Rose Fiesta Preview Capsule

Published on NewsOK Modified: December 31, 2013 at 1:09 pm •  Published: December 31, 2013
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FIESTA BOWL

No. 6 Baylor (11-1) vs. No. 15 Central Florida (11-1), 10:15 p.m. (ESPN)

Line: Baylor by 16 1/2.

Series Record: First meeting.

WHAT'S AT STAKE

Both teams are playing in a BCS bowl for the first time. Baylor has been building toward this in its six seasons under Art Briles after making appearances in smaller bowls the previous three years. A decided underdog, Central Florida is trying to cap off the best season in school history and prove it was worthy of a BCS bowl berth.

KEY MATCHUP

Central Florida's defense against Baylor's offense — all of it. The Bears led the nation in scoring at over 53 points per game and in total offense with 624.5 yards, which was second-most in FBS history — by percentage points — behind Houston in 1989 and 50 more than any other team this season. What makes Baylor so good is that it gains all those yards with a near-equal reliance on passing and running, leaving the Knights with a tough decision on what to try stopping.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Baylor: QB Bryce Petty. The junior led the nation in yards per completion at 17.4, was second in passing efficiency at 179.2 and eighth in passing yards per game at 320.3. He has several talented receivers and a running back (Lache Seastrunk) who can take the pressure off.



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