TCU (10–2) vs. Oregon (9–3)
Jan. 2, 6:45 p.m. ET (ESPN)
Reason to watch
Do you love points? Find defense to be dull and overrated? Then you’ll be drooling over this matchup, which features the third-ranked offense (TCU, at 564.3 yards per game) and sixth-ranked offense (Oregon, at 548.2 yards) in the country. Dynamic TCU quarterback Trevone Boykin (3,575 passing yards and 31 touchdowns, 612 rushing yards and nine touchdowns in 11 games) will miss the Alamo Bowl due to his suspension, but Oregon signal caller Vernon Adams (2,446 passing yards and 25 touchdowns in nine games) is finally healthy after healing from a broken finger. The Horned Frogs will also be without standout receiver Josh Doctson—a disappointment for everyone involved except the Oregon secondary—but TCU’s passing attack features plenty of other weapons. And on the other side of the ball Adams brings a what-is-he-doing-oh-my-gosh-it-worked! playground element to his game.
Keep an eye on: Oregon’s offense without Scott Frost
The Ducks offensive coordinator, who went to Eugene in 2009 as receivers coach and was promoted to offensive coordinator in ’13 when Mark Helfrich took over following Chip Kelly’s departure to the NFL, is off to UCF to be head coach. He will not be with the Ducks in San Antonio. Receivers coach Matt Lubick, who joined the Ducks in 2013 from Duke, was promoted to offensive coordinator Friday. Does the Oregon receiving corps, arguably the best and deepest in all of college football, reap the benefits of their position coach calling plays?
Did you know…?
Safety Derrick Kindred is the only starting TCU defender from last season who didn't leave for the NFL, graduate or get sidelined by injury this season. Kindred battled through minor injuries this year to start all 12 games, recording 79 tackles and a team-best two interceptions, one of which he returned for a touchdown.
No Boykin and Doctson hurts the Horned Frogs, a lot. TCU will be tested by Oregon’s Royce Freeman (142.2 rushing yard per game), one of the country’s most underrated running backs.
The Ducks haven’t been impressive defensively all season, save for one very impressive player: Senior defensive end DeForest Buckner, an All-America who tallied 16 tackles for loss, will be the difference for Oregon.