PHOENIX -- Baylor freshman quarterback Zach Smith passed for 375 yards and three touchdowns, and wide receiver KD Cannon made 14 receptions for 226 yards and two TDs in the Bears' 31-12 victory over the Boise State Broncos in the Cactus Bowl on Tuesday at Chase Field.
Smith and Cannon connected on 30- and 68-yard scoring plays in the first half, when the Bears opened a 21-3 lead. Cannon set Cactus Bowl and career records for receiving yards as the Bears broke a six-game losing streak.
Baylor (7-6) won for the first time since a 49-7 victory over Kansas on Nov. 15. Smith, who completed 28 of 39 passes, started the final three games of the regular season after Seth Russell sustained a season-ending ankle injury in a loss to Oklahoma.
Halfback Terence Williams ran for 103 yards and wide receiver Ishmael Zamora had 14-yard touchdown reception for Baylor, which reached No. 8 in the AP poll before its losing streak.
Quarterback Brett Rypien passed for 305 yards and a touchdown for Boise State (10-3), which had won six of its past seven bowl games. His 28-yard pass to Cedrick Wilson with 1:20 remaining accounted for the Broncos' only touchdown.
Rypien threw two first-half interceptions, failed on a fourth-down pass from the Baylor 5-yard line on the first possession of the third quarter and lost a fumble in the fourth.
Broncos junior halfback Jeremy McNichols, who said he would forgo his senior season to enter the NFL Draft, had 19 carries for 46 yards and had five receptions for 24 yards. He was held without a touchdown, ending a streak 24 straight games with a score, the longest active run in NCAA Division I.
Baylor had 515 yards total offense to Boise State's 388.
The Bears scored on drives of 81, 81, 99, 78 and 71 yards.
Baylor scored took a 21-6 halftime lead by scoring on long drives after an interception and a failed fourth-down run on its first two possessions.
Smith's 30-yard touchdown pass to Cannon broke a scoreless tie with 5:53 remaining in in the first quarter.
After a Boise State field goal, Smith and Cannon connected on a 68-yard scoring pass early in the second quarter to make it 14-3.
Baylor safety Orion Stewart intercepted Rypien in the end zone on the Broncos' next possession and brought it out to the 1-yard line.
JaMycal Hasty capped the 99-yard drive with a 5-yard touchdown run with 4:19 left in the half, a drive kept alive by a controversial running-into-the-kicker penalty on a Baylor punt from its 21-yard line.
-- Baylor senior RB Shock Linwood, the school's career rushing leader, opted to sit out the bowl game to be prepare for the NFL Draft. Linwood, projected as no higher than a fourth-round pick, had 751 yards rushing this season. He started five games and was suspended for the Oklahoma loss Nov. 12.
-- Boise State (7-0) and Baylor (6-0) were two of nine remaining FBS unbeaten teams through the third week of October. Baylor was ranked No. 8 in the AP poll, and Boise State was No. 13.
-- Boise State played its 15th consecutive bowl game, which is tied for the fifth-longest streak in Division I. Only Florida State, Virginia Tech, Oklahoma and LSU have longer current runs.