#13 Stanford vs. #15 TCU, the #1 Game Outside the CFP
Why is everyone calling this a must-watch game of the season?
- The 2017 Valero Alamo Bowl will be the fourth consecutive Top-15 matchup the Bowl has produced.
- 9 of the last 12 Valero Alamo Bowls have been decided in the final minutes.
- The last 4 Valero Alamo Bowl winners have been ranked in the Top 10 of the final polls.
- In its previous trip to the Valero Alamo Bowl, Jan. 2, 2016, TCU tied for the second-largest comeback in FBS history as it defeated Oregon 47-41 in triple overtime. The Horned Frogs trailed 31-0 at halftime.
- Stanford Running Back Bryce Love was a Heisman finalist and runner-up. Love is first among Power 5 conference running backs in rushing yards (1,973), rushing yards per game (164.4), yards per carry (8.3), 100-yard rushing games (11), 50-yard rushes (12/FBS record) and 60-yard rushes (6). He has posted a 30-yard run in an FBS-record 13 straight games.
- His 12 runs of 50 or more yards this year is an FBS record, and his 11 100-yard rushing performances leads the nation and has tied a school record.
- Love moved into second place on the school’s single-season rushing list with 1,973 yards this season and needs 47 yards to break the school record set by Christian McCaffrey in 2015.
- TCU leads the nation in red-zone defense, allowing scores on just 64.5 percent of opponent trips – the lowest mark by any FBS team since 2011. The Horned Frogs also rank fourth in the nation on rushing defense and lead the Big 12 in defense, holding opponents to an average 17.6 points per game and just 328.5 yards per game and averaging 3.15 sacks a game.
- These two teams have only played each other twice. The Horned Frogs hold a 2-0 series lead after winning 38-36 in Palo Alto in 2007 during the final minutes before a 31-14 win at Amon G. Carter Stadium in Fort Worth in 2008.
It’ll Be a Close One…
- SB Nation has a No. 15 TCU victory of (-2.5) 29, No. 13 Stanford 25.
- Bleacher Report is predicting a close game with a final score of Stanford 24, TCU 23
- Sporting News has a TCU win 31-24.
- The Washington Post predicts TCU to beat Stanford 24-15.
- Yahoo.com rates the Valero Alamo Bowl as the No. 6 overall bowl matchup for the second year in a row.
- The Washington Post rates the Valero Alamo Bowl as the No. 5 overall bowl matchup.
- The Big Lead rates the Stanford vs. TCU matchup the fourth-best of all bowl games.
- Jeff Schultz from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution rated the game as a top matchup with “two teams with great coaches (David Shaw vs. Gary Patterson) and athletes who play hard.”
For #13 Stanford:
- Jr. RB Bryce Love:The junior running back received top running back in the nation honors and Heisman runner-up after rushing for 1,973 yards and averaging 8.3 yards per carry in the regular season, including 12 runs of at least 50 yards. He ranks first in the nation for rushing among Power 5 Conference running backs.
- So. QB K.J. Costello: The sophomore quarterback boasts the nation’s highest passer rating on deep passes at 136.6. The Pac-12 All-Academic honorable mention tallied 11 touchdowns and averaged 136.1 yards per game during the regular season.
- Sr. DT Harrison Phillips: The senior defensive tackle and team captain leads the team with 100 tackles this season. Phillips has a team-high 17 tackles for loss (second-best in the Pac-12), 7.5 sacks and two fumble recoveries.Phillips was a finalist for the Bobby Bowden Award and the Lott IMPACT trophy.
For #15 TCU:
- Jr. DE Ben Banogu: The junior defensive end ranks second in the Big 12 with 8.5 sacks and is the first TCU player named as Defensive Newcomer of the Year by the Big 12 Conference. Banogu leads the team with 15.5 tackles for loss and has 45 tackles on the season.
- Sr. DE Mat Boesen: Boesen leads the Big 12 and is tied for fourth nationally with 11.5 sacks, a total that is tied for third most in a season in TCU history. The senior defensive end was named a first-team All-American by Sports Illustrated and had 14.5 tackles for loss with 57 tackles total on the season.
- Sr. LB Travin Howard: The TCU linebacker and 2016 Valero Alamo Bowl Defensive MVP is on his way to become the 1st known player in program history to lead the team in stops for 3 straight years. Howard has 98 tackles, including 7 tackles for loss, along with a sack and interception on the season.
San Antonio Connection
There are THREE San Antonio natives suiting up between TCU and Stanford to play in front of family and friends.
- Junior Linebacker Ty Summers of TCU attended Reagan High school. Summers recorded 60 tackles and four sacks on the season, along with a fumble at Texas Tech (Nov. 18) this season.
- Sophomore Long Snapper Richard McNitzky of Stanford attended MacArthur High School and was a member of the 2017 Pac-12 All-Academic first team and CoSIDA Academic All-District team. He recorded a solo tackle vs. UCLA (Sept. 23).
- Freshman strong safety Joe McGrath of Stanford attended Alamo Heights High School and redshirted this season with Stanford.
You never forget the feeling.