Bortles, UCF Slug Baylor In Fiesta Bowl
GLENDALE, Ariz. – Blake Bortles rolled proper, crashed into two defenders and floated a cross to an open receiver just before happening. The 2 gamers who had a bead on Central Florida's quarterback stayed on the bottom, every pounding his palms into the turf because the receiver ran up the sideline.
Out of reach all game, the Knights pulled off one of many greatest upsets of the bowl season by outlasting the nation's prime offensive group in a rousing BCS debut.
Bortles stymied Baylor with his arm and legs whereas accounting for 4 touchdowns, Storm Johnson ran for three more scores, and No. 15 Central Florida turned the highest-scoring Tostitos Fiesta Bowl into a giant-play get together by outlasting the sixth-ranked Bears fifty two-forty two on Wednesday night time.
"There's not many exterior of us who consider we had an opportunity, but we did and I feel we confirmed what UCF football is all about," Bortles said.
Central Florida (12-1) wasn't given a lot of a chance, coming into the sport as a 17-point underdog.
The Knights did not care about the spread and certainly didn't back down from the massive, dangerous Bears, racing past Baylor with an array of huge plays.
They took an early 14-point lead and kept rolling, piling up 556 complete yards within the second-highest scoring BCS bowl ever.
Bortles, the junior who could be weighing a jump to the NFL, was the catalyst, throwing for three touchdowns on 20-of-31 passing and working for 93 yards and another rating.
Rannell Hall accounted for among the largest plays, catching 4 passes for 113 yards and two touchdowns. Johnson stored Baylor from ganging up on UCF's passing sport, grinding out 124 yards on 20 carries.
A lot for not having a shot.
"It's an important win, a fantastic feeling for everyone who's been by this system," UCF coach George O'Leary stated.
Known for its offensive prowess, Baylor (11-2) had a hard time maintaining with the Knights.
The Huge 12 champions finished with 550 total yards but were uncharacteristically undisciplined, getting 17 penalties for a hundred thirty five yards.
Bryce Petty tried to maintain the Bears in it, working for 3 touchdowns while throwing for 356 yards and two extra scores. Lache Seastrunk had some big runs in the first half and completed with 117 yards.
None of it was enough, with the way UCF ran through Baylor's protection.
"We caught a football staff that was sizzling," Baylor coach Artwork Briles mentioned. "They performed extremely properly early, obtained into us. We tried to play catch-up the whole recreation, never could flip it round when it wanted turning."
The Fiesta Bowl was the BCS coming-out celebration for Baylor and Central Florida earlier than faculty football's swap to a playoff system next season.
The Bears had been building toward this since Briles became coach in 2009, winding up his high-octane offense to steer the nation in scoring and churn out the second-most yards in Football Bowl Subdivision history.
Central Florida had a slower rise underneath O'Leary.
The coach, who was fired by Notre Dame five days after being hired for lying on his résumé, has built his popularity again up in Orlando, taking a program that went winless in 2004 to the inaugural American Athletic Convention title and computerized BCS berth this season.
The matchup was projected to be just like the 2011 Fiesta Bowl, through which mighty Oklahoma rolled over Connecticut 48-20.
The Knights weren't listening.
They opened with a seventy six-yard scoring drive capped by Johnson's sort out-breaking, 11-yard landing run. Johnson scored again on UCF's next possession, this time on a 2-yard run.
The early 14-0 lead was expected. The staff main wasn't.
Baylor finally revved up its offense late in the first quarter, scoring on a 1-yard TD sneak by Petty, and Central Florida appeared as if it was ready to collapse with turnovers on three consecutive plays.
Baylor turned only a kind of into points: a 30-yard cross from Petty to Levi Norwood. Petty adopted Johnson's fumble with an interception in the long run zone, simply his third of the season.
"Unfortunately, that was the turning point in the sport," Petty mentioned. "We needed that to avoid wasting momentum up for us, particularly after a turnover. Turnovers in the red zone kill an offense."
Then came the spectacular plays, seemingly one after another.
Corridor darted and dashed via Baylor's protection for a 50-yard landing on a display screen pass, with help from Josh Reese's downfield block.
Petty hurtled himself into the tip zone, flipping over UCF's Brandon Alexander to cap a thirteen-yard run. That gave Baylor 659 factors, breaking the NCAA record for a 13-recreation season set by Texas (652) in 2005.
The momentum was gone shortly after, when Corridor turned a swing cross right into a 34-yard touchdown – assisted again by Reese – to put the Knights up 28-20 at halftime.
Petty scored his third touchdown on 1-yard run within the third quarter and dashed in for the 2-point conversion to tie the game, however Central Florida still wouldn't back down.
Bortles hit Breshad Perriman on a ten-yard landing pass and opened the fourth quarter by scoring on a 15-yard run to place the Knights up 42-28.
Even after Baylor moved quickly for a 9-yard touchdown run by Glasco Martin, UCF had a solution, going up 49-35 on Johnson's forty-yard run by the heart of the Bears' protection.