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Baylor’s defense helps Bears slaughter UCLA

Lache Seastrunk, Datone Jones, Nick Florence AP

Baylor’s defense was one of the worst statistically in 2012, but it looked as though the Bears turned a bit of a corner last month when it physically dominated Kansas State’s offense and then-Heisman frontrunner Collin Klein.

Baylor built on that defensive success in a 49-26 Holiday Bowl win over No. 17 UCLA. The Bears held the Bruins to just 33 rushing yards, one third-down conversion on 17 attempts and less than 50 percent on fourth down conversions. UCLA’s two touchdowns* came when the Bruins started inside the Baylor 40-yard line after recovering fumbles. Had Baylor held on to the ball, it’s possible UCLA would have had fewer points.

(*Technically, UCLA had three touchdowns, but the one as time expired in the game was clearly short of the goal line.)

Speaking of points, Baylor had plenty of ‘em. Art Briles‘ offense had 35 in the first half after running out to a 21-0 start. Though quarterback Nick Florence attempted just 13 passes  he still broke the school’s single-season passing record for yards previously held by some guy named Robert Griffin III (4,293).

But the Holiday Bowl was Florence’s last game. Who takes over the offense next year is to be officially determined, but the Bears still have talent at skill positions led by Lache Seastrunk.  The Oregon transfer is a self-proclaimed preseason Heisman contender next year, rushing for over 1,000 yards this season. He had 138 yards and a touchdown tonight.

This is beginning to feel redundant, but Baylor should be a team to keep an eye on for 2013. Briles’ name has been tossed around for other jobs, but he appears committed. If nothing else, the Bears should be an exciting team to watch once again.

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17 Responses to “Baylor’s defense helps Bears slaughter UCLA”
  1. pricecube says: Dec 28, 2012 1:53 AM

    The Big 12 beat itself up this yr. It does not have one great team but maybe it has 8-9 solid, good teams .. we will see as bowls play out.

  2. alligatorsnapper says: Dec 28, 2012 2:18 AM

    Baylor alums kept telling everyone at work this would happen and few believed, but they did. Good work Baylor! Their resurgent defense definitely made this contest one-sided and should help them win some games in 2013, in addition to those the offense will win. Many opponents this upcoming season will not look well against the Bears.

  3. pdcooper08 says: Dec 28, 2012 3:07 AM

    This was never a close game. Congradulations Baylor, very nice job representing your Conference. As far as ucla goes, what a total joke you where tonight.

    No heart and no fire. What did you do the past month while you waited to play this game? Total joke. Way to end your year on a 3 game lossing streak. I expected so much more for both sides of the ball. That wasn’t the same team that beat USC. Baylor completely dominated

  4. 32stork says: Dec 28, 2012 3:21 AM

    Mora is a joke as a coach. A yeller and screamer is his style. Art Briles outcoached him from the coin toss. Congrats, Baylor.

  5. panthrobro says: Dec 28, 2012 3:49 AM

    I can’t stand watching Pac-12 defenses. They give up a 50 burger every time I watch. Arizona, UCLA gave up 50 in their bowl games. Washington gave up 4 touchdowns. Pac-12 is like the arena league of college football.

  6. louhudson23 says: Dec 28, 2012 5:16 AM

    Straight up honest…my instant reaction to seeing the word “slaughter” in the headline was not a pleasant one.

  7. thegamecocker says: Dec 28, 2012 9:18 AM

    The irony is Baylor was worried the Big 12 would fall apart and they’d have nowhere to land. Remember how they were the first school to sue Texas A&M and Missouri for leaving the Big 12? Now with Art Briles at the helm, they are a legitimate Top 25 team and no longer worrying about their future. Even if the Big 12 does fold, who wouldn’t want a great academic school which Baylor is and a solid sports program which they possess? I could see them in either the PAC 12 or the Big 10 if the Big 12 folds. I think they will survive but they do need to add at least 2 more schools, maybe 4 more. What a difference a year makes…..

  8. artisan3m says: Dec 28, 2012 9:34 AM

    Opinions will vary (widely! ~ especially in Oklahoma) but Baylor may be the best team in the Big 12 right now. Though still a tad weak in the secondary, the Bears have a potent defense and their offense speaks for itself. Art Briles is not through “building” at Baylor and games like last night will ensure great recruiting. Its great to see Baylor, once the next best thing to an open date, rise to prominence. Sic “Em Bears ~ Waco and the conference is proud of you.

  9. artisan3m says: Dec 28, 2012 9:37 AM

    Uh ~ “Waco and the conference ARE …….” Well heck, I was a History major. Whadda expect?

  10. florida727 says: Dec 28, 2012 10:07 AM

    If someone self-proclaims to be a pre-season Heisman contender, you can assure yourself of one thing… they are NOT. Confidence is a great trait to have. Arrogance is not. Sorry, Lache. You won’t appear on anybody’s “watch list” next year, or any other year.

  11. thegamecocker says: Dec 28, 2012 10:07 AM

    @artisan3m

    I was going to call you on the grammar. But you got it right. LOL :)

  12. gorilladunk says: Dec 28, 2012 10:12 AM

    So the Bears finish with 5 losses in the Big 12 and they go out and paddle the rear ends of the third best Pac 12 team. They give up close to 50 a game in conference play and then totally stifle the offense of UCLA. You do the math. Congrats to Baylor. Not a big fan, but I love me some Art Briles

  13. iamjimmyjack says: Dec 28, 2012 10:15 AM

    Hahahaha ucla. hahahah

  14. BigBeachBall says: Dec 28, 2012 10:49 AM

    Ucla hasnt been this good in awhile

  15. artisan3m says: Dec 28, 2012 1:47 PM

    Florida 727, Seastrunk is superb but I have to agree with you ~ arrogance is seldom rewarded except in the NBA where it has replaced defense. Knowing Art Briles as I do, you can be certain that “coach” has addressed this with his player. One of the secrets of success at Baylor has been “team” ~ not a collection of individuals seeking personal awards.

  16. tubbman27 says: Dec 28, 2012 4:52 PM

    The PAC really has disappointed. Expecting the conference to suffer with the looming Oregon sanctions and soon regression to the norm for Stanford. The California talent is too equally spread for any team to truly be a powerhouse anymore. Expect the PAC teams to continue to beat up each other and average 7 wins a season.

  17. greggatx says: Dec 29, 2012 2:13 PM

    The power of the Baylor Bears and the power of the Big 12!! Congratulations Baylor!!

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