Wednesday, December 31st, 2014

Bears Finish Their Work, Ready To Take On Spartans

Photo By: Photo by Ian Halperin, CBAA

Baylor completed its final on-field piece of preparation for the 79th Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic by conducting a walk-through at AT&T Stadium on Wednesday afternoon.

The No. 5 Bears (11-1, 8-1 Big 12) spent about an hour doing light work for their New Year’s Day game against No. 8 Michigan State (10-2, 7-1 Big Ten) before heading back to the team hotel for final meetings.

“It has been a great week and it is show time,” Baylor Head Coach Art Briles said earlier in the day. “The thing about bowl weeks, it’s kind of a challenge to you mentally – our players, our coaches – to stay focused and keep a high energy level.

“But our guys have maintained that and the Cotton Bowl certainly made that easier to attain just by the hospitality and the setting and the organization.”

The walk-through marked the fifth time the Bears worked on the AT&T Stadium field in the last week. The four other times were regular practices.

Baylor has played in AT&T Stadium five consecutive seasons, including Nov. 29 in a 48-46 victory over Texas Tech. Playing in a venue convenient to the fan base is helpful, Bears running back Johnny Jefferson said.

“We feel like it’s going to be our home crowd here,” Jefferson said Tuesday. “I feel like we’re going to see more green and yellow than just green.”

The Goodyear Cotton Bowl celebrates its 79th edition on New Year's Day and kicks off a new era as a member of the College Football Playoff. Airtime on ESPN is set for 11:30 a.m. CST with kickoff slated for 11:45 a.m. For the first year, the Classic joins ESPN’s bowl lineup with Dave Pasch and Brian Griese on the call from the booth with Tom Luginbill reporting from the sideline.

For the third consecutive year, ESPN Radio returns as the Classic's national radio partner. Brad Sham, the "Voice of the Dallas Cowboys," teams with Kelly Stoufer in the booth and Ian Fitzsimmons from the sideline to describe all the action from AT&T Stadium. This will be Sham's 18th straight year as the Classic's play-by-play man and his 22nd overall.

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