TCU Horned Frogs (6-6) vs. California Golden Bears (7-5)
December 26, 2018 9:00 PM ET (Chase Field) Cheez-It Bowl
Line: TCU Horned Frogs -110 California Golden Bears -110
Spread: TCU Horned Frogs -2
Free NCAA Football Pick TCU Horned Frogs vs. California Golden Bears
The TCU Horned Frogs are wrapping up the season with a host of injuries as starting running back Darius Anderson and the team’s leading rusher will miss this game as well as quarterback Mike Collins. This means that Grayson Muehlstein will start at quarterback in what will be his last game for TCU. TCU is having a second down year in three years winning just six games finishing second in the Big 12 last season. TCU has used three quarterbacks this season with Grayson Muehlstein playing in the last two games 27-40 for 317 yards and three touchdowns and no interceptions. TCU needed to go 3-1 in their last four games to get bowl eligible for the fifth straight year. For TCU Muehlstein has been great for the Horned Frogs and although the offense has struggled they are coming off of a 31-point performance and win against Oklahoma State at home.
The California Golden Bears have struggled on offense being held under 30 points in every game except three with only one of those offensive outbursts coming against a team with a winning record. California has won three of their last four games and four of their last six games and held Washington State to just 19 points in a 19-13 loss. Ross Bowers opened the season as the starting quarterback against North Carolina but sustained a thumb injury and has been unable to play and is questionable for this game. Chase Garbers has been the starter for most of the season and has completed 61% of his passes and thrown 14 touchdowns and 7 interceptions and thrown for 1,418 yards. Garbers has also been great on the ground rushing for 398 yards and is averaging 4.4 yards per carry in addition to a touchdown. California’s Patrick Laird has been the most effective player for the Cal offense rushing for 116 yards on 19 carries for 6.1 yards per carry against Stanford. Laird should break the 1,00-yard mark needing just 68 yards to break that barrier.
Free NCAA Football Prediction TCU Horned Frogs vs. California Golden Bears
This bowl game will be a tough and grinding defensive matchup where neither offense is explosive and both defenses have been terrific this year. This would be a big win for California with the possibility of winning eight games for the first time since 2015 and just the second time since 2010 and their first bowl win since 2015. TCU is 3-1 in the last four bowl games and won the Alamo Bowl last season. The Cal defense has been sitting 16th in yards allowed at 319.4 yards a game and should be able to stop a TCU offense that hasn’t been dynamic this year and appear to be able to run the ball with Laird and if Garbers is able to go he should make enough plays through the air to get the win in a very low scoring game.