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Russell Athletic Bowl Tale of the Tape: UNC-Baylor

Joshua S. Kelly-USA TODAY Sports

Heels vs Bears

When UNC has the ball

UNC(Offense) Baylor(Defense)
Points per game 40.9 27.5
Yards per game 486.9 389.0
Yards per play 7.33 5.06
Passing yards 264.0 232.7
Passing YPA 9.2 6.9
Rushing Yards 222.92 156.3
Rushing YPA 5.9 3.6
Turnovers 17 24
3rd Down Conv. 47.02% 34.6%
4th Down Conv. 58.33% 39.1%
Red Zone Conv. 89.39% 91.7%

When UNC is on defense

UNC(Defense) Baylor(Offense)
Points per game 22.6 48.0
Yards per game 411.3 604.6
Yards per play 5.3 7.25
Passing yards 194.5 304.4
Passing YPA 6.1 9.8
Rushing Yards 216.8 300.2
Rushing YPA 4.77 5.7
Turnovers 25 25
3rd Down Conv. 43.00% 45.5%
4th Down Conv. 64.52% 70.7%
Red Zone Conv. 80.39% 88.9%

As Paul noted in his opponent preview, Baylor will be missing key cogs to the offense making it tough to read how much of these numbers Baylor can produce. All-America WR Corey Coleman and RB Shock Linwood accounted for 30 of Baylor's 79 touchdowns this season. Factor in the Bears playing a 3rd string QB with a 39% completion rate it is unclear how much Baylor can do with what is left. That being said, this is still a powerful offensive system and if the Bears have any decent depth UNC will be sorely tested on the defensive side of the ball. The rushing attack will be a concern for UNC. As much as losing an All-American WR matters, it is not as much a factor as a third string QB that has trouble completing passes. In that respect Baylor's best bet will be to run the ball since UNC is vulnerable to rushing attack.s

Unlike Baylor, UNC is(as far as we know) healthy and has all the weapons in place. The Tar Heels enter the game leading the nation in yards per play on offense, just ahead of Baylor. Stastically speaking, Baylor is slightly better than UNC on defense and certainly has some experience seeing the type of offense UNC runs. Baylor is better against the run(28th in yards per play allowed) than the pass(57th in yards per attempt allowed). Still UNC is going to stick with what has worked which means healthy doses of Elijah Hood, Marquise Williams running at times and getting the ball the the various receiving options on the field.