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Baylor’s Johnny Jefferson runs for 299 yards against Carolina

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Going into the game, Johnny Jefferson was just another guy in the Baylor team picture. He would be easy not to notice.

Now?

Now, he looks like an impact player for the Bears.

Jefferson exploded for 299 yards and three scores in the Bears’ 49-38 victory over North Carolina in the Russell Athletic Bowl on Tuesday. Jefferson had come into the game with only 701 yards, roughly half of the total of injured star Shock Linwood. In the nation, Jefferson was ranked only 124th.

The Bears rushed for 645 yards in all against the Tar Heels. Jefferson’s teammate, Devin Chafin, rushed for 156 yards and Terence Williams rushed for 97.

North Carolina put up decent offensive numbers, too. Quarterback Marquis Walker threw for 243 yards and three touchdowns, and Elijah Hood rushed for 118 yards

Perhaps the key sequence in the game came with North Carolina pushing for a touchdown to get to within 35-31 last in the third period. The Heels’ T.J. Logan fumbled into the end zone, however, and Jefferson immediately went 80 yards for the score.

Baylor finished its season 10-3. North Carolina was 11-3.

Gary Shelton is one of the most recognized and honored sportswriters in the history of the state. He has won the APSE's national columnist of the year twice and finished in the top 10 eight times. He was named the Florida Sportswriter of the Year six times. Gary joined SaintPetersBlog in the spring, helping to bring a sports presence to the website. Over his time in sports writing, Gary has covered 29 Super Bowls, 10 Olympics, Final Fours, Masters, Wimbledons and college national championships. He was there when the Bucs won a Super Bowl, when the Lightning won a Stanley Cup and when the Rays went to a World Series. He has seen Florida, FSU and Miami all win national championships, and he covered Bear Bryant, Bobby Bowden and Don Shula along the way. He and his wife Janet have four children: Eric, Kevin, K.C. and Tori. To contact, visit garysheltonsports@gmail.com.

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