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Baylor blitzes UCLA, 49-26, behind Martin, Florence
Nabbing one of Robert Griffin III’s school records? Now that was a big deal.
Florence completed 10 of 13 passes for 188 yards, giving him 4,309 for the season to break RG3’s school record of 4,293 set in his 2011 Heisman Trophy-winning season.
“For me, I just wanted a chance to play. I just happened to follow a Heisman Trophy winner,” Florence said. “I’m not Robert. I’m not 6-3. I don’t run a 4.3. You saw that tonight. Man, if I could run a 4.3 it would be nice. So I just had to be me. I tried to manage this offense and play within myself. He’s a heck of player, he’s done a heck of a job for this program, put us on the map. I’m humbled and honored to hold that record. He deserves it. I never thought that would have happened this year. I just wanted to win games.”
Baylor (8-5) won its final four games and five of six.
“That was a question we asked all our players, ‘What was going to happen now that Robert’s gone?’” coach Art Briles said. “And our guys responded, fought together, believed in each other. They have always sustained and never lost focus.”
Lache Seastrunk rushed 16 times for 138 yards and one score for Baylor, which outgained UCLA 494-362. The Bears came in leading the nation in total offense with 578.8 yards per game.
Baylor’s defense came up big, too. The Bears sacked Brett Hundley six times, including two by Chris McAllister, and shut down UCLA’s career rushing leader Johnathan Franklin. Franklin, who averaged 130.8 yards this season, gained 12 yards on his first carry of the game but was a non-factor after that, finishing with just 34 yards on 14 carries.
Overall, the Bruins gained only 33 yards on 28 carries. They came in having averaged 202.9 yards rushing.
“They played well upfront,” UCLA coach Jim Mora said. “When we are at our best is when we can run the football. We couldn’t find any room to the football. They played physical.”
Hundley was 26 of 50 for 329 yards and three touchdowns to set UCLA’s season passing record with 3,740 yards. The old record was 3,470 by Cade McNown in 1998.
UCLA (9-5) lost its final three.
UCLA punted four times and lost the ball on downs before getting a break when Baylor’s Jordan Navjar fumbled after a reception when he was hit by Eric Kendricks, with Randal Goforth recovering at the Bears 21. Two plays later, Joseph Fauria caught a 22-yard pass from Hundley to pull the Bruins to 21-7.
By John R. Bolton
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