The 2016 edition of the Liberty Bowl features two teams hungry for a season-ending victory in the wake of campaigns which fell well short of expectations.
The Georgia Bulldogs (7-5) and TCU Horned Frogs (6-6) weren’t as tough of outs as many folks expected this season, but the pair match up well and should play an excellent, competitive game in Memphis.
Liberty Bowl game time, details
Date: Friday, Dec. 30
Time: Noon ET
Location: Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium, Memphis, Tenn.
Weather: Sunny and 47 degrees at kickoff
The spread: TCU is favored by 3.5 points
What TV channel is the Liberty Bowl on?
ESPN is televising the Liberty Bowl.
How can I watch the Liberty Bowl online?
You can stream the Liberty Bowl at WatchESPN.
Who is calling the Liberty Bowl?
Beth Mowins is handling play-by-play with Anthony Becht as color commentator and Rocky Boiman as sideline reporter.
Where can I find the Liberty Bowl on the radio?
The game can be heard on Georgia Bulldogs Radio Network affiliates.
Liberty Bowl keys to the game
Nick Chubb and Sony Michel
Just as it was a lackluster season for the Bulldogs, it was also, unsurprisingly, a lackluster season for the pair of should-be star tailbacks. The pair rushed for just just 1,741 yards between them, 988 for Chubb and 753 for Michel. If TCU’s run defense keeps them both under the century mark — Chubb averages 82.3 and Michel averages 68.5 — the Frogs should have little trouble containing Georgia.
Corralling Kenny Hill
Frogs QB Kenny Hill was once the “Next Big Thing” in college football, but that seems like a lifetime ago. This season he was just an interception-prone QB who was the cause of most of TCU’s offensive woes. Hill threw 13 interceptions this season, more than one per game, so don’t be surprised to see Georgia’s excellent secondary snag a pick or two. Hill is a mobile QB, though, rushing for 537 yards and 9 touchdowns. Georgia fans should be much more concerned with what Hill can do with his legs than his arm.
The kicking battle
These teams are evenly matched, so the game could be decided by a just a few points, which means field goals could be important. UGA kicker (and folk hero) Rodrigo Blankenship has missed just three of his 16 field-goal attempts, with two of those coming from 40-plus yards, and he has a leg up on TCU kicker Brandon Hatfield, who has missed four kicks from 30-39 yards and attempted only one longer than 40 yards.