By Tim Watkins, BearsIllustrated.com
Three players to watch
Lache Seastrunk, RB: The Bears co-running back does not lack for cockiness, brashness, or pure speed. I will just let Lache tell you about Lache. “I feel like there’s no back who can do what I do,” he told the Sporting News. Don’t worry, later in the interview, he guaranteed that he would win the Heisman next year. So yes, he lacks for neither speed nor confidence.
Terrance Williams, WR: The 2012 Biletnikoff finalist is Baylor’s most prolific single-season receiver, after his dominating performance this year. With 95 catches, and an NCAA-leading 1,764 yards receiving to go along with 12 touchdowns, Williams has had as good a year as any receiver in the country.
Eddie Lackey, LB: The junior college transfer and first-year Baylor linebacker turned it on late in the year, and he is one of the biggest reasons for the improved defense over the last five games. Lackey was especially effective against Texas Tech and Oklahoma State with three huge interceptions, including two ran back for touchdowns. Though undersized, Lackey plays fast and with an edge that the Bears have really needed.
Lache Seastrunk is as good as any running back in the country ... just ask Lache.
Can we just put offense down three times and be done with it? Make no mistake, while the Baylor defense has shown improvement during the Bears' three-game winning streak, this team is all about the offense. The Bears lead the country in yards per game and are fifth in the country in points per game.
Early in the year, the Bears offensive attack was primarily through the air, as they struggled to get the big runs that had been a staple the past few seasons. Behind the “Thunder and Lightning” combination of Glasco Martin and Seastrunk, the Bears' rushing attack has exploded during the streak. They are averaging 313 yards per game over that stretch, the third most in the country.
The Bears defense does do one thing pretty well. They turn the ball over. They have the 38th most turnovers per game in the country but have been even better recently. They are forcing three turnovers per game over their last three, good for 10th in the country over that stretch.
Important thing you may not know
The Bears are turning into an offensive lineman’s best way to get into the NFL. Since 2009, the Bears have had five linemen drafted and at least one every year, including the second overall pick in the 2009 draft -- Jason Smith.
Baylor will more than likely continue that streak with Ivory Wade being thought of as a future NFL center. Wade would be the third center in a row drafted from the Bears, following J.D. Walton and Philip Blake, who went to the Denver Broncos in 2010 and 2012, respectively.
What Baylor must do to win
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With such a high-powered offense, sometimes it is as simple as giving them a few extra possessions to score. The Bears defense doesn’t have to be great. They don’t have to stymie the UCLA attack and hold them to a few hundred yards under their average. They just have to turn them over a few times.
In the seven Baylor wins this year, the Bears are plus-14 in turnovers. In their five losses, they are minus-9. In the past two years, they are 15-2 when forcing two or more turnovers. If the Bears force two or more against UCLA, they will be in great position to win the game.