The TCU Horned Frogs, playing the final game of their first season as members of the Big 12, are 2.5-point favorites over the Michigan State Spartans in the 2012 Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl. Kickoff is scheduled for 9:15 p.m. CT on Saturday, December 29.
The Horned Frogs' 2012 season was a roller coaster, highlighted by road wins over then-Top 25 opponents West Virginia and Texas, marred by the suspension of quarterback Casey Pachall and remembered for near-misses against Oklahoma and Texas Tech. TCU finished 7-5 overall and 4-5 in the Big 12, but went 3-5 after Pachall's suspension following a DWI arrest with losses to Iowa State and Oklahoma State. Despite the efforts of backup Trevone Boykin, the TCU offense struggled. In the high-flying Big 12, where five teams averaged more than 40 points per game, TCU managed just 29.3 points per game; the number decreased to 24.4 ppg without the benefit of overtime periods.
Michigan State also reaches the end of a disappointing campaign Saturday. A preseason favorite to win the Big Ten, the Spartans instead dropped three of their first four Big Ten contests en route to a 3-5 conference record and fourth place finish in the Legends Division. Michigan State played close to the margins all season: Only one of the program's eight conference contests was decided by more than four points, and their five losses were by a total of 13 points. Quarterback Andrew Maxwell struggled to fill the shoes of Kirk Cousins in his first season as the starter, completing just 52.9% of his pass attempts for 2,578 yards, 13 touchdowns, and nine interceptions. Michigan State is led by a stellar defense that conceded just 16.3 points per game, 10th nationally in that statistic.
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