TCU is aiming to improve their record to 8-5 but there is a tough task ahead with the Spartans and their #4 ranked defense in the nation. MSU lost five games by a combined 13 points.
What will it take for the Frogs to get the "w"? We break down five important phases of the game that the Frogs will need to accomplish to win the game.
Key #1: Shut down Le'Veon Bell
Key #2: Contain Maxwell and force him into bad decisionsAgain, it sounds simple, but execution will be the key. It's well known that Michigan State struggled offensively this year and Maxwell has taken a lot of heat from the Spartan faithful. Maxwell has completed just 52.9% of his passes this season for 2,578 yards with 13 Touchdowns and 9 interceptions. If TCU can rattle Maxwell early and keep him in the pocket, it could be a long night for the Junior signal caller. Two of the best defensive ends in the country will be pinning their ears back as Stansly Maponga and Devonte Fields are licking their chops. The dynamic pass rushing duo of Maponga and Fields want to put on a show for the national audience.
Key #3: Control the clock and execute in the red zoneThe key to TCU's offense will be to get points when they're in the red zone. Too many time this year, the Frogs shot themselves in the foot costing the team points on multiple occasions. If TCU is efficient on offense, they should be able to score enough points to win. I think the magic number is 24 here and TCU will get the "W" if they get there first. One of the top teams in the nation in time of possession, the Frogs will again need this formula to come out victorious.
Key #4: Be the more physical team
Key #5: Bring your own energyJust like other road games this season, TCU will need to bring their own energy. They should have a nice crowd decked out in purple but if TCU treats this game like they did their other road games this year, they should come out on top. Senior Kenny Cain will be the vocal leader and you know he'll want to leave every ounce of his being out on the field Saturday night. Look for the young players to continue their growth and for them to take a huge step toward 2013 with a big game in the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl. If TCU can put these things together, it will be a great night for the Frogs and their fans on Saturday.
Prediction: TCU 27 Michigan State 17