Baylor Bears coach Art Briles was pulling everything but the rabbit out of his hat of tricks Tuesday, using five different players taking snaps en route to grabbing a 21-10 lead in the middle of the second quarter against North Carolina in the Russell Athletic Bowl.
Thanks to the injury bug, Baylor was without its top two quarterbacks (Seth Russell and Jarrett Stidham); its 1,000-yard rusher (Shock Linwood) and its Biletnikoff Award-winning wide receiver (Corey Coleman).
Chris Johnson was Baylor’s official starting quarterback Tuesday. But before halftime, the Bears had running backs Johnny Johnson, Terence Williams and Devin Chafin all taking snaps, plus wide receiver Lynx Hawthorne.
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Hawthorne ran in the Bears’ first touchdown on a direct snap from 6 yards out, and Chafin got the second on a direct snap from 2 yards out for a 14-7 lead over the Tar Heels after one quarter.
Baylor’s usual high-flying spread offense is now a combination of spread and wildcat schemes, with players taking direct snaps and ripping off big gains. Baylor outgained North Carolina 217-78 in the first quarter with the Bears rushing it 24 times on 29 plays for 190 rushing yards.