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UCF pulls biggest upset in BCS with 52-42 victory over Baylor

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Posted: Thursday, January 2, 2014 7:59 am

The University of Central Florida football team had never been in a Bowl Championship Series game in its history and was not expected to stand a chance against No. 6 ranked Baylor in the Jan. 1 Fiesta Bowl at University of Phoenix Stadium.

Someone forgot to tell the Knights as Blake Bortles passed for 301 yards and three touchdowns and rushed for another to lead UCF to a 52-42 victory over Baylor in one of the biggest upsets in BCS history.

 “There is not many outside of us who believe we had a chance, but we did and I think we showed what UCF football is all about,” Bortles said.

Central Florida (12-1) entered the game a 17-point underdog, but never trailed in the game.

“It’s a great win, a great feeling for everyone who’s been through the program,” UCF coach George O’Leary said.

UCF struck first when the Knights took the opening kickoff and marched 76 yards in six plays, culminating on running back Storm Johnson’s 11-yard touchdown run.

The Knights extended their lead on their next possession, after forcing a punt on Baylor’s first possession, UCF marched 51 yards on five plays, ending when Johnson rumbled two yards for his second score of the game, putting UCF up 14-0 midway through the first quarter.

“We caught a football team that was hot,” Baylor coach Art Briles said. “They played extremely well early, got into us. We tried to play catch-up the whole game, never could turn it around when it needed turning.”

Baylor answered back when Bryce Petty rumbled for a one-yard touchdown run late in the first quarter and Levi Norwood caught a 30-yard pass from Petty, which got the Bears within one after a failed two-point conversion with eight minutes left in the second quarter.

 The two teams then traded touchdowns to put UCF up 28-20 at halftime.

Baylor tied the game early in the third quarter when Petty ran for a one-yard touchdown and then ran again for the two-point conversion.

But Bortles answered right back and marched the Knights76 yards on nine plays, ending when he hit Breshad Perriman on a 10-yard touchdown pass with a little more than five minutes left in the third.

Bortles then put the Knights up 42-28 when he broke two tackles and raced 15 yards for a touchdown a minute and a half into the final quarter.

“We knew our abilities. We knew what we could do,” said Bortles. “We really play well on big stages; it is something we thrive on.”

After moving from Conference USA into the ACC this year, UCF got little respect coming into the game, with people saying that it was a down year for the ACC.

UCF earned its way to the Fiesta Bowl by winning a program-record 11 games in 2013. Despite a three-point loss to South Carolina early in the season, UCF was able to recover and win eight straight games, going undefeated within the American Athletic Conference.

“UCF played an outstanding game,” Briles said. “They came out hot and fast early and we never really recovered.”

The Fiesta Bowl was the BCS coming-out party for Baylor and Central Florida before college football’s switch to a playoff system next season. Glendale will host the college football championship game in 2016 at University of Phoenix Stadium.

The schedule for future college football championship games, 2014 through 2017 (taken from the BCS website):


Jan. 1 - Rose Bowl Game presented by VIZIO (Pasadena, Calif.)

Jan. 1 - Tostitos Fiesta Bowl (Glendale, Ariz.)

Jan. 2 - Allstate Sugar Bowl (New Orleans)

Jan. 3 - Discover Orange Bowl (Miami)

Jan. 6 - VIZIO BCS National Championship Game (Pasadena, Calif.)


Dec. 31 - Orange Bowl (Miami)

Dec. 31 - Chick-fil-A Bowl (Atlanta)

Dec. 31 - Fiesta Bowl (Glendale, Ariz.)

Jan. 1 - Sugar Bowl (New Orleans) - College Football Playoff

Jan. 1 - Rose Bowl (Pasadena, Calif.) - College Football Playoff

Jan. 1 - Cotton Bowl (Arlington, Texas)

Jan. 12 - College Football Playoff Championship Game (Arlington, Texas)


Dec. 31 - Orange Bowl (Miami) - College Football Playoff

Dec. 31 - Cotton Bowl (Arlington, Texas) - College Football Playoff

Dec. 31 - Chick-fil-A Bowl (Atlanta)

Jan. 1 - Sugar Bowl (New Orleans)

Jan. 1 - Rose Bowl (Pasadena, Calif.)

Jan. 1 - Fiesta Bowl (Glendale, Ariz.)

Jan. 11 - College Football Playoff Championship Game (Glendale, Ariz.)


Dec. 31 - Orange Bowl (Miami)

Dec. 31 - Chick-fil-A Bowl (Atlanta) - College Football Playoff 

Dec. 31 - Fiesta Bowl (Glendale, Ariz.) - College Football Playoff

Jan. 2 - Sugar Bowl (New Orleans)

Jan. 2 - Rose Bowl (Pasadena, Calif.)

Jan. 2 - Cotton Bowl (Arlington, Texas)

Jan. 9 - College Football Playoff Championship Game

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