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TCU Vs. Louisiana Tech, Poinsettia Bowl 2011 Preview

Josh Boyce always sleeps in uniform using the pylon as a pillow.
Josh Boyce always sleeps in uniform using the pylon as a pillow.

Well last night wasn't much of a game either for 2012 NFL Draft scouting or overall class. The starts to change tonight with the first bowl to feature a top 25 team and some very enticing prospects both in general and specifically for the St. Louis Rams.

San Diego County Poinsettia Bowl (#16 TCU v. Louisiana Tech), 8pm - ESPN


The Horned Frogs put together another very fine season only to be lumped in at the back of the bowls. Rarely has the Mountain West Conference been so soon after TCU promised to join the Big XII next year. Big fish, small fish, ponds and stuff. TCU only lost two games all year - a ridiculously entertaining season opener in Waco against Baylor that saw nearly 100 points scored and an equally enjoyable contest that saw TCU fall to SMU in overtime. As if their season needed more drama, they took out Boise St. by a single point with yet another missed field goal for the Broncos marring an otherwise perfect season.

For prospects, the upperclassmen aren't overly impressive. You may remember Tank Carder from last year's Rose Bowl performance that ended as Wisconsin was unable to convert a 2-point conversion to tie the game with just two minutes left. He's not overly athletic or quick, but his instincts and motor are enough that he'll go somewhere on day 3. It's the sophomore class though that's most impressive from Ft. Worth's finest.

Casey Pachall (and that's pronounced paw-hall for those of you with VanBibberitis) has followed Andy Dalton as competently as anyone could have imagined, capping his season with a near perfect performance in the win in Boise (24-37, 473 yds, 5 TDs, 1 INT). Making things easier for him is his primary target and fellow RS sophomore, WR Josh Boyce. Boyce is a tremendous prospect in the intermediate range, but he's struggled to assert himself consistently especially in the short game (something that, for example, elevates Justin Blackmon well above his peers). I'd be shocked if either Pachall or Boyce declared, so keep them in mind going into the 2012 college season when they step up the level of competition in year one in the Big XII.

For Louisiana Tech, check out the Bulldogs' leading WR this year: RS junior Quinton Patton. Patton finally broke into the first team this year and has responded by averaging more than 6 receptions per game and nearly 100 yards per game. And junior QB Colby Cameron, when freshman Nick Isham got hurt, can throw the ball very well downfield and has done a great job at limiting mistakes. It's hardly a coincidence the Bulldogs have won all 6 games in which he played.

Rams player of interest: Josh Boyce, TCU (RS Soph.)

Final score: TCU 20, La. Tech 13