Baylor Wins Record-Shattering Russell Athletic Bowl 49-38
Even without its top two quarterbacks, top running back and award winning wide receiver Baylor (10-3, 6-3 Big 12) exploded for 756 total yards of offense in a 49-38 victory over North Carolina (11-3, 8-0 ACC) in front of 40,418 in the 26th annual Russell Athletic Bowl.
“We felt good about it, obviously,” Baylor offensive coordinator Kendal Briles said in place of head coach Art Briles. “Our guys were prepared. Coach Briles talked about it after the game. The last couple of weeks, we’ve had some of the best practices that we’ve had. As a whole, the adversity we went through this year, the seniors, what they’ve done and accomplished. And for these guys to win 50 games in the last five years is a tribute to what they’ve done and a tremendous program.”
UNC couldn’t stop Baylor’s Johnny Jefferson who ended with 299 rushing yards, a Russell Athletic Bowl record, and three touchdowns, another Russell Athletic Bowl record.
“The big thing for me was the last game we played, I had a big mistake,” Jefferson said. “And I promised the guys that I was going to come out and give it my all. And today God blessed me and they blocked amazing today. Today just turned out to be a good day.”
Jefferson earned game MVP honors.
Jefferson and his teammates rushed for a total of 645 yards setting a new rushing record for any bowl game ever played
“I didn’t believe they would run for 645 yards. Actually, no, I didn’t ever think that,” UNC head coach Larry Fedora said.
UNC was looking to become the first team in Tar Heel history to win 12 games after going 8-0 in ACC play in the regular season and winning 11 straight after an opening season loss to South Carolina.
“It didn’t come out the way we wanted,” UNC quarterback Marquise Williams said. “It’s exciting though. We’ve got a whole defense come back, and a good quarterback. I’m excited. I’m excited to see what those guys are ready for next year. They’re going to win way more games than 11 games, I can tell you that.”
With the win Baylor has double-digit wins for the third year in a row and the fourth time in five years.
The game was also one for the record books. Here are some records that were broken:
- Baylor set the record for most offense (756 yards)
- Johnny Jefferson set the rushing record (299 yards)
- Jefferson set the rushing touchdown record (3)
- Jefferson set the record for longest rush (80 yards)
- Total offense from both teams (1,243 yards)
- Baylor set the record for most first downs (38)
- Baylor set the record for rushing first downs (30)
- UNC’s Donnie Miles set the record for tackles (22)
- Most points scored (87)