The 6th ranked Baylor Bears were a 17 point favorite and came into the game heralded as an offensive powerhouse and many of their fans figured it would be over early.
But they were wrong and this game turned out to be an offensive shootout between two talented programs and perhaps the most exciting game of the 2013-14 bowl season.
Led by QB Blake Bortles 301 yards, four total touchdowns and career high 93 yards, the Knights stuck to their season long motto of “Humble and Hungry.” And because of the outstanding performance, Bortles has risen to the number two quarterback prospect for the upcoming 2014 NFL Draft.
Just like the Knights, Baylor who was in the school’s first BCS Bowl game, was led by their quarterback. Bryce Petty was the catalyst of an offense that averaged a nation’s best 624.5 yards and scoring 53.5 points per game.
From the opening kickoff, the Knights quickly silenced the non believers with two scoring drives led by Bortles and the powerful running game of RB Storm Johnson to take a 14-0 lead. However Baylor would respond by narrowing the lead down to 14-13 and seemed to be picking up steam. Even when UCF began to unravel a little bit giving up three turnovers on three consecutive plays UCF Coach George O’Leary was able to call a timeout and get the knight’s heads back into the game displaying the leadership that has earned him the recent and much deserved praise from the world of college football.
UCF in the second half kept their foot on the pedal and refused to back down even when the score was tied at 28. Following a 10 yard strike by Bortles to WR Breshad Perriman the Knights established a 35-28 lead and would never look back. With amazing offensive performances by Storm Johnson with three touchdowns and two additional touchdowns by WR Rannell “Speedy” Hall the Knights put together an offensive onslaught.
Though the Knights offense did post 52 points this game the unsung heroes of this game would have to be the UCF defense who stepped up to the challenge. Led by defensive player of the game LB Terrence Plummer who racked up 14 tackles the Knights were able to pressure Baylor QB Bryce Petty. UCF was able to tackle in the open space, and prevent the deep passing attack that has been such a vital part of Baylor’s up tempo high scoring offense.
As the time had finally expired the Knights were crowned Fiesta Bowl champions and had once again shocked not only Baylor but the world.
Offensive Player of the Game Bortles showed love for Knight Fans everywhere who bleed black and gold “”I think we came out here and showed what UCF is all about.” The valiant effort by UCF was able to show the world that UCF doesn’t only stand for opportunity but was able to show all of us that Underdogs Continue Fighting.