SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (AP) — Central Florida mostly contained Louisville's Teddy Bridgewater, faced the pass-happy offenses in Conference USA last season, dealt with the up-tempo chaos of June Jones' SMU Mustangs.
The Knights have never seen anything like what they'll face in the Fiesta Bowl on New Year's Day.
Waiting for them in the desert is No. 6 Baylor, a team that plays as though it's stuck on fast forward and this season piled up more yards than every team but one in FBS history.
"Baylor is their own kind of monster," Knights linebacker Terrance Plummer said on Monday.
Monster is a good way to describe it, at least to the teams who have tried getting in the Bears' way.
Using a balanced attacked designed by coach Art Briles, Baylor (11-1) was an unstoppable force all season, leading the nation with 53.3 points per game. The Bears scored at least 70 four times in their first six games and were held under 30 once, by Oklahoma State in their only loss of the season.
Baylor put up video-game numbers of total offense, averaging 624.5 yards per game, second all-time in FBS history to Houston (624.9) in 1989 and 51 more than the next-closest team this season.
The Bears had their biggest game against West Virginia on Oct. 5, setting Big 12 records with 864 total yards and 73 points in a blowout victory.
Perhaps the closest thing Central Florida (11-1) saw to Baylor this season was South Carolina, which averaged 170 fewer yards and nearly 20 fewer points. The Knights lost to the Gamecocks 28-25 on Sept. 28
"They have a very explosive offense," Central Florida coach George O'Leary said. "I don't think anybody is going to stop them. I think you have to slow them down and get off the field. That's the big thing when you play Baylor."
The problem is trying to figure out what to stop.
With most high-scoring, yards-amassing teams, the focal part of the offense is usually a strong passing or running game. Find a way to stop that one aspect and you'll have a pretty good shot at beating them.
Baylor is equally good at passing and running.