|6/5/6 BAYLOR (11-1, 8-1) vs. 15/15/15 UCF (11-1, 8-0)
Jan. 1, 2013 | 7:30 p.m. CT/6:30 p.m. MT
Glendale, Ariz. | University of Phoenix Stadium (73,000)
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Baylor and UCF will meet for the first time in the 43rd annual Tostitos Fiesta Bowl.
Baylor is enjoying the program's first-ever 11-win season, Big 12 championship and BCS bowl game.
Baylor has been ranked in the AP top 10 for 8 consecutive weeks -- a school record, while achieving BU's highest ranking since 1953 (No. 3) on Nov. 17.
Baylor is 7-5 overall vs. AP Top 25 teams in 2011, 2012 and 2013, including a 6-0 mark at home.
Baylor is an FBS-best 15-2 after Oct. 31 over the last 3 seasons (2011, 2012 & 2013).
Baylor's 36 wins over last 3+ seasons (2010-13) is most-ever for four-year period in program history.
Baylor is the most successful FBS-team in Texas since 2010 with a win percentage of .706 (36-15).
Baylor is appearing in its 4th straight bowl game for first time in school history and looking to win 3rd consecutive bowl for first time. BU is 10-9 in 19 previous bowl appearances and 2-1 under Art Briles.
Baylor will play for the third time in Arizona (0-2) and for the second time in a bowl game (L, 24-0 to Indiana in 1991 Copper Bowl) in the Grand Canyon state.
Baylor's high-octane offense ranks first nationally in total offense (624.5 ypg) and scoring (53.3 ppg).
Baylor is the only FBS school averaging 300+ passing yards (5th, 359.3) and 250+ rushing yards (12th, 265.2) this season.
The Baylor offense is climbing its way up the school single-season record books. BU has amassed 7,494 yards of total offense (2nd all-time), 4,312 passing yards (3rd), 33 passing TDs (3rd), 3,182 rushing yards (2nd) and 43 rushing TDs (1st).
Baylor needs 14 points to set the all-time NCAA record for most points in a 13-game season. BU needs 631 yards to set the NCAA record for most yards in a single-season.
Baylor has won 15 of its last 16 games.
Baylor is 2-1 vs. ranked foes this year and 7-5 over the last 2+ seasons.
Baylor is 1 of 4 schools ranked by the AP in football, men's basketball and women's basketball. The Bears (No. 6 FB, No. 12 MBB, No. 9 WBB) are joined by Oklahoma State, Duke and Louisville.
Baylor's quick-strike offense has scored 26 TDs on drives of one minute or less (57 of 2:00 or less).
Baylor has scored 30+ points in 29 of its last 32 games and has scored 40+ points in 9 of 12 games this season, including four 70+-point games.
Baylor has gained 500+ yards in 8 of 12 games this year, including 7 games over 600 yards.
Baylor has tallied 7+ wins for 4th straight season for first time in program history.
Baylor has totaled six, 1-play TD drives this season (20 TD drives of 3 plays or fewer).
Baylor had five players (Ahmad Dixon, Antwan Goodley, Bryce Petty, Cyril Richardson, Spencer Roth) named to at least one All-America team, a program-record.
11 different Baylor players have recorded an interception this season, including K.J. Morton (3), Terrell Burt (2), Demetri Goodson (2), Eddie Lackey (2), Joe Williams (2), Ahmad Dixon, Sam Holl, Xavien Howard, Chris McAllister, Taion Sells and Orion Stewart.
Baylor's offense is second in the NCAA in: Pass Efficiency (176.59) and Passing Yds/Comp (17.46).
Baylor's regular-season finale was the last game at 64-year old Floyd Casey Stadium as the Bears move into the new $260 million riverfront Baylor Stadium next season.
Baylor is outscoring opponents 387-110 in the first half this year (32.3-9.2 average halftime score).
Baylor is currently No. 6 in the AP Top 25 and the BCS standings and No. 5 in the Coaches poll.
Baylor's starting defensive unit allowed up just 27 TDs through 12 games.
Baylor has trailed for just 72:16 over last 14 games (840 total minutes) dating to 2012 (13-1 during span).
Baylor is 5th nationally and 2nd in the Big 12 in passing (359.3 ypg).
Baylor is 12th in the country and 1st in the Big 12 in rushing offense, averaging 265.2 yards per game.
Baylor's defense is 7th in the FBS and 2nd in the Big 12 in tackles for loss with 7.9 per game.
Baylor's defense is 12th nationally and 2nd in Big 12 in red zone defense (73.0%).
Baylor's opponents are 7 of 28 (25.0%) on 4th down. That mark is 2nd in the FBS and leads the Big 12.
Baylor's defense has 17 interceptions this season, while only allowing 19 passing TDs.
Baylor ranks 19th in the FBS and 2nd in Big 12 in scoring defense, giving up only 21.2 points per game.
Baylor ranks 17th in country and 2nd in Big 12 in total defense, surrendering only 344.0 yards per game.
Baylor has posted at least 400 yards offense in 38 of 39 games and is averaging 594.02 yards per game since 2011. Both marks lead the nation.
Baylor's 53.3 points per game is close to breaking Army's NCAA record of 56.0 in 1944, the Big 12's record of 51.1 by Oklahoma in 2008 and BU's record of 45.3 in 2011.
Baylor's 624.5 yards per game number is just behind Houston's NCAA record of 624.9 in 1989 and the program record of 587.1 in 2011.
Baylor has topped 700 yards in 5 of last 12 games and 600 yards in 9 of last 15 (14-1 record in span).
Baylor has completed 29 passes for 40 yards or longer this season, including 19 for TDs.
Baylor is 86 of 184 (46.7%) on 3rd downs this year, which is 16th-best in FBS and 2nd in the Big 12.
Phil Bennett's defense has forced 2 or more turnovers in 14 of its last 19 games (Baylor's record is 16-3 in that span). BU is 24-2 when forcing 2+ turnovers during Bennett's 2+ seasons.
Baylor is 25th nationally and 2nd in Big 12 in sacks with 2.67/game. BU is 24-5 over past 3+ years with 2+ sacks in a game.
Baylor's defense leads the nation in forced 3-and-outs per game with an average of 6.50 per contest.
Baylor leads the FBS in fewest offensive 3-and-outs with only 16.4 percent ending in that fashion.
Baylor's team passing efficiency defense is 8th-best nationally and leads the Big 12 at 105.97.
Baylor's 639 points on the season are the most scored in any season in school history, passing the 589 scored in 2011 and its 85 total touchdowns are five better than the 80 scored in 2011.
Baylor's 95 tackles for loss are 1 shy of tying the program record set in 1978.
Baylor's 32 sacks are 8 shy of tying the program record set in 1992.
Baylor has four 70-point games this season -- only three such games in its 111 years prior.
In first 12 games of year, BU notched 6 of top-7 single game yardage totals in program history with 692 vs. Wofford, 714 vs. ISU, 743 vs. KU, 781 vs. UB and ULM and school and Big 12 record 872 vs. WVU.
The 2013 Bears have posted the top-5 scoring outputs in school history in the modern-era (post-WWII) in their first 12 games with 69 vs. Wofford, 70 vs. both Buffalo and ULM, 73 vs. West Virginia and 71 vs. ISU.
6 of BU's 12 games (73, 71, 70, 70, 69, 63) are among the 25 highest scoring games in the NCAA this year.
Baylor has set a total of 121 records this season. See page 13 for a full list of records achieved.
Baylor's 5 interception return TDs this season are tied for the program record set in 1989.
Big 12 Offensive Player of the Year QB Bryce Petty leads the nation with 17.47 yards per completion and is second in passing efficiency (179.2).
Petty has thrown for at least 200 yards and 2 TDs in each of his 12 starts.
Petty leads Big 12 and is 8th nationally in Passing Yds (320.3).
Petty has tied Robert Griffin III's program record of 9 300-yard passing games in a season.
Petty broke Robert Griffin III's school record (209) for consecutive attempts without an interception, setting the new mark at 229.
With 1 more 200-yard passing game, Petty will break Griffin III's program single-season record of 12 (2011).
Petty on Baylor single-season lists: 3rd passing yards (3,844), 3rd passing TDs (30), 3rd TD responsibility (41), t-6th rushing TDs (11) and 3rd total offense (4,036).
Senior WR Tevin Reese leads the country in yards per catch 25.0. He has caught a BCS-era career record 21 touchdowns of 40 yards or more.
OG Cyril Richardson, a finalist for the Outland Trophy, became the seventh unanimous All-American in program history. He leads the team with 83 knockdowns on the year and a coaches' grade average of 89.0.
WR Antwan Goodley leads the Big 12 in receiving yards per game (109.9) and receiving TDs (13). He is 9th and 7th in the nation in those categories, respectively. The junior is 1 of only 5 BU receivers to have more than 1,000 receiving yards in a single season (1,516).
Goodley leads the nation with 8, 100-yard receiving games and needs to do it once more to tie BU's all-time single-season record.
Goodley (13 TDs) is in 2nd place on the Baylor single-season list - and with 1 more TD catch will tie Kendall Wright's single-season record of 14.
Running back Lache Seastrunk leads the Big 12 and is 23rd nationally with 106.0 rushing yards per game. He is averaging 7.5 yards per carry, which is 9th nationally, and his 11 rushing TDs are 2nd in the Big 12.
Senior PK Aaron Jones is the nation's active leader with 185 straight made PAT attempts. He is the Big 12's all-time leading kicking scorer and is second in NCAA history.
Jones is 78-for-78 on PATs in `13. BU's career leader in scoring with 447 points and FGs made (59).
Jones holds the NCAA all-time record for most PATs made (265).
Jones (120 points) set a new program record for single-season kicking points, passing his 119 set in 2012.
Redshirt freshman RB Shock Linwood is 6th in Big 12 with 78.4 rushing yards per game.
Linwood (862 yards) broke the BU record for rushing yards by a freshman set by Robert Griffin III in 2008 with 843.
RB Glasco Martin has 6 rushing TDs in 2013 (had 15 in 2012, the 2nd-most in BU history). He has 24 for his career, which ranks tied for 5th all-time at BU.
DE Chris McAllister is tied for 1st on the school career sacks list with 15.0. With 1 more sack, McAllister will pass Daryl Gardener (15.0, 1992-95).
WR Levi Norwood has caught a pass in 26 consecutive games.
Norwood has 2 punt return TDs this season and is the first BU player to ever have 2 in a career.
Punter Spencer Roth leads the Big 12 and is fifth nationally with a punting average of 46.1. He was recognzied by SI.com as an honorable mention All-American.
Safety Ahmad Dixon earned a spot on 7 different All-American teams, including first-team recognition from Sporting News and AFCA. He is the vocal leader for BU's much improved defense.
BRILES' SYSTEM IS AMERICA'S TOP OFFENSE
Baylor leads the country in total offense (624.5 ypg.) and scoring offense (53.3 ppg.). The Bears are the only team in the country to be ranked in the top 12 for both passing (5th, 359.3) and rushing offense (11th, 265.2). Baylor's offensive machine has ranked among the nation's top two offenses in each of the past three seasons, the only school to achieve the feat.
BAYLOR SCORING AT LIGHTNING PACE
The Bears have scored 57 of their 76 offensive TDs this season in under two minutes, including 26 in under one minute. BU is averaging 6.3 plays per scoring drive in 2013 with an average length of 63.9 yards and an average time of 1:48.
SUCCESS AT HOME IN `THE CASE'
Baylor is on a nine-game winning streak at home and has compiled a 22-3 record in Floyd Casey Stadium over the past three-plus seasons (including having won 18 of its last 19 games). Over its last 19 games in Waco, BU is beating its opponents by average score of 52-24 (994-458), while totaling an average of 623 yards of offense per game. Baylor plays a school-record tying seven home games during Floyd Casey's curtain-call season in 2013.
BAYLOR HOME WINNING STREAK AMONG NATION'S BEST
Baylor's nine straight home wins ties a school record, which has been achieved twice before (2011-12 & 1978-80). The streak is tied for the nation's sixth-longest active streak.
BAYLOR SCORING AT LIGHTNING PACE
The Bears have scored 56 of their 73 offensive TDs this season in under two minutes, including 25 in under one minute. BU is averaging 6.2 plays per scoring drive in 2013 with an average length of 65.0 yards and an average time of 1:46.
BEARS AT THEIR BEST POST-HALLOWEEN
Baylor has compiled an FBS-best 15-2 mark in games after October 31 since 2011 (10-2 in Nov., 5-0 in Dec.). Included in those games is a 6-2 record vs. AP Top 25 teams (wins over No. 5 OU in 2011, No. 2 K-State, No. 23 Oklahoma State and No. 17 UCLA in 2012 and No. 12 Oklahoma and No. 23 Texas in 2013).
THE NATION'S MOST BALANCED OFFENSE
Despite scoring quick touchdowns in its first 12 games, Baylor has continued to establish its run game in order to set up the pass play. The Bears have 588 rushes on the season and only 401 passes. Baylor is the nation's only team to rank among the top 25 in both rushing and passing in each of the last four years.
DEFENSE HALF OF THE EQUATION FOR SUCCESS
Baylor's underrated defense doesn't get the credit it deserves, but the success of the Bears is directly related to their stingy D. Baylor ranks 17th nationally in total defense (344.0 yards per game) and 19th in scoring defense (21.2 yards per game).
BAYLOR CLINCHES FIRST-EVER BIG 12 TITLE
A journey that started in 2008 culminated on Dec. 7, 2013, as Baylor hoisted its first Big 12 championship trophy, after a resounding 30-10 win over No. 23 Texas. Winning the Big 12 title was one of Art Briles' stated goals when he was hired and thanks to a 27-point second half and Oklahoma's win over Oklahoma State earlier in the day, BU earned its first outright conference title since 1980 in the Southwest Conference.
RICHARDSON IS BAYLOR'S SEVENTH UNANIMOUS ALL-AMERICAN
Senior offensive guard Cyril Richardson, an Outland Trophy finalist and winner of the Jim Parker Award, became the seventh unanimous All-American in program history by earning All-America first-team honors from 13 different publications, including the five recognized by the NCAA to garner unanimous status. Richardson is the leader for a Baylor offensive line that blocks for the nation's top offense. He is just the fifth Baylor player to earn All-America honors in two different years. The Bears have now had unanimous All-Americans in back-to-back years for the first time in program history (Terrance Williams, 2012).
FIVE PLAYERS EARN ALL-AMERICA ACCOLADES
Four other players joined Richardson as All-Americans, after each was recognized by at least one publication. The five All-American players is a new BU record, surpassing the four players honored in 1951. Head coach Art Briles has now had 18 All-America selections in his six years in Waco. In the 12 years prior to his arrival, Baylor had a total of three selections. This year's group of All-Americans include Richardson and senior S Ahmad Dixon, junior WR Antwan Goodley, junior QB Bryce Petty and junior P Spencer Roth.
BRILES EARNS RECOGNITION FOR CHAMPIONSHP SEASON
After leading Baylor to the most wins in program history and its first Big 12 championship, head coach Art Briles was recognized as a finalist for four different national coaching awards and named the Big 12 Coach of the Year by seven different organizations.
NORWOOD ON A TEAR TO END SEASON
With an injury sidelining senior receiver Tevin Reese for the final four games of the regular season, junior receiver Levi Norwood has been up to the task of replacing the Biletnikoff watch list member in the passing game. Over his last five games, Norwood has 27 catches for 436 yards and six touchdowns. He also has a punt return TD during that stretch.
BEARS D STEPPING UP
A significant, but often overlooked component to Baylor's success in 2013 is the improvement of the defense. The Bears veteran D has made huge strides in defensive coordinator Phil Bennett's third year on the job. BU ranks 17th nationally and second in the Big 12 in total yards allowed (344.0/game) and 19th nationally and second in the Big 12 in points allowed (21.2/game).
STARTING OFFENSE IS WELL-OILED MACHINE
Baylor's starting offense has had 144 drives that have resulted in 68 touchdowns, 13 FGs, 37 punts, nine turnover on downs, one safety, six missed FGs, two interceptions and eight fumbles (eight End Of Halfs not included).
BU has scored first in nine of its 12 games this year to help it outscore its opponents by a combined total of 204-50 in the opening quarter. BU has put points on the scoreboard in the 1st quarter in 27 of its last 29 games dating back to Nov. 19, 2011.
REESE SET TO RETURN FOR FINAL GAME
A dislocated wrist suffered vs. Oklahoma kept three-time All-Big 12 honoree Tevin "Sweet Feet" Reese on the sideline for the final four games of the regular season. The senior, who was on the Biletnikoff Award watch list and is averaging 103.0 receiving yards per game, will now return for the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl. He's currently third in Baylor history with 3,059 career receiving yards and 24 career receiving touchdowns, and his 182 career receptions are fourth-most ever at Baylor. One of the nation's best big-play threats, Reese averages 52.6 yards per TD reception, and 21 of his 24 career receiving TDs have gone for 40 or more yards. The 21 TDs of 40 or more yards is a BCS-era record. Reese leads the country with 25.0 yards per reception.
BAYLOR'S DISRUPTIVE DEFENSE
Baylor's veteran defense, which ranks 17th nationally in yards (344.0 ypg) under third-year defensive coordinator Phil Bennett, has proven to be a force in disrupting opposing offenses through 12 games in 2013. The Bears are close to doubling their average sacks and tackles for loss (compared to recent seasons) and are on pace to top recent totals for interceptions and total turnovers.
PERHAPS THE NCAA'S BEST OFFENSE EVER
The Baylor offense is on record pace for scoring and yards this season as the Bears are averaging 53.3 points per game, 624.5 yards per game and 7.58 yards per play. BU's points mark is close to Army's NCAA record of 56.0 in 1944, the Big 12's record of 51.1 by Oklahoma in 2008 and BU's record of 45.3 in 2011. The Bears' yards per game number is just behind Houston's NCAA record of 624.9 in 1989 and the program record of 587.08 in 2011. Baylor's yards per play average is below the pace of Hawaii's NCAA record of 8.6 in 2006 and the program record of 7.63 in 2011.