Tonight's game

December 19, 2006|By Orlando Sentinel

Bowl -- Poinsettia Bowl

Matchup -- Northern Illinois (7-5) vs. Texas Christian (10-2)

Site -- Qualcomm Stadium, San Diego

Time, TV -- 8 p.m., ESPN2

Key stats -- Northern Illinois TB Garrett Wolfe (158.3 ypg) is the nation's leading rusher. TCU is fourth nationally in rushing defense (67.6 ypg).

The game -- TCU finished tied for second in the Mountain West Conference, thanks to a solid defense and a strong rushing attack. The Horned Frogs use a tailback-by-committee approach with Aaron Brown and Lonta Hobbs (a combined 124.2 ypg). QB Jeff Ballard threw eight TD passes and no interceptions in the final five games of the regular season. Defensively, TCU uses a 4-2-5 set, with LB Jason Phillips, S Marvin White and ends Chase Ortiz and Tommy Blake the standouts. NIU is all about Wolfe; when he is stymied, the Huskies struggle to move the ball. He did rush for 171 in the season opener at Ohio State. The defense was solid against the run but awful against the pass. E Larry English has 11 sacks.

The line -- TCU by 12.

The pick -- TCU, 35-20.

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