The Baylor Bears walked into the 2014 Tostitos Fiesta Bowl on Wednesday night against the UCF Knights of the American Athletic as 17-point favorites. They walked out wondering what had just happened, just as everyone who was watching was, as the Knights rode the talents of their two stars–QB Blake Bortles and RB Storm Johnson–to a rout of the Bears, 52-42.
Things really didn’t get out of hand until the fourth quarter, as it was pretty much a dogfight throughout, but in the end, Johnson and Bortles were just too much for the maligned Baylor defense.
Bortles, in what might have been his final game in the collegiate ranks, finished the game with 301 yards passing and three touchdowns through the air. To further showcase his versatility, he scorched the Bears’ defense for 93 yards on eight carries plus another score, having him account for four total touchdowns on the evening.
Storm Johnson also made his presence felt in a big way, rushing the ball 20 times for 124 yards and three touchdowns.
Just as these two have done throughout the season, this impressive duo wore down the opposing defense, and then put it away down the stretch. In this one, most notably, Johnson put the exclamation point on everything with a 40-yard scamper with just over 10 minutes to go in the fourth quarter to put the Knights up 49-35.
Baylor didn’t do themselves any favors in this one, not just with their poor defensive effort, but by committing 16 penalties on the night that cost them a total of 120 yards.
With the phenomenal, program-changing win, UCF finishes this season at 12-1, while the Bears–who also had a season to remember–will head into next season after finishing this year at 11-2.