Monday, July 28, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Baylor vs. UCF: 2014 NFL Draft watch notes for Fiesta Bowl

Are you ready for some high-scoring football?

If you haven't watched UCF quarterback Blake Bortles, Wednesday night is the time to start.

Baylor and UCF will play in the 2014 Fiesta Bowl in what is a powder keg of scoring waiting to be set off at any moment. Two of the most explosive offenses in the country with NFL Draft prospects littered throughout will likely exchange punches in bowl matchup which should be one of the most exciting of the season.

For NFL Draft fans, there is no shortage of things to keep track of during the Fiesta Bowl. Here's a quick rundown.

Fiesta Bowl - UCF vs. Baylor (8:30 p.m., ESPN)

When Baylor has the football

While Baylor junior quarterback Bryce Petty has already said he will return to school for his senior season, he'll be the man making everything work for the Bears' offense. He has an NFL future ahead of him due to his size and strong arm. He's also able to make plays on the move. His top target is wide receiver Tevin Reese, who will be returning from injury for this game. Antwan Goodley stepped up in Reese's absence and will be another player to watch as Baylor airs the ball out.

In the running game, Baylor relies on guard Cyril Richardson to open up holes for running back Lache Seastrunk. Both should have bright futures in the NFL, with Richardson having a chance to be the first guard off the board in May. UCF doesn't have a ton of talent on defense, so Baylor shouldn't have much trouble scoring points.

When UCF has the football

Blake Bortles has picked up more NFL Draft hype than any player in the country over the last month of the season. He has the prototypical size of an NFL quarterback and the movement skills to intrigue any team. He's progressed as the season has gone on at driving the ball down field and he's a fairly accurate passer. He still hasn't made a decision on whether or not to enter the NFL Draft, but this game could be big for his decision. The other two UCF players to watch are also both juniors. Running back Storm Johnson and offensive tackle Torrian Wilson. Niether had declared at this point.

Baylor's defense will put up more of a fight than UCF's defense. Safety Ahmad Dixon will have a lot to handle in the secondary, but he could come off the board early in a thin 2014 safety class. Defensive end Shawn Oakman is only a redshirt sophomore, but his length and first step already have NFL Draftniks intrigued.

Question of the night

Will UCF's offense be able to keep up with Baylor?

Baylor's offense will be able to score a lot of points, so UCF needs to be prepared for a shootout. Bortles has been a part of plenty of high-scoring games throughout his career, but none on this big of a stage. Plus, the Bears' defense has a few athletes who could make life tough on UCF. This will be a nice test for Bortles.

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This article originally appeared on SBNation.

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