Pac-12 links: Utah’s Jordan Loveridge sheds 25 pounds

» Promising Utah forward Jordan Loveridge has dropped 25 pounds since March, spurred in part by his father’s recent diabetes diagnosis. The 6-foot-6 rising sophomore didn’t want his dad to diet alone.

“As close as we are, it’s something that’s made us closer,” Bill Loveridge told the Salt Lake Tribune. “We talked about it once, and then we’ve just kind of gone out and done it.”

» Washington tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins will serve one day in jail for his guilty DUI plea. How long should he be suspended?

» Stanford is the only FBS school that employs African-Americans as athletic director, football head coach and men’s basketball head coach. Is that a big deal? David Shaw: “I think it is a story that it’s not a big story. That’s a great story!” Continue reading

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Pac-12 links: NCAA to announce Oregon resolution Wednesday

» The NCAA will release its findings on Oregon football tomorrow. The Ducks paid a law firm $208,991.48 over a 24-month period as part of their internal investigation into violations.

» Ed O’Bannon’s lawsuit against the NCAA is still awaiting potential class-action certification, but it’s already prompted Moody’s to revise the organization’s credit long-term outlook to negative.

» Both the Holiday and Kraft Fight Hunger Bowls will now be tied to the Pac-12 and Big Ten. The Holiday Bowl will pick from the Pac-12 after the Alamo and Rose Bowls; the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl will pick after that. The Big Ten did not announce any locks into certain selections. Continue reading

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Holiday Bowl: Baylor 49, UCLA 26

Well, that was certainly an ugly game.

What went wrong: Just about everything, but the most glaring was the porous offensive line. Jake Brendel and Torian White both left the game in the first half with high ankle sprains, which forced Brett Downey into his first action in months. Simon Goines also played sparingly, still bugged by a bad right knee. He’ll undergo surgery in the next week or so.

“I think Baylor recognized that we were down, not a man, but two men, and they pinned their ears back and came at us,” head coach Jim Mora said. “It was working. When it’s working and going effectively, you stay with it. We’ve got to build depth at that position and that’s one of our goals.”

Brett Hundley set a UCLA bowl appearance record with 50 pass attempts, which really underscores how one-dimensional the Bruins’ offense looked at Qualcomm Stadium. His previous high was 47 in the 43-17 loss to Cal. In nine wins this season, Hundley averaged 30 attempts. Continue reading

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Holiday Bowl: Running score

FINAL – Baylor 49, UCLA 26: RS Freshman Logan Sweet got his first career touchdown on a 34-yard grab that probably wouldn’t have stood a video review, but stayed on the board nonetheless. It got some sideline staff pretty excited, and did end up giving the Bruins their most single-season point total ever.

Baylor 49, UCLA 19 – 7:46, fourth quarter: Another UCLA turnover on downs gave Baylor the ball 31 yards from the end zone. The Bears ran the ball for seven straight plays to take 3:20 off the clock, with Nick Florence getting the score on the keeper.

Baylor 42, UCLA 19 – 12:25, fourth quarter: Owamagbe Odighizuwa forces a fumble on Glasco Martin, and UCLA takes advantage on the ensuing drive with Brett Hundley’s 24-yard touchdown pass to Shaq Evans. A cornerback tripping on the play helped the Bruins out. UCLA couldn’t convert on two points, and its ensuing onside kick failed as well.

Baylor 42, UCLA 13 – 1:52, third quarter: Glasco Martin punches in a 1-yard touchdown run on fourth-and-goal, one that likely sealed the game for the Bears. The score sent plenty of UCLA fans heading to the exit. Baylor had a short field to work with after the Bruins turned the ball over on downs. With just 41 yards to go, the Bears’ drive mostly involved handing the ball to Martin.

Baylor 35, UCLA 13 – 8:18, third quarter: The Bruins’ longest drive of the game ends with a 40-yard field goal by Ka’imi Fairbairn. Brett Hundley was able to connect for big gains to Shaq Evans and Devin Fuller on the 58-yard drive, but — facing pressure — overthrew an open Fuller in the end zone on third down.

That the drive took 2:55 isn’t particularly encouraging for UCLA, which needs to score quickly to have a chance at closing the gap. It does look much better against the Bears’ defensive pressure, although Hundley did take his sixth sack of the game.

Baylor 35, UCLA 10 – 0:07, second quarter: UCLA settles for the 30-yard field goal on fourth-and-10. Some Bruins fans were clearly unhappy with the decision, raining light boos down as Ka’imi Fairbairn lined up for the try. It was surprisingly conservative choice on a gutsy drive by the Bruins, one that was extended when Jeff Locked scrambled for eight yards and a first down on a fake punt. Continue reading

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Holiday Bowl: How do UCLA and Baylor match up?

UCLA offense vs. Baylor defense: Although they give up more yards than every team in the country except Louisiana Tech, the Bears aren’t the second-worst defense in the college football. Baylor has won four of its past five games because it suddenly discovered the ability to force turnovers. In that span, the Bears grabbed 11 of their 18 interceptions on the season. (Meanwhile, quarterback Nick Florence threw just two picks.) However, this still doesn’t mean that Baylor is a particularly good defense. Only two teams in the Big 12 give up more yards per play than the Bears, which partly negates the argument that their numbers are bad due to the offenses they face.

Though Brett Hundley has thrown a pick in three of this past four games, he is still just 60 yards away from Cade McNown’s single-season passing record and could crack that by the end of the first quarter. Johnathan Franklin could conceivably get 300 yards to hit 2,000 on the season. (Great stat, courtesy of ESPN: Franklin averages 4 yards after contact on fourth-quarter rushes. He averages just 2.1 per carry in the first three quarters.) Edge: UCLA

Baylor offense vs. UCLA defense: Florence isn’t the superstar Robert Griffin III was Continue reading

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Q&A with Waco Tribune-Herald

Here are some answers from Baylor beat writer John Werner.

1. What were expectations like for this team post-RG3? Has this exceeded even the best-case scenario?

I think 7-5 was the best most people thought Baylor could finish. Baylor coach Art Briles was never worried about Nick Florence following RG3. But there were big questions about the defense, and those worries came to fruition when Baylor lost its first four Big 12 games. Continue reading

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Bowl allotment sellout first for UCLA since 2006

UCLA announced yesterday that it had sold its entire 11,000-ticket allotment for the Holiday Bowl, most of which went to season-ticket holders and Wooden Athletic Fund donors. Around 1,000 were assigned for students and their guests, and the first 650 had been discounted from $65 to $25 thanks to anonymous donors.

The athletic department said today it was the first time they’ve sold out a bowl allotment since 2006, when the Bruins went to the Emerald Bowl after beating USC, 13-9. That year, UCLA also requested an additional 1,000 tickets from Florida State’s allotment and sold those as well. The Seminoles won 44-27, but the victory was later vacated due to NCAA violations.

Holiday Bowl tickets are still available at Ticketmaster and Stubhub (lowest going for $59.99).

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