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Texas Bowl: Baylor Bears Vs. Illinois Fighting Illini

The Baylor Bears look to cap off their most successful season in recent history with a Texas Bowl win tonight. To do so, the Bears will have to beat the Illinois Fighting Illini and their excellent rushing attack.

Baylor finished the regular season with a 7-5 record, but only 4-4 in conference. The Bears were 7-2 but dropped their final three games of the season to Oklahoma State, Texas A&M and Oklahoma - all ranked opponents - to finish the season 7-5. Baylor finished fifth in the Big 12 South with their 4-4 in-conference record.

Illinois went 6-6 this year while going 4-4 in Big 10 play, good for sixth in the Big 10. Much like Baylor, Illinois is limping into this bowl game. The Fighting Illini are losers of three of their last four games, and lost their most recent game to Fresno State. 

Junior running back Mikel Leshoure leads the Illinois offense. Leshoure rushed for 1,513 yards this year - and also added 175 reception yards and three touchdowns - while rushing for 14 touchdowns and averaging six yards per carry.

Baylor's offense goes through their quarterback, Robert Griffin III. Griffin has thrown for 3,195 yards and 21 touchdowns, and he's also rushed for 591 yards and eight touchdowns. Griffin's success has helped senior running back Jay Finley thrive. Finley has rushed for 1,155 yards, averaging 6.3 yards per carry, and 11 touchdowns. 

Kickoff is slated for 6:00 PM EST. Televised coverage can be found on ESPN and also online at ESPN3.com.

Photographs by jamesbrandon, jdtornow, phlezk, flygraphix, mcdlttx, tomasland, and literalbarrage used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.