ORLANDO, Fla. - Going into Tuesday's Russell Athletic Bowl without its top two quarterbacks, leading rusher, an All-American receiver and one of its starting offensive linemen, 17th-ranked Baylor seemed to be working with the short end of the stick.
But as it turned out, the Bears had more than enough stick.
Game MVP Johnny Jefferson rushed for a school-record 299 yards - a lot of that coming from the wildcat quarterback position - and the Bears piled up an FBS bowl-record 645 yards rushing to stun the 10th-ranked North Carolina Tar Heels, 49-38, at Citrus Bowl Stadium.
"The big thing for me was the last game we played, I had a bad mistake," said Jefferson, who had a fourth quarter fumble in a 23-17 loss to Texas in the regular-season finale. "And I promised the guys that I was going to come out and give it my all. And today, God blessed me, and those big guys up front blocked amazingly."
Baylor's nation-leading offense typically balances the run and pass, coming in averaging better than 300 yards in both. But with third-string quarterback Chris Johnson making just his third career start, offensive coordinator Kendal Briles leaned on the wildcat formation that worked in the second half against Texas and produced record numbers on the ground.