2009 Alamo Bowl Preview

Hal Brandenburn is taking a look at the 2009 Alamo Bowl with a detailed writeup on the game. Let’s take a look at some of the major points to see if he can’t help us decide which team to back when making our college bowl picks this season. Texas Tech is a 7.5 point favorite over Michigan State. If you are looking for a great place to bet the game then consider the $20 free play you get for signing up for a new account at Sportsbook.com!

This year the Red Raiders will be playing the Spartans of Michigan State in the Alamo Bowl. Let’s take a preliminary look at several interesting points to watch for in this game.

The Incident

The recent embarrassment that Michigan State has faced in light of the attack that took place involving 10 of their players has changed this game entirely, both physically and emotionally. This will add a lot of media attention for the game, but this will probably be mostly positive for State, as the country will probably feels sorry for the remaining players. It’s tough to gauge whether the emotion of the players in reaction to the fiasco will either make them play above their ability or below it.

The loss of three starters could be a major issue as well. They will be especially short at the receiver position, where they lost Mark Dell and B.J. Cunningham. The Spartans do still have their top receiver, Blair White, who will certainly be a challenge for Texas Tech’s top corner, Jamar Wall.

Michigan State’s Defense

For a Big Ten school, Michigan State has an ineffective defense. However, given 15 practice days to prepare, they could be as ready for Texas Tech’s offense just like Minnesota was the last time that the Red Raiders played in the Alamo Bowl.

The Spartans have had issues in the secondary all season, which won’t be helped by the absence of suspended cornerback Chris L. Rucker. Due to the pass heavy attack the Red Raiders employ, this could be a real danger to Michigan State. There will be lots of pressure on Greg Jones to hurry Taylor Potts and force him to make the bad decisions that he is known for.

Texas Tech’s Defense

Ruffin McNeill, Brandon Sharpe, and the Texas Tech defense have quietly made a statement this season and will be looking to do so in front of the nation with this bowl game. Many people are looking for this to be a high-scoring affair, but with Tech’s improved defense and State’s loss of receivers, the Spartans may have problems scoring points.

Consistency has been an issue this year, though less than in previous years. Their only real breakdown came against Texas A&M, a team that has shown the potential to put up points against a lot of teams.

Texas Tech Offensive Line

This injury-plagued unit has been a question in basically every game this season. They have suffered several injuries throughout the season, including to Terry McDaniel, who is out for the season. The line hasn’t been able to mesh as a unit because of injuries, which has cost the team dearly in the Texas and Houston games. It will be interesting to see if they have the chemistry to stop Greg Jones and the Spartan defense.

Overall, this looks to be a promising matchup that will give both teams a chance to showcase themselves on a national stage. Hopefully, Michigan State’s off the field issues won’t be too much of a factor and Texas Tech will bring a consistent front so that it will be an exciting game.