The always tough TCU defense made if tough for Louisiana Tech to score on their way to winning the Poinsettia Bowl 31-24. (San Francisco Chronicle Photo)
Final Score: TCU 31 Louisiana Tech 24
Remember those guys? It wasn't a Pac-12 bowl, but it was a "western" bowl, and those Purple Horned Frogs were up to their old tricks again. (Something Beaver fans should recall all too well.)
The Poinsettia Bowl in San Diego pitted Mt. West Champion TCU against WAC Champion La. Tech. Ft. Worth is west of Dallas, though there are no mountains anywhere near, and Rushton is west of the Mississippi river, but neither team exactly fits the name or the image of their conferences, though the Horned Frogs are bound for the Big XII (minus the II) next year, which will be a better fit. And maybe a better route to the BCS that was denied them this year, after going to one the last two seasons, including last year, when they went to and won the Rose Bowl (which is one of those "Pac" bowls), defeating Wisconsin.
If the BCS were about putting the best teams in their games, in the spirit of rematches in New Orleans that gave us the LSU-Alabama rematch, there should have been another one. TCU and Boise St. should have staged a rematch in the Sugar Bowl instead of the Michigan-Virginia Tech matchup that was made, purely to sell motel rooms and tickets, and keep the BCS dollars in the BCS AQ conferences, instead of putting the best game on the field.
Louisiana Tech, which came in with an 8-4 mark, remarkable enough given their 1-3 start, was never in the conversation for a BCS bowl, whereas TCU was until politics intervened. But the Bulldogs didn't care, and put up a tremendous fight in San Diego, taking the lead 3 different times, including a 24-17 advantage late in the third quarter, after they scored consecutive touchdowns, the second of which came on a 61 yard scoring strike from Colby Cameron to Myles White.
But TCU knows how to play tough, and run the ball, and the Horned Frogs rallied from behind again, tieing the game almost midway in the fourth quarter, when Luke Shivers capped an 18 play, 72 yard drive that took nearly 9 and a half minutes.
TCU took the lead a little more than 3 minutes later, when Casey Pachall hit Skye Dawson for a 61 yard touchdown, and put the game away after LB Tank Carder (remember him, Beaver fans?) and his defense held the Bulldogs, by running out the clock.
The Horned Frogs held the ball over 12 and a half minutes longer than the Bulldogs.
Beaver fans will also recall Ed Wesley, who tore up Oregon St. for a game high 134 yards rushing, and a go-ahead touchdown 49 seconds before halftime last year. He was the game's leading rusher again tonight, with 73 yards, and a game tieing touchdown 26 seconds before halftime. Looked very familiar.
TCU has now won 36 of 39 games over the last 3 seasons, with a 1 touchdown loss in the Fiesta bowl to Boise St., a 2 point loss at Baylor, against Heisman Trophy winner Robert Griffin III, and an overtime loss to SMU in their rivalry game this year the only losses.