Earlier this college football season, the Baylor Bears (7-5, 4-5) made a statement by knocking off previously undefeated and the number one team in the country, Kansas State, 52-24. Meanwhile, the UCLA (9-4, 6-3) fell to Stanford in the Pac-12 Championship game, but had a few quality wins over the year (Nebraska, and USC).
Baylor lost Heisman Trophy winning quarterback Robert Griffin III to NFL, but reloaded with senior Nick Florence. Florence is the national leader in total offense with 387.7 yards per game. He has thrown for 4,121 passing yards, 31 touchdowns, 13 interceptions, and completed 61.2% of his passes on the year.
The Bears are number one nationally in total offense with 578.8 yards per game and fifth with an average of 44.1 yards per game.
The Bears other star is wide receiver Terrence Williams. Williams was a Biletnikoff award finalist, and caught 95 passes for 1,764 yards, 12 touchdowns and an average of 18.6 yards a catch.
The key for UCLA to stop Baylor, will be finding a way to stop sophomore running back Lache Seastrunk. Seastrunk has shown his ability to break off huge runs, and this season has ran for 874 rushing yards, and six touchdowns. He averages 7.6 yards per carry.
For UCLA, the Bruins are led by senior running back Johnathan Franklin. Franklin was a Doak Walker award finalist, and is UCLA’s all-time leading rusher with 4,369 rushing yards. In 2012, Franklin ran for career bests of 1,700 rushing yards, 13 rushing touchdowns, 32 receptions, 319 receiving yards and two receiving touchdowns. The senior running back averaged 6.3 yards a carry over the year.
Redshirt freshman quarterback Brett Hundley threw for 3,411 passing yards, 26 touchdowns (second most in UCLA history), and completed 68.2% of his passes.
On defense for the Bruins, junior linebacker Anthony Barr, (led nation with 13.5 sacks), and sophomore linebacker Eric Kendricks (fifth in FBS with 137 tackles).
This is the first meeting for the two teams. Baylor has split 18 Bowl appearances, where UCLA is 14-16-1.