Cheez-It Bowl

California (7-5) vs TCU (6-6)

Date/Time: Wednesday, December 26th at 8 pm CT

Location: Chase Field in Phoenix, AZ

Bowl history

Originated: 1989

Conference tie-ins: Big 12, Pac-12

Last year’s result: Kansas State defeated UCLA 35-17

California bowl history

Cal is 11-10-1 all-time in bowl games. 

This is Cal’s first appearance in a bowl since 2015, when they defeated Air Force in the Armed Forces Bowl

Cal is appearing in the Cheez-It Bowl for the third time in school history. The first two times were wins over Virginia Tech in 2003 and Wyoming in 1990.

TCU bowl history

TCU is 16-16-1 in bowl games all-time including a 39-37 win over Stanford in last year’s Alamo Bowl.

This is the second Cheez-It Bowl appearance for TCU. Previously, they lost to Michigan State 17-16 in 2012. 

12 of TCU’s 16 bowl wins have come since 1998, going 12-6 during that span.

Series history

The Cheeze-It Bowl will be the first ever matchup between California and TCU.

Key player to watch for each team

California: Linebacker – Evan Weaver

TCU: Wide Receiver – Jalen Reagor 

Game Notes:


California can be summed up like this. Certainly, they are a strong defensive team with quarterback problems on offense. Cal ranks 16th in the nation in total defense, led by Evan Weaver, Jordan Kunaszyk and others. Head coach Justin Wilcox has done a fabulous job of turning Cal around into a defensive juggernaut, although they have a ways to go offensively. They have done a good job by forcing 24 turnovers this year, but the offense has turned it over 26 times. 

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TCU had a host of injuries, a player kicked off the team (KaVonte Turpin) and a backup quarterback playing this season. Yet, they still ended up 6-6 and finished the regular season with the Big 12’s best defense. Certainly, that tells you how good of a coach Gary Patterson is. Like Cal, TCU has suffered through quarterback issues as well as other problems on offense. All of that has led to the Horned Frogs ranking 93rd on that side of the ball. 

Final analysis

On paper, it appears that this game should be a defensive struggle. Obviously, this looks like a tight, low scoring game where one team has no distinct advantage over the other. Which team turns out to be the most motivated may in fact take the Cheez-It Bowl title. 

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– David Creekmur covers College Football/Basketball, WNBA and College Women’s Sports for Full Press Coverage. Like and follow on Twitter

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