UCF SET TO MAKE HISTORY IN FIESTA BOWL TONIGHT
By Chip Fontanazza // January 1, 2014
KICKOFF SET FOR 8:30 P.M.
ABOVE VIDEO: UCFKnights.com reporter Chip Fontanazzan and UCF color analyst Pat O’Hara preview the Knights’ first BCS bowl game against the Baylor Bears in the 2014 Tostitos Fiesta Bowl.
Knights are the youngest program (1979) and school (1963) to make it to a BCS bowl
PHOENIX, ARIZONA (UCFKnights.com) – After countless hours of studying film, lifting weights and practicing in the hot Florida sun, the No. 15 UCF Knights (11-1, 8-0) football team is only hours away from playing in its biggest game in school history.
The 2014 Tostitos Fiesta Bowl against the No. 6 Baylor Bears (11-1, 8-1) will kick off Wednesday at 8:30 p.m. local time.
UCF has won its last two bowl games and is playing in its third bowl game in the last four years, but this is the first BCS bowl game in program history. The Knights are the youngest program (1979) and school (1963) to make it to a BCS bowl and will face a Baylor team that is also making its first BCS bowl appearance.
EIGHT GAME WINNING STREAK
The Knights come into the matchup with a school-record eight game win streak and the third-ranked scoring offense (33.2 points per game) in the American Athletic Conference.
AAC Offensive Player of the Year Blake Bortles and three other first-team all-conference performers will lead UCF’s offensive attack against the Bears’ second ranked scoring defense in the Big 12 Conference.
On defense, UCF has given up only 20 points or less in five of its last six games. The Knights enter the contest with the second ranked scoring defense in the AAC giving up only 19.6 points per game. First team all-conference performer Terrance Plummer led the team with 96 tackles and eight tackles for loss.
Since George O’Leary has taken over as head coach for the Knights they’ve face teams from the Big 12 Conference three times. A win against Baylor would give the Knights their first 12-win season in school history, first win over a Big 12 program and its first BCS bowl victory.
The game day forecast calls for a zero percent chance of rain with a projected high of 71 degrees and a projected low of 40 degrees. However, the roof will be closed at University of Phoenix Stadium.
To go in-depth and learn more about UCF’s match up with Baylor, click on the links below for the media notes, distributed by the communications staff of both squads.
UCFKnights.com – Media Day Fiesta
UCFKnights.com – Neighborly Knight
Orlando Sentinel – George O’Leary Credits his assistant coaches for getting team ready in close wins
Orlando Sentinel – UCF’s Orlando players take pride in helping Knights grow, succeed
Waco Tribune – Fiesta Bowl Notebook: Baylor, UCF looking for nation’s respect
ESPN.com – UCF’s defense relishes underdog role
SI.com – Fiesta Bowl Breakdown: Baylor vs. UCF
Bowlin’ in the BCS
–No. 1 – Getting Ready
–No. 2 – Arriving in Arizona
–First Press Conference
–No. 3 – Time to Work
–Fly, Knight and Win
–Meet UCF’s New Defensive Coordinator
–UCF’s Team Awards Banquet
–No. 4 – A Busy Saturday
–No. 5 – Defense at the Stage
–Media Day Fiesta
–No. 6 – Food, Fun, Practice, Media, Oh My
–Incredible Resort for the Knights
–No. 7 – What a Scene
Kickoff is set for 8:30 ET, 6:30 MT. The game will be broadcast on ESPN and the UCF IMG Sports Network. Fans can also watch the game on the WatchESPN link.