Baylor-UNC Grades: Bears' O-line and RBs show up big
Here are the top takeaways and highest-graded players from the #17 Baylor Bears 49-38 victory over #10 North Carolina Tar Heels, in the Russell Athletic Bowl:
– The Baylor Bears were short-handed at the Quarterback position due to injuries and were forced to use five different players at the position, with each player being used primarily as a running threat. Even though they were one-dimensional on offense, they managed to shove that one dimension down the Tar Heels’ throats, as they rushed for a Bowl-record 634 yards as a team. Johnny Jefferson was the most dangerous of the Baylor rushers, carrying the ball 23 times for 299 yards and three touchdowns. Devin Chafin added 24 carries for 145 yards and a touchdown. Terence Williams had 16 carries for 97 yards and two touchdowns.
– With that many rushing yards, it should come as no surprise that Baylor’s Offensive Line graded well as run blockers. Right Guard Jarrell Broxton (+7.6) had a +6.5 run blocking grade, Left Guard Blake Muir (+6.5) had a +5.2 run blocking grade and future NFL Draft pick Left Tackle Spencer Drango (+4.5) had a +2.7 run blocking grade. Drango also added a +1.5 pass blocking grade showing that he is a well-rounded Draft prospect.
– The Bears’ Draft prospect with the biggest name is Defensive End Shawn Oakman. Oakman’s production hasn’t quite lived up to his size and athletic ability as of yet, but he did have a solid game as a pass rusher against North Carolina. Oakman’s +2.4 overall grade for the game is interesting, as it was his highest pass rushing grade of the season (+3.6) and his lowest run defense grade of the season (-1.3). Oakman had one QB hit and seven hurries as a pass rusher, but didn’t manage to do much more than get blocked as a run defender. He is an intriguing prospect with opinions all across the board on his value and ability. His game will get picked apart in the next few months leading up to the NFL Draft.
OG Jarrell Broxton +7.6
RB Devin Chafin +6.5
OG Blake Muir +6.5
OT Spencer Drango +4.5
RB Johnny Jefferson +4.4
North Carolina Tar Heels
– Quarterback Marquise Williams (+7.4) played a very good game in a performance that will be overshadowed by Baylor’s offense. Williams made plays as a passer, finishing 22 of 39 for 236 yards and three touchdowns and a passing grade of +4.0. Williams did throw one interception, but it appeared to occur as a result of Wide Receiver, Ryan Switzer, stopping on his route and not just a bad throw, but the throw did go into double coverage. Williams also made plays as a runner, carrying the ball 15 times for 90 yards, two touchdowns, four missed tackles and a +3.2 rush grade.
– Running Back Elijah Hood (+1.1) also had a good game on the ground, carrying the ball 13 times for 118 yards (9.1 average yards per carry), three missed tackles and a +1.7 rush grade. Hood did give up a sack, which caused his pass block grade to be -0.4, lowering his overall grade to +1.1.
– Strong Safety Dominique Green (+2.8) was the Tar Heels’ highest-graded defensive player of the game, as most of the defensive starters ended up with negative grades after giving up 634 rushing yards to Baylor. Green had one interception playing deep middle of the field and also added eight tackles.
QB Marquise Williams +7.4
OG Landon Turner +4.7
S Dominique Green +2.8
OT John Heck +1.9
WR Kendrick Singleton +1.2