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Daily Bears Report 12/28 - Updated

Cactus Bowl MVP KD Cannon: “We had to finish strong for Baylor Nation and Coach Briles.” Lady Bears Big XII power rankings. Jo Lual-Acuil Jr. leads Div. 1 in blocked shots. Update: Highlight Video.

Motel 6 Cactus Bowl - Baylor v Boise State Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images


Baylor Athletics: Cactus Bowl Highlight Video

The Bears, losers of their last six regular-season games and arguably the most disliked program in college football because of an egregious sexual assault scandal, looked more like the program on the field that fans came to know under former coach Art Briles.

It was also Boise State's worst postseason loss ... ever.

Leading the way was wide receiver KD Cannon, who had 14 catches for 226 yards and a pair of scores. The first came on an impressive jump ball ...

  • Baylor had a two-touchdown lead over Boise State at halftime in the Cactus Bowl in part due to the acting job of punter Drew Galitz. From CBS Sports dot com.

The Bears punter was the offending party in an egregious flop that resulted in a running into the kicker penalty that gave the team a first down, extended a drive and shifted momentum in the game.

With new life on the drive, Baylor went on to score 10 plays later on the back of a 5-yard touchdown run by JaMycal Hasty.

JaMycal Hasty for the Baylor TD in the Cactus Bowl

Having lost six straight entering the Cactus Bowl on Tuesday night, and with a coaching staff on its way out, Baylor seemingly had little to play for against Boise State.

The Broncos, who have thrived in bowl games played in this city, were seeking a 40th win for their senior class and another Power Five conference team to add to the list of defeated foes.

But in Baylor’s 31-12 win in front of 33,328 fans at Chase Field, the Bears looked nothing like the finesse team they often have been. They proved to be plenty tough when they could have folded, frustrating Boise State in key spots and using big plays to their advantage.

Acting head coach Jim Grobe, in his final game with the Bears, was asked if he envisioned this.

“Honestly, no,” Grobe said. “I’d like to say yes to make me seem really smart, but I didn’t see that coming.”

Boise State coach Bryan Harsin after Cactus Bowl loss to Baylor

Baylor’s new Head Coach Matt Rhule made a surprise visit to the announcer’s booth during the Cactus Bowl and discussed the future of Baylor football.

Part 1 #Baylor's Matt Rhule interview during the Cactus Bowl #SicEm
Part 2 #Baylor's Matt Rhule interview during the Cactus Bowl #SicEm


“Nobody knew they were going to have a newcomer (Jo Lual-Acuil Jr.) come in and block five shots a game,” Kansas coach Bill Self said of Baylor. From FanRag Sports.

Indeed, Lual-Acuil (LOO-ahl ah-CHU-ill) has stepped in as a starter replacing Rico Gathers, who is now with the Dallas Cowboys. Lual-Acuil is slender as Gathers was wide (6-foot-8, 275 pounds). At 7-feet tall, he weighs 220 pounds. As the saying goes, he could tread water in a test tube.

Lual-Acuil is playing 26 minutes a game, averaging 10.6 points and 7.5 rebounds per game. Most important, he has blocked 49 shots to lead Division I. Lual-Acuil is on pace to break Brian Skinner’s Baylor single-season record of 3.83 blocks per game.

“He gives us that presence inside that he erases mistakes,” Baylor coach Scott Drew said. “Whenever you have somebody getting as many blocks and altered shots as he does, that really improves your defense.”

Continue Reading at FanRag Sports.

Baylor Lady Bears Basketball

With conference play nearly upon us, here's how the Big 12 teams stack up. From News OK dot com.

1. Baylor (11-1). The Bears, ranked No. 3 in The Associated Press poll, began the season as the clear favorites to win their seventh consecutive conference title. Though the team isn't undefeated entering conference play — the lone loss coming against then-No. 3 UConn — Baylor is still very much the team to beat in the Big 12.

Continue Reading No. 2 through No. 10: at News OK dot com.