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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