How to Watch Michigan vs. TCU: TV Channel, Live Stream, Fiesta Bowl Odds, College Football Playoff Game

The College Football Playoff features two relative newcomers to the party this season in the Fiesta Bowl, a semifinal for the College Football Playoff National Championship as No. 2 Michigan and No. 3 TCU meet in Glendale, Arizona. The Wolverines and Horned Frogs should provide one of the most interesting matchups we’ve seen this college football season with a lot at stake.

While Georgia is the reigning champion and Ohio State has made the CFP in three of the last four seasons, TCU is making its playoff debut and Michigan just made its first playoff appearance last season. The matchup between the Wolverines and the Horned Frogs will also mark the first time the two programs have played in football, and you couldn’t ask for higher stakes or a better setting for the first meeting of the series.

Michigan’s 13-0 campaign was fueled by ruthless efficiency on both sides of the ball. The Wolverines are one of two top-10 teams in both scoring offense and defense. That well-rounded dominance was on full display when Michigan went to Columbus and handed rival Ohio State a 45-23 loss, the second win in as many years against the Buckeyes for eighth-year coach Jim Harbaugh.

But while Harbaugh has spent nearly a decade building the program to beat Ohio State, win Big Ten titles and make the College Football Playoff, Sonny Dykes has soared with TCU to the top of the sport in just the first of the season. TCU, 5-7 in 2021, finished the regular season 12-0 before falling in overtime to Kansas State in the Big 12 Championship Game. That seven-win turnaround was fueled by one of the most explosive offenses in the country, a Heisman Trophy finalist at quarterback in Max Duggan and a team that has shown resilience in the thick of things with a 5-1 record in one-score games.

Michigan’s dominance over its opponents has made it the favorite, but there’s a lot more to this matchup that stands out before we get to the pick of the game.

Follow all the action in the Fiesta Bowl semifinal LIVE updates from Michigan vs. TCU.

How to watch the Fiesta Bowl live

Date: Saturday, Dec. 31 | year: 4 p.m. ET
Location: State Farm Stadium — Glendale, Arizona
TV: ESPN | Live broadcast: fuboTV (Try Free)

Michigan vs. TCU: I need to know

Donovan Edwards carrying the load: Michigan’s Blake Corum was a Heisman Trophy candidate before a knee injury against Illinois on Nov. 19 effectively ended his 2022 campaign. Although he suited up for the regular-season finale against Ohio State, he scored just two carries while Donovan Edwards took over the top running back duties. Despite missing the Big Ten Championship Game, Corum’s 1,463 yards and 18 touchdowns are still good enough to rank in the top 10 in both categories.

Having Corum would be preferable to not having him in the lineup for the College Football Playoff, but the good news is that Edwards appears ready to rise to the challenge of leading the Wolverines’ rushing efforts. Edwards ran for 216 yards and two touchdowns in the win against Ohio State and then added 185 yards on the ground in the Big Ten Championship Game against Purdue. When Michigan’s offense is clicking on all cylinders, it punishes opponents at the point of attack and opens up space for an explosive back to deliver a splash game. If Michigan is going to control the game when they have the ball, they need Edwards to continue the form he showed after Corum’s injury.

A unique test for Michigan’s defense: Michigan has faced a pair of dangerous offenses in its last two games, but TCU presents a whole new challenge for the Wolverines. Duggan is one of the best deep ball passers in the country, ranking first in the FBS in completion percentage and touchdowns on passes thrown longer than 20 yards. He’s also productive, throwing three or more touchdowns in eight of his 12 starts this season, and has a pair of dynamic wide receiver options in deep-threat specialist Quentin Johnston and all-purpose star Derius Davis. Throw in Kendre Miller, who is having one of the best rushing seasons TCU has seen since Ladanian Tomlinson, and the Horned Frogs have an offense that has a lot of different ways to pick off a defense.

TCU brings plenty of close game experience: The Horned Frogs’ magical streak included multiple second-half comebacks and the ability to find a way to win close games during the regular season. TCU went 5-0 in one-score games during the regular season and nearly pulled off another comeback as Duggan led an injury-riddled attack on the field to force overtime against Kansas State in the Big 12 title game before falling behind .

Michigan, on the other hand, doesn’t have much experience even playing in close games. The Wolverines lead all FBS teams by an average margin of victory of 26.7 points per game and have had just two games all season decided by one score: A 34-27 win against Maryland earlier in the season and the 19-17 against Illinois which included Blake Corum’s knee injury. If the oddsmakers are correct in their predictions, we could be looking at a close late-game contest in which TCU would have the experience advantage.

Fiesta Bowl Prediction, Picks

TCU has an experience advantage playing in close games if the betting market’s predictions play out on the field. However, history says that the College Football Playoff semifinals are not close games. Of the 16 semifinal games played since the format was established in 2014, only three have been decided by even single digits, and nine of those 16 games have been decided by 20 points or more. I’m not predicting Michigan to win by three touchdowns, but the spread coverage seems to fit his ability for ruthless efficiency and the historical trend of how these games tend to play out. Prediction: Michigan -7.5

What college football picks can you make with confidence during bowl season, and which underdogs will win outright? Visit SportsLine to see which teams will win and cover the spread — all from a proven computer model that has returned nearly $2,500 in profit over the past six-plus seasons — and find out.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *