The 2012-2013 Bowl Blitz Invitational presented by Stat Box Stories continues with the Bridgepoint Education Holiday Bowl, which sees the Baylor Bears (7-5, 4-5 Big 12) taking on the #17 UCLA Bruins (9-4, 6-3 Pac-12) in a battle between two high-scoring teams whose defenses sometimes have difficulty keeping up with the opposition. Jeremy Bennett of The Gaming Tailgate took control of the Pac-12 Conference representative for this Bowl Game showdown.
UCLA Safety Kickstarts 18-point 4th Quarter for Holiday Bowl Win
San Diego, C.A. – Qualcomm Stadium, home to the San Diego Chargers is the setting for the 2012 Holiday Bowl between the Baylor Bears and the UCLA Bruins. This is a tale of two teams going in opposite directions. Baylor tried to get through their first year without Robert Griffin III and ended the season 7-5, going 4-5 in the Big XII. The Bears’ biggest win came on the upset of #1 Kansas State 52-24, which essentially ended the Wildcats’ title hopes. The Bruins went 9-4 on the season, losing in the Pac 12 title game to Stanford; however defeated three ranked teams in Nebraska, Arizona, and USC.
Offenses for both squads are normally potent; however, they sputtered in the first quarter. After a three & out on UCLA’s first drive, a nice punt drove Baylor back to their 20 yard line. A nice athletic play by LOLB #11 was made to pick off the Baylor QB, and he returned it all the way 30 yards for the score. Late in the first and early in the second, Baylor started opening up the playbook, and put the Bruin defense on its heels. A big 62 yard run by QB #11 on a read option play gave Baylor a 14-7 lead early in the 2nd. UCLA’s offense would wake up at the right time to lead a lengthy drive that was capped with a 9 yard TD catch by TE #85 to tie the game at 14. Baylor was not done scoring as it continued to move down the field; however UCLA was able to stop them in the red zone and hold them to a 22 yard FG to make the score 17-14 Baylor at the half.
Baylor only needed 31 seconds in the 3rd quarter to get on the board. Driving down the field quickly, and capping it off with a 34-yard TD reception by WR #2, gave Baylor a 24-14 lead right away in the second half. UCLA would answer right away with a trip to the red zone, but a big sack cost them the chance for a touchdown, and they settled for a 35 yard FG to make the score 24-17. The defense stepped in for the rest of the 3rd quarter, with the exception of Baylor driving down the field at the end of the quarter. The first play of the fourth quarter was a FG for Baylor to make it 27-17. UCLA failed to convert a 1st and goal, and gave the ball back to Baylor on their own 2-yard line. The turning point of the game came on Baylor’s 2nd play as a run to the left was stuffed in the end zone for a UCLA safety to make the score 27-19. From this point on, UCLA’s offense took shape with two long TD passes of 50 and 71 yards. Tack on a late field goal, and that gives you the final score of UCLA 35, Baylor 27.
Player of the Game: UCLA QB #4 who threw for 360 yards with 3 touchdown passes while completing 64% of his passes.
It was over when… RE #99 tackled HB #23 in the end zone for a safety. It was all downhill from there as Baylor was outscored 16-0 after the safety.
Game Ball goes to… RE #99 for the safety that sparked UCLA to victory.
Stat of the Game: 193.3, the QB rating for UCLA’s QB #4 in a very efficient game.
Statistical Tidbits: The starting running backs for each team could not get going at all for either team, averaging 2.2 yards per carry. … The passing game was much better as the two QB’s totaled 642 yards. Baylor’s QB only averaged 12.2 yards, but UCLA’s averaged an even 20.0. … Even though 62 points were scored in this game, there were a total of 24 tackles for losses. … Finally, the 71-yard TD pass from QB #4 ranks 3rd all-time in Holiday Bowl history. Passes of 76 (1996) and 74 (2009) are the only ones to top it.