by beating Texas in Austin on Nov. 24 before closing out the season with a 24-17 loss to Oklahoma. TCU finished 4-5 in the Big 12 but is headed to a bowl for the eighth straight season. That's not bad considering the Frogs had to use freshman Trevone Boykin at quarterback after Casey Pachall left school to enter an inpatient rehabilitation facility in early October. "Obviously, (Boykin) got us back to a bowl game, which was something that was a concern from the beginning any time you make that kind of change," Patterson said. The Spartans also got off to a solid start. Their only loss in their first four games was to Notre Dame, which will play in the national championship on Jan. 7. Michigan State went up and down after that, though, losing five of its final eight games. The problem for the Spartans was pulling out close games. Their five losses in the Big Ten were by a combined 13 points, leaving them precariously close to missing out on the postseason. Needing a win in its final game, Michigan State pulled it out, powering past Minnesota for a 26-10 win Nov. 24 to earn its eighth bowl appearance since 2001. "The main thing when you look at our football team, we've got to finish, there's no question about that," Dantonio said. "But we can play. The margin of victory has been very, very narrow for either party, whether you're playing us or we're playing you." They could be in for another one in the desert against TCU.
MORE FROM YARDBARKER:
The 22 most iconic college football traditions
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Art Briles sues Baylor officials for libel, slander

Giants FB has home vandalized with swastika, Trump's name

Raiders G Kelechi Osemele out Thursday with illness

Red Sox send Brewers $100 as final piece of Tyler Thornburg deal

Troy Aikman almost came out of retirement to play for the Eagles

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Blues miss morning skate due to traffic in Brooklyn

Oregon president no fan of DC Brady Hoke

Carmelo blows off Jackson's ball hog remarks, looks 'annoyed'

Richard Sherman gives logical take on Cam Newton's benching

Sandoval's career fell 'into an abyss' after getting 'complacent'

Report: NFL believes Oakland ‘has no strong desire’ to keep the Raiders

Sporting life: Gifts for the fan who is always on point

Matt Ryan is now Mr. Pick-Two

MLB Winter Meetings report, Day 3: News, notes and rumors

Four stinkiest games remaining on the 2016 NFL schedule

Ten young NBA players developing into stars

TailGreater: Tips for bowl travelers

Ranking the single-player modes of the 2017 sports games

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

Box Score 12/7: The date we got to know Bo

MLB Winter Meetings report, Day 2: News, notes and rumors

Ten most intriguing non-NY6 bowl games

Breaking down the NFL playoff picture heading into Week 14

College Football News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Sporting life: Gifts for the fan who is always on point

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

Matt Ryan is now Mr. Pick-Two

MLB Winter Meetings report, Day 3: News, notes and rumors

TailGreater: Tips for bowl travelers

Ranking the single-player modes of the 2017 sports games

The five best (and worst) times athletes hosted 'SNL'

The five must-have sports games of 2016

The five 2016 Heisman finalists: How do they measure up?

Sporting life: Gifts for real fans (that aren't ugly NFL Christmas sweaters)

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker