117- Baylor ranks 117th in scoring defense nationally out of 124 teams. The Bears give up 39.5 points per game. On the other hand, UCLA ranks 48th nationally in scoring defense. The 35th Holiday Bowl is expected to be a shoot-out and whichever defense can step up and slow the opponent will likely prevail. Statistics say UCLA is more likely to do so.
196.7- Opponent rushing yards per game. With Johnathan Franklin within striking distance of the NCAA rushing crown, expect a constant, game-long ground assault from UCLA. Franklin needs 230 yards to surpass Ka’Deem Carey for the national lead. Also in contention are Jordan Lynch of NIU and Montee Ball of Wisconsin, but both face much tougher defenses in their bowl games. Baylor has yet to face a running back as dangerous as Franklin, yet still give up nearly 200 yards per game. A great send off for Johnathan Franklin from UCLA could come with a rushing title.
122-Baylor’s national ranking in pass defense. While Baylor has definitely struggled defending the run, they are even worse against the pass. Only two teams in the country, Louisiana Tech and West Virginia, are worse against the pass. UCLA’s super freshman Brett Hundley will be looking to close out a fine freshman season in style. Hundley needs just 60 yards to pass Cade McNown for the UCLA single season passing yards record, which Cade set in the magical 1998 season.
0.9- Sacks per game by the Baylor defense. Baylor also struggles to get pressure on the quarterback and ranks 120th in sacks per game. Hundley’s biggest struggle this season has been his inability to avoid sacks. Brett holds the ball too long and often takes unnecessary hits and sacks. If Brett and the UCLA offensive line can hold Baylor to their season average of sacks, the offense will be very hard to stop.
3.4- Punt attempts per game against Baylor. Like most bad defenses, Baylor struggles to get off the field. They force only 3.4 punts per game, which ranks as the sixth least in the country. UCLA punter Jeff Locke has had a brilliant career, but he will be kicking many more kickoffs than punts in the bowl game.
6.8- Penalties per game on Baylor. While this certainly doesn’t put Baylor as one of the top teams in this category, 90th nationally, it gives them an advantage over UCLA. UCLA ranks last in the country in total penalties and penalty yards per game.