2022 College Football Playoff Game Preview: TCU vs Michigan

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2022 College Football Playoff Game Preview: TCU vs Michigan


2022 College Football Playoff Game Preview: TCU vs Michigan

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The College Football Playoffs are finally here! After a long season, we are down to four teams to decide who will hoist up the trophy and forever call themselves champions. In the first game of the playoff, we have the number two ranked Michigan Wolverines taking on the number three ranked TCU Horned Frogs.

Both teams come in with different playing styles and different stories on how they got here. But the fact remains that only one can advance. Who will it be? Members of the TWSN team give their thoughts on the game below.

2022 Fiesta Bowl: #2 Michigan vs #3 TCU, State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona

Matt Levine: Looking at this game on paper, Michigan seems to have the clear advantage. But TCU has been resilient all season and whenever anyone doubts them, they seem to rise to the occasion. Michigan presents some matchups that TCU hasn’t seen this season, especially within the run game. The Wolverines thrive on their running attack so TCU may need to change up their defensive schemes to match it. The X-factor for TCU in this game will be their offense. If they can establish rhythm there and get the Wolverines defense on their toes then TCU can pull off the upset. Since Michigan is so good at running the ball, if TCU falls behind early then it could spell a long day for the Horned Frogs. I see this game being close until mid-way into the third quarter when Michigan starts to break away. A great season for the Horned Frogs falls short and the Wolverines advance to the College Football Playoff Final.

Michigan-38, TCU-23


Marissa Myers: Michigan is a team very capable of throwing the ball, but their success majorly comes from their ground game. Their ground game takes a massive hit though as Blake Corum is out after having season-ending knee surgery. So, instead it will be Donovan Edwards with a mix of quarterback J.J. McCarthy for the Wolverines, and that isn’t necessarily great for TCU. The Horned Frogs primarily run a 3-3-5 defense, making the box extremely light. Edwards, when facing a light box, averaged 7.9 yards per attempt. So, it will be up to TCU to make this a shootout with their offense led by Max Duggan. If there is one weakness of the defense for Michigan it is the pass as they allowed 2,494 yards on the season, and Duggan not only gets rid of the ball quickly but will attack downfield. On 15-plus yard throws, he has a 52.1% completion rate. While TCU could have a chance, if they can’t slow down the Michigan run game that has shown it will take over games, it will be a tough end to the season for TCU. 

Michigan-31, TCU-24


Larry Spicer: TCU takes on Michigan in a semi-final game of the College Football Playoffs. This should be an exciting match-up between an upstart Horned Frogs team and the Big 10 champion Wolverines. On paper, Michigan may seem like an overwhelming favorite due to the perception between the Big 10 and the Big 12. However, the discrepancy may be smaller than one may think.

That being said, this is a game that could go many different ways. TCU has an explosive offense under head coach Sonny Dykes. However, the Wolverines are no slouch offensively in their own right. The difference, at least on paper are the defenses, and let’s face it, the BIG 10 presents a more rigorous path than the Big 12 does, respectfully.

With that, if the Horned Frogs can jump out early, there is certainly a path to victory. However, the Wolverines though a tough, and physical team are capable of being explosive themselves. On the other hand, if Michigan can’t limit this TCU offense, then the Big 12 representatives could find themselves fighting for their lives just to keep the game respectable. Of course, this game has the potential to be a shoot-out as well. Either way, this should be an interesting match-up that is as unpredictable as it is exciting.

Michigan-32, TCU-24


Daryan Martin: This game will be decided by Michigan’s passing defense and TCU’s running defense. TCU quarterback Max Duggan leads the Big 12 in passing yards and touchdowns. Duggan has the ability to put up big numbers and has the potential top wide receiver in the 2023 NFL Draft on his team in Quentin Johnston. Michigan has rushed for 479 yards and six touchdowns in their last two games. Sonny Dykes knows his team has no chance of winning if Michigan keeps up their success rushing the football, so expect there to be a concentrated effort to stop the run from TCU. This will be an exciting matchup as both teams have an edge against the other. Ultimately, Michigan is too dominant on the ground for TCU to stop. As the running game gets established expect for JJ McCarthy to take some chances throwing the ball down the field in a Michigan victory. If Michigan can establish the run, pressure Duggan, get off the field on third down, and limit turnovers then they should win. If TCU can contain Michigan’s rushing attack, limit three and outs, and leave no points on the board than they will have a good shot at winning. 

Michigan-37, TCU-21


Tristen Kuhn: This game is going to be the battle of two juggernauts. Michigan hosts a top offense and defense while the Horned Frogs are heavily based on offense. TCU hosts the 15th ranked offense and are also 11th in yards per game with 473 and they are 5th in touchdowns with 64. For the Wolverines, they place in at 27th in offense, 22nd in yards at 453.4, and 12th in touchdowns with 60. Michigan will have the advantage with the 3rd ranked defense and they’ve only allowed 18 total touchdowns all season. Meanwhile, TCU is 74th on defense and have allowed 41 total touchdowns. Michigan is going to attempt to establish the run and if there’s one area where a weak TCU defense succeeds its there run defense. If TCU can try and forced the hand of quarterback JJ McCarthy and a limited Michigan offense, especially without star tight end Erick All then they could have a chance at an upset. 

There’s a lot of key matchups but one of the biggest is going to be how the Michigan offensive line is able to establish vs a strong TCU front four. The Horned Frogs don’t have a ton of talent but they play deep, hard, and fast. They’ll look to win at the point of attack and constantly win, especially in the trenches where this game will no doubt be decided. Another key Matchup is Quinton Johnston vs Michigan corner DJ Turner and how Max Duggan can work their offense vs the loaded Michigan defensive back room. Duggan is going to easily have his toughest task of the season, and the Wolverines are looking to feast quickly. 

I do think this game is going to be competitive as TCU should be able to score despite facing a tough offense and Michigan shouldn’t have a problem scoring either. At the end of the day, the Wolverines are more talented and athletic which just gives them the upper hand in most aspects. It’ll be a clean game but when it comes down to it, Michigan should be able to pull away with some key stops towards the end of the game.

Michigan-34, TCU-24


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