Who to watch: Michigan State v. TCU (BW3 Bowl)

Stay tuned for must-see prospects from every game of the bowl season.

Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl

Saturday, December 29, 10:15pm EST


Le’Veon Bell on trial

Michigan State

Le’Veon Bell, #24, Junior, RB

I’m putting Le’Veon Bell on trial tonight and you should too.  All season long it’s been Le’Veon Bell this and Le’Veon Bell that.  In fact, back in May, Mel Kiper named Le’Veon Bell the #21 prospect in all of college football.  Having seen him play in 2011, I was baffled by this.  So, I’ve paid a little extra attention to him this year and I’m still baffled.

Fall in love with the ‘NFL frame’ if you must, but where is the production?  The guy is purely a numbers by quantity runner.  Looking at the four best defenses Michigan State played this year (Boise, ND, Michigan, Wisconsin) we will see evidence of that:

27.5 carries per game  (most in the nation when isolating on premier games)

108 yards per game

.5 rushing touchdowns per game

3.93 yards per carry

In 2012 alone, I’ve studied more than 50+ running backs in premier game situations.  Bell’s 3.93 ypc is the 7th worst rate, clocking in just ahead of Mizzou’s Kendial Lawrence, who is the 40th ranked RB in just the senior class.

Further, for a ‘big tough back,’ you didn’t see much of him in the end zone, tallying ZERO rushing touchdowns in three of those four games.

The final straw is his 55 carries/rushing TD.  This is also 7th worst in the country and confirms my numbers by quantity theory.

I suspect that Bell wants to turn pro after tonight’s game.  But, I think the combination of TCU’s strong defense and the tough Big 12 season they’ve endured will prepare them to spoil Bell’s potential farewell.  I can’t wait to see how this plays out.


Josh Boyce, #82, Junior, WR

In Boyce’s three years at TCU he has been a steady threat for some of my system’s favorite QBs:  Andy Dalton and Casey Pachall.  Posting at least 600 yards and 6 touchdowns in each season, Boyce finds himself as an under the radar prospect, who has very real NFL upside.  In my rankings, he shows similarities to former mid round draft picks Steve Breaston and Denarius Moore, but I expect he would get drafted higher than them (if he leaves early).  I expect tonight’s game to be a tough defensive battle in which one big play could break turn the tides.  If so, expect it to be Boyce who makes that play for TCU.

See him in action vs WVU (bottom of the screen) and watch him hit the accelerator.