Another year, another MAC Championship for the TCU Horned Frogs, who boast one of the top young quarterback prospects in the country that absolutely no one is talking about right now in sophomore Casey Pachall, who took over for Andy Dalton.
In his standout first season as the starting QB for the Horned Frogs, Pachall has completed 67.8 percent of his passes for 24 touchdowns and just six interceptions. He was at his best on the biggest stage, throwing a career high five touchdown passes and 473 yards in the upset win over Boise State, ending their perfect season.
At 6’5″ 216 pounds, this guy has the look of an ideal NFL quarterback prospect and he is really someone to watch in Wednesday night’s game.
His top target has been wide receiver Josh Boyce, who has continued a pretty impressive start to his career with 56 receptions for 932 yards and nine touchdowns. At 6’1″ 203 pounds, he has pretty good size and is definitely a player to watch against this Louisiana Tech defense.
Perhaps the most well-known prospect in this game is TCU linebacker Tank Carder, who has 66 tackles on the year with two interceptions, both returned for touchdowns as well as 4.5 tackles for loss. At 6’3″ 237 pounds, he has really intriguing size and right now could be as high as a second round pick, but he will need to have another good game on the national stage to continue to build some hype.
Another interesting player to watch on the TCU defense will be defensive end Stansly Maponga, who leads the team with nine sacks and 12 tackles for loss. At 6’2″ 265 pounds, he has pretty good size off the edge and it will be interesting to see how well-developed his pass rush moves are. He is having a big sophomore season.
On the other side, one really intriguing player to watch will be wide receiver Quinton Patton, who is in his first season with Louisiana Tech and leads the Bulldogs with 73 receptions for 1,135 yards and 10 touchdowns. At 6’2″ 195 pounds, he has pretty good size and length and can make plays down the field. Patton is a transfer from Coffeyville Community College who was a three-star prospect last year.
Louisiana Tech’s top 2012 draft prospect as of right now is running back Lennon Creer, who is a former transfer from Tennessee. Creer sat out all of 2009 because of the NCAA transfer rules, but the last two years, he has been very good as the featured back for Louisiana Tech with 1,181 yards and 10 touchdowns a year ago, and 838 yards with nine touchdowns in 2011. He is a 6’1″ 215 pound back, so he has very good size but I want to see how quick he is, what kind of breakaway speed he has, and how well he does in the national spotlight.