UCLA vs. Baylor: Twitter Reaction, Postgame Recap and Analysis
Well, we got half of what was supposed to be one of the most entertaining bowls of the season.
The Baylor Bears did their part in providing a thrilling Holiday Bowl on Thursday night as they dropped 49 points, but the UCLA Bruins responded with just 26 of their own.
In what was projected to be a must-watch back-and-forth battle similar to what Baylor and Washington showcased in last year's Alamo Bowl, the Holiday Bowl was never close.
After an opening-drive punt, the Bears scored on their next three drives in incredibly quick fashion.
Glasco Martin scored a four-yard run to cap off a 53-yard drive that lasted just under two minutes. Quarterback Nick Florence followed that up by finding Antwan Goodley for eight yards to finish off an 84-yard drive in three minutes. Then Florence connected with Tevin Reese down the sideline for 55 yards to complete a 76-yard drive that took just a minute-and-a-half off the clock.
Just like that, it was 21-0 early in the second quarter.
UCLA showed a minuscule sign of life when Brett Hundley found Joseph Fauria for a 22-yard touchdown shortly after, but that was as close as the Bruins would get.
In addition to looking nearly unstoppable on the offensive end (494 total yards, 8.6 yards per carry from Lache Seastrunk, three total touchdowns from Florence), Baylor was able to surprisingly overwhelm UCLA on the other side of the ball.
Johnathan Franklin, one of the most productive running backs in the nation, totaled just 34 yards on 14 carries as the Bruins completed an anemic 1-of-17 third downs and weren't able to establish any type of rhythm.
The Bears finish the season at 8-5 while UCLA closes out the year at a disappointing 9-5 after nearly going to the Rose Bowl.
When UCLA came up just a tad short on a fourth-down try in the second quarter, FOX Sports' Dan Greenspan had an idea about head coach Jim Mora and his questionable play-calling returning to the NFL:
Nothing like an eight-yard pass on 4th and 18. Jim Mora is clearly more than qualified to coach the Chargers.— Dan Greenspan (@DanGreenspan) December 28, 2012
After Baylor took an early 21-0 lead following a long touchdown pass to speedster Tevin Reese, NFL.com's Daniel Jeremiah noted it was probably time for the Bruins to switch up their defensive strategy:
Baylor speed on the outside is a huge problem for UCLA. Time to give up some cushion.— Daniel Jeremiah (@MoveTheSticks) December 28, 2012
Of course, UCLA also needed to fix things on the other side of the ball, too. From CBS Sports' Bruce Feldman:
Not surprised Baylor's lighting up UCLA D, but stunned Bruin O struggling like this: 0-4 on 3rd downs.— Bruce Feldman (@BFeldmanCBS) December 28, 2012
Feldman later made UCLA fans feel even worse:
Baylor came into this game last in the nation in 3rd Down D, allowing over 56%. Bruins are 1-10 on 3rd downs.— Bruce Feldman (@BFeldmanCBS) December 28, 2012
As Baylor Football's official Twitter account revealed, Robert Griffin III wasn't able to hold onto his passing record for very long:
Griffin is currently in the NFL proving that he's not simply a product of Baylor's system, but if I'm a quarterback, I am starting to get intrigued at the idea of playing in this Bears offense.
You know, the same one that scored 35 on the Bruins in the first half (via Pac-12's Bryan Fischer):
UCLA's defense only gave up 35 or more in a game four times this season. Still 1:58 left in the 1st half here. Yikes.— Bryan Fischer (@BryanDFischer) December 28, 2012
UCLA did manage to kick a field goal in the third quarter to cut their deficit to 22, spurring this tweet from Josh Liskiewitz of RookiesScouts.com:
UCLA kicks another FG to get within 8 possessions of Baylor.— Josh Liskiewitz (@JoshLiskiewitz) December 28, 2012
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