Glendale, AZ (SportsNetwork.com) - Blake Bortles accounted for four touchdownsand Storm Johnson rushed for a trio of scores, as No. 15 UCF outgunned sixth-ranked Baylor en route to a 52-42 triumph Wednesday in the 43rd edition of theFiesta Bowl from University of Phoenix Stadium.
Bortles completed 20-of-31 passes for 301 yards and three touchdowns with twointerceptions while rushing for 93 yards and a score on eight carries for theKnights (12-1), who made their first BCS bowl appearance thanks to anundefeated run in the American Athletic Conference.
Johnson racked up 124 yards on 20 carries and Rannell Hall hauled in a pair oftouchdown passes in the win, UCF's ninth in a row since suffering its loneloss of the season against South Carolina on Sept. 28.
The Bears (11-2) notched their first-ever 11-win season, Big 12 championshipand BCS bowl berth thanks in large part to the nation's top scoring offenseduring the regular season, but were unable to put up enough points to keeppace with the Knights despite a five-touchdown effort from Bryce Petty.
Petty rushed for three scores and tossed a pair of touchdown passes, finishing30-of-47 passing for 356 yards with an interception in the setback.
Petty's 1-yard TD run and subsequent two-point conversion scamper broughtBaylor even at 28-28 less than five minutes into the third, but UCF found theend zone on each of its next three touches to take control of the contest.
The first score capped a 9-play, 76-yard trek that featured three third-downconversions, including a 3rd-and-4 from the Baylor 10 that saw Bortles hitBreshad Perriman in the back right corner of the end zone to put the Knightsback on top.
Following a Baylor punt, Bortles broke free for 22 yards on the first play ofthe fourth quarter before scurrying into the end zone from 15 yards out twosnaps later to make it 42-28 in favor of UCF.
Corey Coleman returned the ensuing kickoff 42 yards to help set up GlascoMartin's 9-yard TD run that brought Baylor within seven, but Johnson rippedoff a 40-yard touchdown run four plays into UCF's next drive to restore theKnights' two-touchdown lead.
Shawn Moffitt nailed a 36-yard field goal on UCF's next touch and Petty hitClay Fuller for a 9-yard touchdown with just over a minute left to account forthe final margin.
Early on, Johnson found the end zone on UCF's first two touches, scoring from11 yards out on the first drive and two yards out on the second to give UCF anearly 14-point edge.
A short punt from UCF's Caleb Houston set the Bears up at the UCF 45 late inthe first and after Lache Seastrunk converted a 3rd-and-2 with a 29-yard runto the 8-yard line, Petty scored from a yard out two plays later to get Bayloron the board.
Baylor's defense came up with a big play early in the second to help the teamget within one, as Eddie Lackey picked off a Bortles pass at the UCF 32 andPetty hit Levi Norwood for a 30-yard score two plays later.
However, holder Brody Trahan dropped the snap on the ensuing extra point andtried to take off around the right end, but was tripped up short of the goalline, leaving Baylor trailing 14-13 with 8:01 left in the half.
After the teams exchanged turnovers, Bortles capped a quick 5-play sequencewith a short screen pass out to the left for Hall, who followed his blockersand sprinted into the end zone for a 50-yard score and a 21-13 lead.
Petty answered with a 13-yard TD run that saw him leap for the right pylon andget flipped head-over-heels before landing on his back in the end zone toagain bring Baylor within one.
UCF had the final say in the frame though, as Bortles went back to Hall on ashort swing pass out to the right that Hall took the rest of the way for a 34-yard score that sent UCF into the break with a 28-20 lead.
UCF improved to 3-3 all-time in bowl games, while Baylor dropped to 10-10 ...UCF's 12 wins and nine-game win streak are both school records ... Seastrunkfinished with 117 yards on 17 carries ... Hall had a game-high 113 receivingyards on four catches ... The teams combined for 1,106 total yards and 56first downs ... Baylor was called for 17 penalties, totaling 135 yards.