Tostitos Fiesta Bowl Baylor Bears vs. Central Florida Knights Pick-Odds-Prediction - 1/1/14
Central Florida Knights (11-1) at Baylor Bears (11-1)
College Football: Wednesday, January 1, 2014 at 8:30 pm (University of Phoenix Stadium)
The Line: Baylor Bears -15.5 -- Over/Under: 69 See the Latest Odds
The Central Florida Knights and the Baylor Bears head to Arizona to face off in the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl.
Central Florida enjoyed a banner year with an 11-1 record that was blemished by a three point loss to South Carolina. The Knights have been masters of winning the close ones with eight games decided by just a single score. However, at the end of the day this team could score and defend, which is the reason for their success. The defense carried the day many times and at 346 yards and under 20 points allowed they were a handful to deal with every Saturday. The offense wasn't explosive with 432 yards and 32 points but well above average through the air where they ranked #27 at 280 yards per contest. Blake Borttles completed 68% of his throws for 3,280 yards with 21 touchdowns and seven picks with Rannell Hall (53-773), Breshad Pearriman and (36-763) and JJ Worton (42-665) giving him three quality targets. UCF could pound it on the ground when desired with Storm Johnson totaling 1,015 yards on 193 carries.
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When thinking of Baylor you think about offense and scoring which is right on the money the way this team racked up points and yards. The defense went along for the ride, but had a solid under the radar type season with 344 yards and 21 points given up. The offense was formiddable with 53 points on over 626 yards which were tops in the country. The Bears could run or throw equally as well so it was pick your poison with this group with Oklahoma State somehow holding this unit to a mere 17 points in their only loss. Bryce Petty was not only explosive in the air but he didn't make mistakes while connecting at 62% for 3,854 yards with 30 touchdowns against a pair of interceptions. Antwan Goodley (68-1329), Tevin Reese (33-824) and Levi Norwood (43-670) formed the corp of a very deep and talented group of receivers. When the Bears decided to run it was either Lache Seastrunk (141-1060) or Shock Linwood (125-862) doing the bulk of the heavy lifting.
This is a big spread but for me this is a question of which team has played their schedule the best. That looks like Baylor with Central Florida in many close ones but laying the chalk is tough to stomach...