January 2, 2014
The last of six New Year's Day bowl games provided one of the biggest upsets of the BCS era as Central Florida shocked Baylor 52-42 in the Fiesta Bowl. The Golden Knights scored on their first two possessions to establish a 14-0 lead and never trailed in the contest.
Baylor had the chance to tie it at 14-all but a mishandled snap on PAT prevented that opportunity from being realized. And, as it turned out, it wouldn't have mattered anyway on this evening as UCF had an answer for every Baylor comeback threat.
When the Bears cut it to 21-20 late in the 2nd, UCF responded on the next drive to go up 28-20 at halftime. When Baylor caught the Knights at 28-all in the 3rd, UCF went 76 yards in 10 plays to make it 35-28. And when Baylor needed just 4 plays to cover 53 yards and pull to within 42-35 early in the 4th, Central Florida covered 75 yards in 4 plays to make it 49-35.
A 36-yard field goal with 4:44 left gave UCF its largest lead at 52-35 and effectively put the contest out of reach.
Central Florida quarterback Blake Bortles threw for 301 yards and 3 TD's and added a career best 91 yards rushing and another score.
Baylor quarterback sensation Bryce Petty did all he could, throwing for 356 and 2 touchdowns and running for 3 touchdowns and a 2-point conversion.
In the end, as whacky as it sounds for a 52-42 game, it was the UCF defense that made the difference as that unit made enough stops to eventually remove the back-and-forth threat.
Baylor didn't help itself either with 17 penalties for 135 yards.
The win pushed UCF's final record to 12-1 to eclipse its 11-win season in 2010. It was also UCF's 3rd consecutive win in a bowl game to even that record at 3-3.
Baylor dropped to 11-2 on the year and 10-10 in bowl games.
The Congrove Computer Rankings at CollegeFootballPoll.com had Baylor winning comfortably with a 15.10-point edge for the 3rd-widest margin among this year's 35 bowl games.