College Football
Preview
Georgia vs Texas Christian
When: 12:00 PM ET, Friday, December 30, 2016
Where: Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium, Memphis, Tennessee



AUTOZONE LIBERTY BOWL STORYLINES

1. Neither Georgia nor TCU entered the season aiming for a berth in the Liberty Bowl in Memphis on Dec. 30, but that is where they will end disappointing campaigns. The Horned Frogs are tied with Oklahoma for the best record in the Big 12 the past three years (29-9), but after finishing in the top 10 in the country each of the past two years, they won just six times this season. The Bulldogs also fell short of expectations, going 7-5 in Kirby Smart’s first season as head coach after finishing 10-3 in 2014 and 2015.

2. TCU’s roster features just 13 seniors, and head coach Gary Patterson looks to the bowl game as a springboard into next season. “It’s really about us growing up as a football team and finding out how we need to play going into next season, because we weren’t happy with this one,” Patterson told reporters. “Going 6-6 is not something we’re happy about.” The Horned Frogs lost three games by six points or less, including two in overtime, and closed the regular season with losses in four of their final six contests.

3. Smart’s first season was marked by a 1-4 stretch in the middle of the season, a stirring upset victory over Auburn and then a bitter home loss to in-state rival Georgia Tech. The Bulldogs have spent practice time working on improving execution, especially at quarterback, where freshman Jacob Eason has shown flashes of brilliance mixed with first-year mistakes. “He’s got to do a better job of commanding the huddle for our team and being a leader,” Smart told reporters.

TV: Noon ET, ESPN. LINE: Georgia -1

ABOUT GEORGIA (7-5, 4-4 SEC): The Bulldogs received surprisingly good news Dec. 15 when running backs Nick Chubb and Sony Michel, who combined to rush for 1,741 yards and 10 touchdowns, announced they would return for their senior seasons. Eason completed 55 percent of his passes and threw for 14 touchdowns, but did not top 200 yards passing six times in 12 games (11 starts) as the Bulldogs ranked 11th in the SEC in scoring (24 points per game). Georgia’s defense forced 25 turnovers, tops in the conference, and ranked 18th nationally against the pass (186.9 yards per game).

ABOUT TCU (6-6, 4-5 Big 12): Quarterback Kenny Hill passed for 3,062 yards and 15 touchdowns in his first season after transferring from Texas A&M, but the junior threw 13 interceptions. A knee injury to wide receiver KaVontae Turpin disrupted an offense that still averaged 31.7 points and 475 yards of total offense per game, as Kyle Hicks rushed for 954 yards and 12 touchdowns. Defensively, the Horned Frogs gave up 30 points six times, and followed up a dominant performance at Texas by allowing 30 points to Kansas State in the regular-season finale.



PREDICTION: Georgia 34, TCU 30
Stats and Records
Team Comparison
  W‑L Strk PF PA Home Away Grass Turf Conf
Georgia 7-5 L1 24.0 24.1 3-4 4-1 5-4 0-0 4-4
Texas Christian 6-6 L1 31.7 27.8 2-5 4-1 3-5 0-0 4-5
Last Meeting
Georgia Texas Christian
Date Away Home Tot Rus Pas Tot Rus Pas
9/10/88 TCU 10 UGA 38 0 0 0 0 0 0
Player Stats
Previous Matchup
Passing Player COMP % YDS TD INT
Georgia N/A
Texas Christian N/A
Rushing Player CAR YDS AVG TD
Georgia N/A
Texas Christian N/A
Receiving Player REC YDS AVG TD
Georgia N/A
Texas Christian N/A
Touchdowns Player TD
Georgia N/A
Texas Christian N/A
Season
Passing Player COMP % YDS TD INT
Georgia J. Eason 55.0 2266 14 8
Texas Christian K. Hill 60.8 3062 15 13
Rushing Player CAR YDS AVG TD
Georgia N. Chubb 207 988 4.8 7
Texas Christian K. Hicks 188 954 5.1 12
Receiving Player REC YDS AVG TD
Georgia I. McKenzie 40 530 13.2 7
Texas Christian T. Williams 39 702 18.0 5
Touchdowns Player TD
Georgia I. McKenzie 10
Texas Christian K. Hicks 14
Quickchart Matchup
Georgia Georgia Off vs  Texas Christian Texas Christian Def
Georgia 382.4 yards
Texas Christian 427.9 yards
Georgia 4.6 yards/rush
Texas Christian 4.1 yards/rush
Georgia 6.4 yards/attempt
Texas Christian 7.2 yards/attempt
Texas Christian Texas Christian Off vs  Georgia Georgia Def
Texas Christian 475 yards
Georgia 328 yards
Texas Christian 5.3 yards/rush
Georgia 3.9 yards/rush
Texas Christian 7 yards/attempt
Georgia 7.2 yards/attempt