VIDEO: UCF Arrives Home To Exuberant Welcome
By Andrew Jennette // January 3, 2014
UCF-Baylor Postgame Notes
ABOVE VIDEO: Several hundred University of Central Florida fans, family members, students and supporters greeted the players back home on Thursday afternoon. The underdog Knights whipped the Baylor Bears in the Fiesta Bowl, winning their third-consecutive bowl game and set a school record with their 12th victory of the season. (Rhett Lighthall video)
GLENDALE, ARIZONA (UCFKnights.com) – The most memorable season in UCF football history ended with the most memorable win in program history. In thrilling fashion, the Knights took a 52-42 triumph over Baylor in the 2014 Tostitos Fiesta Bowl.
The Knights (12-1) won their third-consecutive bowl game and set a school record with their 12th victory of the season.
UCF came into the season with just one victory over a ranked opponent and ended tonight’s historic effort with their second over a ranked squad this season alone. To make the accomplishment even more impressive, both wins over ranked teams came over Top 10 opponents.
“Well, obviously it was a great win for UCF, the fan base and everybody that came out from Orlando,” head coach George O’Leary said. “I thought the kids went out and executed what they were coached all week and back on campus.”
Junior quarterback Blake Bortles was named the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl Offensive Player of the Game after racking up 301 passing yards and three touchdowns to go along with a career-high 93 yards rushing and a touchdown.
“It’s awesome to be a part of this,” Bortles said after the game. “We came in together, we weren’t highly touted guys out of high school, but we came to UCF on a mission. We’re going to try and keep that going.”
LARGEST YARDAGE TOTALS BY UCF IN A BOWL GAME
ABOVE VIDEO: Watch highlights from the Knights’ historic 52-42 victory in the 2014 Tostitos Fiesta Bowl against the Baylor Bears.
UCF’s offense matched Baylor’s high-powered attack every step of the way. The Bears came into the contest leading the NCAA in scoring offense and total offense, but it was the Knights that racked up 52 points and 558 total yards for the victory. The points and yardage were the largest totals ever by UCF in a bowl game and against a ranked opponent.
Much was said before the game about how the Knights’ defense would stack up against Baylor’s up-tempo offense. UCF, however, came into the game with the 13th-ranked scoring defense in the nation. The Knights forced seven Baylor punts and two turnovers, while holding the Bears 11 points and 75 yards beneath their season averages.
The Knights began to put the wild back-and-forth affair on ice when Storm Johnson ripped off a 40-yard touchdown run to give UCF a 49-35 advantage with 10:26 remaining.
Johnson set a new career high with 124 rushing yards and matched his season-high mark with three rushing touchdowns. The Knights accounted for the winning total with a 36-yard field goal from Shawn Moffitt with less than five minutes remaining.
UCF OFF TO A ROARING START
After receiving the opening kickoff, the Knights churned out 76 yards in six rush attempts, capped off by an 11-yard touchdown burst by Johnson. This marked the first touchdown drive of the season for the Knights that came without a single pass attempt.
After forcing a three-and-out, the Black and Gold again marched down the field, primarily on the strength of its rushing attack. After Bortles found Breshad Perriman streaking down the left sideline for a 34-yard gain, UCF returned to its ground control attack with four consecutive running plays. Johnson’s 2-yard touchdown plunge gave the Knights a 14-0 advantage just eight minutes into the contest.
Junior Rannell Hall proved once again that his nickname, “Speedy” is appropriate as he took two short, second-quarter passes to the house. Both catches were made near the line of scrimmage and featured Hall out-running the Baylor secondary, with help from some terrific blocking from fellow wideouts Josh Reese, J.J. Worton and Taylor Oldham.
While Bortles brought home Offensive Player of the Game honors, Terrance Plummer was named Defensive Player of the Game. The junior linebacker racked up a game-high 14 tackles, including half a sack. Sean Maag (12 tackles) and Clayton Geathers (10 tackles) both recorded double-digit stops as well.
For 2014 season ticket information and details on how to join the GKC, call 407-UCF-1000.
By Brian Ormiston and Andrew Jennette
|UCF vs. Baylor
Jan. 1, 2014
|From University of Phoenix Stadium|
-UCF (12-1) won its third straight bowl game and set a school record with its 12th victory this season.
-The Knights will carry a school-record nine-game winning streak into the 2014 campaign, where they will open up vs. Penn State in the Croke Park Classic in Dublin, Ireland.
-The winningest senior class in school history ends with a four-year record of 38-15 from 2010-13. The .717 winning percentage also is a school record over a four-year span.
-UCF stayed undefeated away from Bright House Networks Stadium, going 7-0 away from home. Its lone loss was a three-point affair to then-No. 12/13 South Carolina.
-The Knights entered the year with one win in program history over a ranked team (No. 13/12 Houston in 2009). This year they posted two, both over top-10 teams in No. 8/6 Louisville and No. 6/5 Baylor.
-It marks the first win for UCF against a Big 12 team. Earlier this year it posted its first victory vs. a Big Ten team (Penn State).
-It was the first BCS game for both UCF and Baylor.
-UCF was the youngest school (1963) and football program (1979) to ever participate in a BCS bowl.
-The Knights scored first Wednesday. In six bowl games, UCF has scored first four times.
-UCF rushed six times on its first drive of the game to take a 7-0 lead. It was its first touchdown-scoring drive this year in which the Knights did not have a pass attempt.
-UCF scored 28 points in the first half, marking the most Baylor had given up in the opening 30 minutes this year.
-The longest drive of the first half by either team was UCF’s 3:36 scoring drive in the first quarter. It was the only drive of at least three minutes by both schools in the opening 30 minutes.
-With 52 points, UCF scored the most points vs. a ranked team in school history (previous-high was 38 vs. Louisville this year).
-With 556 yards, the Knights recorded their most total yards against a ranked team in school history (previous-high was 447 vs. Florida in 1999).
-The Knights committed four penalties for 40 yards, while Baylor committed a season-high 17 penalties for 135 yards.
-52 points was the most allowed by Baylor in a game this season (previous-high was 49 vs. Oklahoma State on Nov. 23).
-Captains for UCF were: seniors Jeff Godfrey, Jordan McCray and Justin McCray. They were voted as the 2013 season captains by their teammates after the UConn game.
-Blake Bortles was named the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl Offensive Player of the Game after recording 301 passing yards and three passing touchdowns as well as a career-high 93 rushing yards and one rushing touchdown.
-Bortles picked up his longest rush of the season with a 29 yarder on the game’s opening drive.
-With three touchdown passes, Bortles finished his season with 25 on the year in 13 games. Bortles also threw 25 touchdown passes in 2012 in 14 games.
-Rannell Hall posted a reception in his 28th straight game, tying Mike Sims-Walker for the sixth longest streak in UCF history.
-Hall added 50-yard and 34-yard touchdown receptions in the first half. He now has five touchdown catches this year. It is the third time in his career he had two touchdown receptions in a game.
-Storm Johnson set a season high with 124 rushing yards and tied a season high with three rushing touchdowns.
-Thomas Niles recorded his fourth sack of the season and the ninth of his career.
-Brandon Alexander collected his third interception of the year and the fourth of his career.
-Breshad Perriman notched his fourth touchdown reception of the year and his seventh in his two-year career as a Knight.
-Terrance Plummer was named Tostitos Fiesta Bowl Defensive Player of the Game after racking up a team-high 14 tackles, 0.5 sacks and 0.5 tackles for loss.
-Plummer ended his season by setting new career highs with 110 total tackles, 2.5 sacks, 8.5 tackles for loss, two forced fumbles, six passes defended and two interceptions.
-Miles Pace was credited with the other 0.5 sack, giving him 1.5 sacks for the season.
-Shawn Moffitt hit a 36-yard field goal in the fourth quarter and was a perfect 7-for-7 on extra points.
UCF RECORD BOOK
-Bortles single season: 25 touchdowns (tied 5th), 259 completions (4th), 382 attempts (7th), 67.8% completion percentage (5th), 3581 yards (3rd), 163.3 efficiency (2nd)
-Bortles career: 56 touchdowns (4th), 585 completions (4th), 891 attempts (5th), 65.6% completion percentage (2nd), 7,598 yards (4th)
-Johnson single season: Johnson 213 attempts (7th), 1,139 yards (6th), 14 touchdowns (tied 3rd)
-J.J. Worton career: 16 receiving TDs (tied 9th)
-Moffitt finished 21-of-23 on field goal attempts. 21 field goals made and 91.3% accuracy are each the highest single season marks in program history. Moffitt also tied the school record by converting 100% (49 of 49) of his extra point attempts.