WELCOME BOWL EVENTS GEORGIA TCU HONORS BOWL HISTORY SPECIAL THANKS 58th AutoZone Liberty Bowl | 11 COACHING PHILOSOPHIES Both TCU head coach Gary Patterson and Georgia head coach Kirby Smart cut their chops as Defensive Coordinators, and thus take a lot of pride in the performance of their defenses. Overall, Georgia’s defense has been stout under first-year head coach Kirby Smart. The Bulldogs rank 16th in the country in total defense, giving up 328 yards per game. Georgia ranks 18th in the country and third in the SEC in passing defense, allowing just 186 passing yards per game. On the ground, the Bulldogs give up 141 rushing yards per game, ranking them 35th in the country and fourth in the SEC. Defensively, TCU ranks 74th in the country in team defense, giving up 425 yards per game. The Horned Frogs are better at defending the run than they are the pass, as they give up 180 yards per game on the ground, versus 245 yards per game through the air. Those marks place them 70th and 84th nationally. Offensively, there is a stark contrast in the philosophies of the Horned Frogs and Bulldogs. TCU likes to speed it up and spread it out, while Georgia prefers to keep it on the ground. Dual-threat quarterback Kenny Hill leads a high-powered Horned Frog offense. TCU ranks 23rd in the country in total offense, averaging 475 yards per game. Fifty-two percent of their total offensive plays were passes, while 48 percent were runs this season. Despite the disparity in play calls, TCU running back Kyle Hicks leads a rushing attack that has accounted for 29 touchdowns, 65 percent of the total touchdowns scored by TCU this year. TCU ranks 47th in the country in rushing offense, averaging 196 yards per game. The Horned Frogs rank 24th in the country in passing offense, averaging 278.3 yards per game. Offensively for the Bulldogs, it starts and stops with the punishing running attack of Nick Chubb and Sony Michel. The Bulldogs come into today’s game with 57 percent of their total offensive plays being runs and 43 percent being passes. Georgia averages 186 yards per game on the ground, which ranks 53rd in the country, and averages 195 yards per game through the air, which ranks 97th in the country. INTANGIBLES All-Purpose Players: Both TCU and Georgia have potential x-factor’s in all-purpose players KaVontae Turpin (TCU) and Isaiah McKenzie (UGA). Both players are pivotal pieces to both the passing and return games for their respective teams. Turpin entered the 2016 season as the pre-season All-Big 12 Kick/ Punt Returner but saw his regular season hampered by injury. Before the injury, Turpin racked up 126 yards receiving on 7 catches, 136 kick return yards and 33 punt return yards en route to 295 all-purpose yards against Arkansas. McKenzie entered the 2016 season as the pre-season All-SEC Third Team All-Purpose Player. As freshman quarterback Jacob Eason’s number one target, McKenzie comes into today’s game with 531 yards receiving and 7 touchdowns. McKenzie also has 131 yards rushing, 244 punt return yards and a punt return touchdown. PREDICTION The 58th AutoZone Liberty Bowl matches Georgia’s top 25 ranked defense against TCU’s top 25 ranked offense. The high-powered Horned Frog offense waging battle against an unrelenting Bulldog defense should make for an exciting chess match between Gary Patterson and Kirby Smart. Despite a TCU offensive attack that prioritizes pass plays, don’t be surprised if the Georgia defense keys on containing the Horned Frog rushing attack. TCU running back Kyle Hicks and dual-threat quarterback Kenny Hill lead a TCU rushing attack that, despite being 48 percent of the total play calls, accounted for 65 percent of the Horned Frogs’ total touchdowns. Georgia running backs Nick Chubb and Sony Michel, will both be playing inspired football and could have big days against a TCU defense that has struggled to slow down opposing offenses. It will be paramount for TCU to slow down the Bulldogs’ rushing attack and force Jacob Eason to beat them through the air. With pride on the line between both universities and a long-standing rivalry between the SEC and Big 12, expect an intense and highly competitive 58th AutoZone Liberty Bowl that could come down to the final play.
2016 Liberty Bowl
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