This will only be the fourth time that Georgia has faced TCU on the football field in the school’s history. So far, the Bulldogs have always come out on top and hold a 3-0 series record against the boys in purple, but if Georgia wants to get win number four in the series, they are going to have slow down the the three “H’s.” Here are some Frogs to watch in the Liberty Bowl.
KYLE HICKS (RB, # 21)
Hicks, a 5-10, 210-pound junior, presents a double-threat to the Georgia defense as he not only is TCU’s leading rusher with 954 yards (5.1 per-carry avg.) and 12 touchdowns but is also the Horned Frogs’ leading receiver with 42 catches for 396 yards and two touchdowns. Hicks has helped lead TCU to a No. 23 national ranking in total offense with a 450-yards-per-game average. Thus, the Bulldogs’ defense is facing a big challenge in attempting to slow down the versatile Hicks, who hails from Arlington, Tex.
KENNY HILL (QB, # 7)
This is the guy who gets the football to Kyle Hicks and the other TCU pass catchers. The 6-1, 205-pound junior out of Southlake, Tex. is a transfer from Texas A&M where he started the opening eight games at quarterback in 2014 before then transferring to TCU and sitting out the 2015 season. And Hill has shined in his first season directing the Horned Frogs’ attack, passing for 3,062 yards and 15 touchdowns this year while completing 60.8 percent of his passes. But he has thrown a Big 12-leading 13 interceptions this fall. The Georgia defense certainly can’t ignore Hill’s running either as he has kept the ball for 537 net yards this season while tallying nine touchdowns.
TRAVIN HOWARD (ILB, #32)
And when the Bulldogs go on offense, they certainly must get a hat on this guy. For Travin Howard not only is the Horned Frogs’ leading tackler but leads the Big 12 in tackles as well with 125 stops, which includes 70 solo tackles. A converted safety, the 6-1, 210-pound junior from Longview, Tex. is similar physically to Georgia’s leading tackler, Roquan Smith, and like Smith has the speed to go from sideline to sideline bringing down opposing running backs and receivers. And not only does the TCU defense have Howard, it also has fellow sophomore inside linebacker Ty Summers (#42). Summers at 6-2, 235 recorded 113 tackles this season, second-best in the Big 12 to Howard’s total.
(TCU HEAD COACH)
This veteran coach is in his 16th season as coach of TCU after taking over the helm of the Horned Frogs in December 2000. Patterson has become synonymous with TCU football and Fort Worth and rates as the school’s all-time winningest coach with 149 victories. He led TCU to a 2014 Big 12 championship in just its third season in the conference and the Horned Frogs have won six conference championships, in three different leagues, under Patterson. Patterson has won a total of 20 national Coach of the Year honors in his coaching tenure at TCU and his .738 winning percentage ranks fifth among active coaches nationally (minimum 10 years). Patterson is also one of just four active coaches with at least 149 victories at their current school. Thus, this year’s Liberty Bowl coaching matchup contrasts the Bulldogs’ first-year head coach, Kirby Smart, with one of the most established veterans in the business in Gary Patterson.