Holiday Bowl Pre-Game Notes

Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

Everything you need to know leading up to tonight's game on ESPN, wherein our Baylor Bears will face off against the UCLA Bruins.

vs.
RV/NR/NR BAYLOR (7-5, 4-5) vs. 17/19/17 UCLA (9-4, 6-3)
Dec. 27, 2012 | 6:55 p.m. PT/8:55 p.m. CT
San Diego, Calif. | Qualcomm Stadium (70,561)

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I'll lead this off with what I promised by noon today and didn't deliver: my prediction for the game.

Baylor 45, UCLA 35

The final score won't indicate how strong Baylor actually played in this game as our defense fails to keep UCLA off the board in the fourth quarter and allows a garbage time score. Baylor's offense performs exactly as well as expected and the defense surprises given so much time to scheme against UCLA's rushing attack. Nick Florence throws for 285 yards and 3 TDs (2 to Terrence Williams), Glasco Martin runs for 90+ and gets 2 TDs of his own, and Lache Seastrunk breaks one early en route to 130 rushing yards. On defense, Bryce Hager picks up Eddie Lackey's mantle with an interception.

The GDT for the game tonight will go up at 8:00 since kickoff is scheduled for 8:55. I'll see everyone who isn't at the stadium there!

Now the up-to-the-minute news leading into tonight's game.

2013 NFL Draft watch notes for Thursday's Bowl Games - SBNation.com
Breaking down the NFL Draft prospects in Thursday's three bowl games.

Pregame: Bridgepoint Holiday Bowl - Big 12 Blog - ESPN

All-Big 12 Underrated Team: Defense - Big 12 Blog - ESPN
Every year, we crown an All-Big 12 team here at ESPN.com, but we also like to give some recognization to guys who don't get enough credit for just how good they really are. These are their stories.

Bridgepoint Education Holiday Bowl keys - Big 12 Blog - ESPN
Let's take a look at three keys for tonight's Bridgepoint Education Holiday Bowl.

Baylor's Florence delivered in encore to Griffin - San Antonio Express-News
With Robert Griffin III's departure after last season, Baylor's biggest preseason question was how the Bears would adapt without the school's first Heisman Trophy winner. "I know that was the conversation, but definitely not in this locker room," Bears senior guard Cameron Kaufhold said. Florence and the Bears' balanced offense have been the biggest reasons Baylor has notched a 7-5 record while making a bowl trip for an unprecedented third straight season. The Baylor running game has picked up down the stretch with the emergence of Martin and Seastrunk running behind a retooled offensive line that had four starters at new positions. Florence's passing production has been boosted by the presence of All-American wide receiver Terrance Williams, who needs 15 receiving yards against the Bruins to crack the NCAA's top 10 for single-season marks. [...] he also has been one of the most productive players in the country, leading the nation in total offense, ranking 20th in pass efficiency and rifling 31 touchdown passes.

Holiday Bowl treating Baylor like visiting royalty in San Diego | Wacotrib.com

A too-early look at Big 12 Heisman hopes - Big 12 Blog - ESPN
The Big 12 couldn't win a second consecutive Heisman Trophy after Texas A&M's Johnny Manziel bested Kansas State's Collin Klein, but the league might have a shot in 2013. Baylor's Lache Seastrunk already says he's going to win the trophy, but just in case he's wrong, let's look at the other possibilities.

All-Big 12 Underrated Team: Offense - Big 12 Blog - ESPN
Every year, we crown an All-Big 12 team here at ESPN.com, but we also like to give some recognization to guys who don't get enough credit for just how good they really are. These are their stories.

Holiday Bowl preview: UCLA vs. Baylor | Dr. Saturday - Yahoo! Sports
From the blog Dr. Saturday: Holiday Bowl UCLA (9-4) vs. Baylor (7-5) Dec. 27, 9:45 p.m. ET (ESPN) About the Bruins: Jim Mora's first season as Bruins coach has been a success. UCLA won nine games, beat USC convincingly, won its division and almost won … Continue reading →

Holiday Bowl Primer: Baylor vs. UCLA - CBSSports.com
No RG3, no problem? Things weren't quite that good for the Bears, who slipped from last year's nine-win breakthrough to a 4-5 mark in mid-November. But a three-game winning streak to end the season -- one in which every victim was a bowl team, and one happened the be the undefeated No. 2 team in the nation -- proved that Art Briles' program was no one-quarterback wonder. A Holiday Bowl victory (particularly one in which the much-maligned Baylor defense shows some level of improvement) would only further cement the Bears as a team that's not going anywhere until Briles does.

Bridgepoint Holiday Bowl predictions - Pac-12 Blog - ESPN
UCLA faces Baylor in the Bridgepoint Education Holiday Bowl on Thursday (9:45 ET, ESPN). Kevin and Ted both were wrong about the Las Vegas Bowl after picking Washington to win over Boise State, so they both fall to 67-26 on season.

Stats to know: Baylor-UCLA (Holiday Bowl) - Stats & Info Blog - ESPN
The Bridgepoint Education Holiday Bowl matchup between the Baylor Bears and No. 17 UCLA Bruins should be a high-scoring affair.

Baylor/UCLA Holiday Bowl Preview | Lindy's Sports
Looking for a good college football time? The Holiday Bowl might be the place for you.

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