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Weekly Report Card: Baylor

Carolina's defense was mauled by Baylor's offensive line in the Russell Athletic Bowl.

Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports

Carolina faced a Baylor team lacking their first string quarterback, running back, wide receiver and second string quarterback. None of it mattered however as Baylor had four of their top offensive linemen and that proved to be more than enough. The Heels' defensive line was pushed four or five yards up the field on every play for the first three quarters. Baylor's runners were able to take advantage of that push en route to 645 yards on the ground. Carolina played as well as they could on both sides of the ball but the Heels ultimately were not in the same class as Baylor and this game showed that while Carolina has come a long way, a lot separates the Heels from the playoff contenders. The Heels are bringing back almost everyone for next year and Carolina should be able to build on this season for more success in the future.


Get Off to a Good Start: B

Carolina scored on their first possession and the offense started much brighter against Baylor than Clemson. The Heels were obviously never forcing Baylor to run however. Baylor showed on their first drive that they were going to be able to run against Carolina more than enough to score with the UNC offense. The Carolina offense did its part but the defense needs to improve to get to the level of top teams.

Big Day From Lawrence and Stewart: B-

Des Lawrence and MJ Stewart did not have a whole lot to do since the Bears only attempted 18 passes. However neither of them really impressed in the bowl game as the Bears got a decent amount of yardage when they did throw. Lawrence was also flagged for a pass interference penalty in a game the entire defense wants to forget as soon as possible.

Marquise Williams Gets the Send-Off He's Earned: B

Williams bounced back from his disastrous performance in the ACC title game and looked much better against Baylor. He was still a bit inconsistent at times and missed some throws he should have made but his offense still put up 38 points in his final game. Ultimately Williams leaves a pretty great legacy at Carolina, he's the leader in almost all of Carolina's passing statistics and if Carolina can build on this he also stands out as the quarterback who led the Heels towards national relevance for the first time in two decades.