VRBO Fiesta Bowl Preview And Prediction: TCU vs. Michigan

NCAA Football: Iowa State at Texas Christian

Here is everything you need to know about the upcoming VRBO Fiesta Bowl (CFP Semifinal) matchup between the TCU Horned Frogs and the Michigan Wolverines.


Saturday, December 31, 2022; 3:00 p.m. CT; State Farm Stadium; Glendale; Arizona

TV: ESPN (Sean McDonough, Todd Blackledge, Molly McGrath, Tiffany Blackmon)

Radio: Horned Frog Sports Network (Brian Estridge, John Denton, Landry Burdine)

Records: TCU (12-1, 9-0 Big 12); Michigan (13-0, 9-0 Big Ten)

Rankings: TCU ranked No. 3 (CFP Top 25); Michigan ranked No. 2

Last Week: TCU 28, Kansas State 31; Michigan 43, Purdue 22

Series History: No Previous Matchups

Last Meeting: N/A

Favorite: Michigan (-7.5)

Fun Fact: TCU is the first Big 12 team not named Oklahoma to make an appearance in the College Football Playoff. Cincinnati, who will be a member of the Big 12 in 2023, made an appearance in last year’s playoff before being bounced by Alabama in the semifinals.




QB Max Duggan

The 2022 Davey O’Brien award winner and Heisman runner-up, Max Duggan has been one of the most electric players in all of college football this season. In 2022, Duggan completed 64.9% of his passes for 3,321 yards and 30 touchdowns with just four interceptions, adding 112 carries for 404 yards and six touchdowns on the ground. If TCU is going to take down Michigan, it will take a big effort from the Horned Frogs’ best player.

DB Tre’Vius Hodges-Tomlinson

On the other side of the ball, TCU’s secondary is in good hands with the 2022 Jim Thorpe Award Winner, Tre’Vius Hodges-Tomlinson. Hodges-Tomlinson spearheads what has been an aggressive defensive backfield that ranks in the top 15 nationally in interceptions (14) this season. Hodges-Tomlinson has been an impact player for the Horned Frogs for several years and will have to keep the Michigan wide receivers in front of him with a ton of play-action coming his way.

Michigan Wolverines

RB Donovan Edwards

Michigan running back Blake Corum suffered a knee injury against Illinois and tried to give it a go against Ohio State. Unfortunately, he left the game after two carries and is out for the remainder of the year after season-ending knee surgery. However, Michigan’s backup, Donovan Edwards is perhaps the best backup in the country. Edwards has turned 117 carries into 872 yards (7.5 ypc) and seven touchdowns this season and will be the main weapon that the Wolverines try to use against TCU.

LB Michael Barrett

An unsung hero for the Wolverines, linebacker Michael Barrett has been a do-it-all defender for one of the best defensive units in the country. Barret ranks second on the team in tackles (67), third in sacks (3.5), and third in interceptions (2), one of which he returned for a score. Barrett will be one of the key contributors in this game for Michigan, and if his presence allows Mike Morris to get going in the pass rush going it would be extremely beneficial for UM.




Can TCU shake off its first loss of the season and win the biggest game in school history? TCU making the playoff is a massive accomplishment, but the Frogs have the opportunity to be the first team from the Big 12 to actually win a playoff game. Beating Michigan is doable, and TCU is a much better team than most of the country realizes. If TCU can go into Glendale and play its game, Michigan will have a hard time stopping the Horned Frogs offense, which has been potent all season long.

Michigan Wolverines

Can Michigan push TCU’s front seven around? Texas tried to, but failed, and Bijan Robinson was held to pedestrian numbers in that one. Kansas State had much more success, getting Deuce Vaughn loose for 130 yards and a score on 26 carries. Michigan wants to impose its will and run the ball down its opponent’s throat. If TCU can force them to throw the football, the Horned Frogs stand a chance to take this game and find themselves in a national title game.


PREDICTION: Michigan 35, TCU 31

This game is going to be close. In fact, I believe this will be the best pair of college football playoff games that we have had since the system was implemented. Most year’s we see one game become extremely lopsided, while the other turns out to be competitive. This year, we get good football in both games and I do think TCU has a real shot at winning this game. However, Michigan is one of the most efficient teams in the country, both offensively and defensively. If Michigan gets a sizable lead, it will be tough for the Frogs to do what they’ve done all year and come back to win the game in the end. I think this game is close all the way through, but Michigan’s run game wins it for them in the end, as they hold off Max Duggan and the Horned Frogs in the fourth quarter.

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