Holiday Bowl 2012: UCLA vs. Baylor Complete Game Preview, Prediction

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Holiday Bowl 2012: UCLA vs. Baylor Complete Game Preview, Prediction
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The 2012 Bridgepoint Education Holiday Bowl is shaping up to be one of the most exciting postseason matchups of the year, at least if you're a fan of offense.

The Baylor Bears (7-5, 4-5 Big 12) boast the top-ranked total offense in the country, averaging 44.1 points per game on 578.75 yards per game, but they have one of the worst defenses in the FBS.

The Bears, led by senior QB Nick Florence, scored 34 or more points in 10 games this season, and they eclipsed the half-century mark five times. However, the defense allows over 38 points per contest, which is poor enough to rank No. 115 in the country.

Baylor lost three games this season in which the offense put up 34, 50 and 63 points. Needless to say, that amounts to a horrid defensive effort that has limited the Bears' progress as a program.

But the good news for Baylor is that No. 17 UCLA (9-4, 6-3 Pac-12) and head coach Jim Mora are in a very similar position.

The Bruins possess a potent offense of their own, ranking No. 20 in the country with 474.54 yards per game. But the defense has been inconsistent, entering the bowl ranked No. 55 in scoring, allowing close to 26 points per game.

Senior RB Johnathan Franklin has had a stellar season in Westwood, leading the Bruins to a Pac-12 South title with 1,700 yards rushing and 13 TDs.

If the UCLA defense had been able to buckle down in crunch time, the Bruins could be playing on New Year's Day in Pasadena. Instead, they have to settle for a midtier matchup with Baylor.

Assuming the postseason is more of the same from these two teams, you can expect plenty of scoring and very little defense on Thursday.

Read on for a complete preview of the Holiday Bowl, including game information, injury news, scouting reports and a prediction. 

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