Early look: Valero Alamo Bowl -- TCU-Oregon

TCU and Oregon averaged over 40 points per game in games started by Trevone Boykin and Vernon Adam Jr. Getty Images

TCU will take on Oregon in the Valero Alamo Bowl on Jan. 2.

Here’s an early inside look at the game:

Matchup to watch: The nation will tune in for Trevone Boykin vs. Vernon Adams Jr., a showdown of two of the game’s finest dual-threat quarterbacks. Adams finished the regular season as the star we all expected to see coming out of Eastern Washington, winning six straight starts with a TD-to-INT ratio of 21-4 along the way. Six weeks have passed since Boykin’s ankle injury, so he should be back to full speed for his finale as a Horned Frog. TCU averaged 44.8 points per game with a healthy Boykin. Oregon scored 42 a game in Adams’ starts. Taking the over when these two go head-to-head seems like a good call.

Stat to watch: Oregon finished the regular season with the fifth-worst scoring defense and total defense in Power 5. The Ducks allowed a generous 6 yards per play against FBS opponents and gave up the second-most completions per game among its Power 5 peers. They’re coming off a game in which a 2-10 Oregon State team burned them for 42 points. Defensive coordinator Don Pellum isn’t the most popular guy in Eugene at the moment. With a month of prep, TCU’s staff concocted one heck of a plan last year for their bowl win over an Ole Miss defense loaded with future NFL talent. Can this Oregon defense come up with the critical stops?

Coaching edge: Gary Patterson and Mark Helfrich are two of the game’s more respected coaches, but it’s hard to look past the fact this 2015 team and season might be Patterson’s most impressive coaching job yet. TCU lost at least seven starters to season-ending injuries, saw more than 20 key contributors miss time with injuries and ended up having to use a total of 30 freshmen, second-most in FBS. Biletnikoff Award finalist Josh Doctson was hurt for the Frogs’ biggest games of the year, and Boykin couldn’t play against Oklahoma. And yet, they still finished 10-2. No knock on Helfrich here, but the degree of difficulty was certainly much higher for Patterson and his coaches.