Fat Guy’s Corner

Wings and frog legs

Jeff Day — Sports Columnist

Jeff Day — Sports Columnist

The Holidays are upon us and that means early deadlines. There will be no more NFL picks until the playoffs begin. Let’s be honest, you won’t miss them unless you have been picking against me. We will put the NFL on hold, especially since the Detroit Lions have stunk all season long anyway. Instead, let’s take a look at the Michigan and Michigan State bowl games next week.

The Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl between Michigan State and and TCU will be played on December 29 at 8:15 p.m. The site is beautiful Tempe, Arizona in Sun Devil Stadium. This, to me, is a very compelling match up. MSU and TCU play hard-nosed stingy defense and both are ranked in the top ten. The Spartans, of course, before the beginning of this season, had bigger aspirations this football season and bowl wise. The offense for the Spartans struggled with the graduation of Kirk Cousins at quarterback and replacement Andrew Maxwell struggled at quarterback. Andrew Maxwell had tough shoes to fill as Cousins was MSU’s all-time winningest quarterback. I thought Maxwell would play better than he did, seeing as he was an understudy for few seasons. Maxwell only completed 53% of his passes and had a 13-9 touchdown to interception ratio. The young Spartan receiving corps did not help with all their drops in the early season. The running of Mr. Le’veon Bell kept the Spartans in a lot of ball games. He had a fabulous season.

The TCU Horned Frogs had quarterback troubles of their own. Pachall was kicked off the team mid-way through the season and redshirt freshman Trevone Boykin took over the team under center. He struggled mightily as expected. How about the Frogs having three NFL-caliber running backs before the season started, but by week three, all were lost to injuries? Man, talk about trouble for your offense.

TCU does not have big play ability offensively, which will set up nicely for the Spartans’ defense. The main concern is Boykin, the quarterback has 4.5 speed and he must be contained. Do not let him beat you by running the football. That is a must for the Spartan “D” if they want to win this game. Michigan State, in five of its six losses, lost by a combined13 points and covered both games in which they were the underdog. MSU is the underdog in this football game. TCU coach Gary Patterson has won six of his last seven bowl games for TCU. He gets his team ready for bowl games.

Fat Guy Crystal Cheese Ball Prediction: Sparty Wild Wing Party 20 Broken Frog Leg 16.

The Outback Bowl is January 1 in Tampa, Florida at Raymond James Stadium. The opponents are the Michigan Wolverines and the South Carolina Gamecocks. Game time is 1 p.m. This will be the third lifetime meeting between the two schools. The years were 1980 and 1985 and each team has won once. This will be the rubber match.

Michigan is 3-1 lifetime playing in Tampa. South Carolina is 2-1 in Tampa. How about South Carolina is a lousy 5-12 in bowl games. SC’s coach, Steve Spurrier, is 8-10 all time in bowl games. He also has never faced Michigan in his coaching career. This pits the SEC against the Big Ten and we all know how the Big Ten does here in these games! Awful; with a capital A. How healthy is Denard Robinson’s elbow? Will he be a running back or play some quarterback? I think Devin Gardner will take most of the snaps in this game. Will Connor Shaw play quarterback for the Gamecocks? This Carolina team is a top-10 defense and has a man named Jadeveon Clowney. He will go up against offensive linemen Taylor Lewan of Michigan. That is two firstround draft picks doing battle. The running games of both teams lost number one backs. Gone are Fitzgerald Toussaint for Michigan and Marcus Lattimore for Carolina. This will not be a high scoring football game. I see defense and more defense. Fat Guy Prediction: Cock a Doodle Do 20 and Michigan 13. Sorry Maize and Blue fans, that’s how I see it, and I hope I am wrong.

I hope you all have a safe and Happy Holiday. thefatguy@mihomepaper.net

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