North Carolina and Baylor Ready for Russell Athletic Bowl
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The University of North Carolina Tar Heels were so close to winning an ACC Title. They fell to the No. 1 team in the country by eight points a few weeks ago but UNC head coach Larry Fedora doesn’t hang his head on that. His Tar Heels are 11-2 and looking to become the first UNC program to ever record a 12-win season.
“We would make history at the University of North Carolina,” Fedora said. “[Winning 12 games] has never been done. We would send our seniors out the right way. We would also establish a foundation for our future and a new standard for Carolina football and one that all the future teams will be compared to as this 2015 team. So it would be a heck of a deal for us.”
He’s facing a Baylor (9-3, 6-3 Big 12) team that is facing some major adversity. The Bears will be without their top two quarterbacks, their starting running back and their top wide receiver.
“I haven’t been asked it that often, but I’ll tell you the strange thing about it is that if you’ve got a bowl of cereal and you wanted bacon and eggs, you get it eat the cereal,” Baylor head coach Art Briles said. “We got what we want. We’ve got good players. We’ve got guys that we recruited that we have a lot of confidence in. So we’ve got some guys had that have been given a chance and an opportunity to help our football team. And that, to me, I find very inspiring. I look at it from that standpoint. It’s an inspiring situation for us as a football team.”
Even with the injuries, Baylor still has the No. 1 offense in the country. But, with the injuries, Baylor’s plan is a little different than it was mid-season.
“Our mindset is a little different than it might have been late September. That’s the reality of the football team,” Briles said. “So we feel good about what we’ve got going into the game tomorrow, and that’s to fight our tails off and try to scratch out a win.”
Both teams are coming off great weeks in Orlando that included theme park visits, Best Buy shopping sprees and the warm December weather that only Orlando can offer.
“Our team has had an unbelievable week. This has been a great bowl. Russell Athletic has put together a tremendous time for our players,” Fedora said. “We spent time at Disney World and Universal and Magic Kingdom. We’ve had just a great week. It’s been really good, as a coaching staff, practicing facilities and everything that we’ve needed. It’s been really, really good. Our players have had a great time. Our friends have had a great time.
After the season is over, Briles wants to make a return to Orlando, this time as a tourist.
“Hopefully after being here and really seeing how great it all is, that I’ll be able to come back as a tourist and get to enjoy the city because it is a great city,” Briles said.