Bowl Blitz Invitational #4: 2011 Poinsettia Bowl — TCU @ Louisiana Tech in NCAA Football 12

Today’s guest contribution for the STAT BOX STORIES BOWL BLITZ INVITATIONAL comes from site regular Eric Veneziano as he plays the Poinsettia Bowl between the Horned Frogs of TCU and the Louisiana Tech Bulldogs.  This is Eric’s fourth contibution to STAT BOX STORIES; if you would like to join in on this project as we try to get entries for every Bowl Game from this college football season, visit the forum game list at The Gaming Tailgate to see which games are still available to sign up for.

Bowl season is in full swing as STAT BOX STORIES takes on another match-up in recreating some of the electricity of bowl season. San Diego, California is the destination for this entry as I will play out the Poinsettia Bowl. This may be one of the more interesting match-ups in all of the bowls as TCU, a Top 25 team and once potential BCS buster takes on Louisiana Tech, the WAC champion.

With maybe the largest margin in difference of ratings from NCAA Football 12, I’ll take the control of the LA Tech Bulldogs to see if I can pull out an upset.  TCU won the toss and decided to kick away. I was able to put together a very nice drive with the Bulldogs complete shotgun playbook and march down the field into the redzone on a number of short quick passes. On the second play from the redzone and with the defense on their heels I called a HB screen and my halfback easily scampered into the endzone to give me the early lead.

The game was looking like it was going to be a shootout as TCU took the ensuing kickoff and drove the ball right down the field as well. To my surprise they went to the air a lot more than I expected. My defense stepped up though and my left end broke through for a sack and jarred the ball loose as my middle linebacker recovered for a big change in momentum.

After the turnover, both defenses settled down and even though both teams put together some decent drives the rest of the 1st quarter and all of the 2nd resulted in no scoring. At the half, the score was 7-0 in favor of the Bulldogs.

TCU came out of the half receiving the kickoff and put together a grueling drive that took up about 3 and a half minutes of the 3rd quarter and ended with a 32 yard touchdown run by their halfback. The Horned Frogs seemed determined to establish a running game and pounded the ball for most of the drive and tossing in some quick passes to keep my defense off guard.

I was unable to establish anything the rest of the 3rd quarter but did manage to barely get into the redzone. After 3 plays I settled for a field goal but my kicker didn’t quite get enough of it and it bounced off of the crossbar. The 3rd quarter ended with the score still tied 7-7.

The 4th quarter started off slow as the teams traded field goals and went into the final stretch tied at 10. As the game was coming to an end the fireworks really started. TCU took the ball with about 2 minutes to go and started to put together a good drive that crossed midfield and moved them to about my 30 yard line. My defense once again came up with a huge play and once again it was my left end busting through for the sack and fumble.

With about 50 seconds on the clock and needing about 40 yards to get into field goal range, things were looking good for a LA Tech upset. However, on the very first play my quarterback got popped and a wobbly pass was intercepted at about the 50 yard line. It took TCU about 20 seconds and 4 plays to get into the endzone and take a 17-10 lead with :25 seconds left and all but secured the Bowl Game victory. My offense could have accepted defeat but they refused to. Starting at the 20 yard line I was able to complete a 30 yard pass over the middle to my slot receiver and set us up at the 49 yard line. With a quick timeout to regroup the offense stepped back onto the field. My wide receiver got a step on the safety and my quarterback tossed a beautiful pass laying it just over the shoulder of my wide out in the endzone to tie the game with :11 seconds on the clock and take this game into Overtime.

TCU won the toss in overtime and decided to play defense. I decided to test the secondary one more time on the first play but the safety made an unbelievable play sneaking in front of my wideout on a post pattern over the middle and my first possession ended rather quickly with an interception. My defense came out fired up and after a stuffed run and a sack on first and second down, they gave up a huge play on 3rd down as my safety bounced off of the slot receiver and didn’t wrap him up as he scampered into the endzone for the game winning score.

Overall it was another great game for the BOWL BLITZ INVITATIONAL but I’m down to a 1-2 record in this bowl season. Offensively there weren’t many opportunities for me to run the ball with LA Tech’s playbook but HB #5 did average 4.5 yards per carry. QB#4 had a very good day, completing 65% of his passes for 321 yards. The star of the game though was TCU’s WR #11, who only caught 4 balls but 2 were for touchdowns. One with 25 seconds left and one in overtime, that’s stepping up at the end of a game.

With a bit of a lull in the Bowl Game schedule, the next entry for STAT BOX STORIES BOWL BLITZ INVITATIONAL won’t come until Saturday–Christmas Eve–when the Sheraton Hawai’i Bowl is featured.  Be sure to check back tomorrow for regularly-scheduled STAT BOX STORIES feature, however.

Guest Author Bio:

Eric Veneziano (PS3 ID: psuexv) is a long time gamer dating back to Double Dribble, NES Playaction Football and Baseball Stars and can actually go back to the Atari 2600 and Homerun and Super Challenge Football (love the unique names).  He currently spends his time playing NCAA Football, Tiger Woods and NHL, having stepped away from Madden for awhile.  He claims not to say many interesting things, but he is on Twitter at @psuexv.

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