Baylor’s quarterback position has been hit hard this season, but at least it will get to end the year with an actual quarterback playing the position in the bowl game. Baylor head coach Art Briles has confirmed Chris Johnson will be expected to start for the Bears in the Russell Athletic Bowl against North Carolina. According to The Orlando Sentinel, Briles said quarterback Jarrett Stidham will not be ready to play in the game as he works his way back from an ankle injury.
“It doesn’t look like he’s going to be ready,” Briles said of Stidham, who himself replaced Seth Russell as a starter once he went down with a season-ending neck injury midway through the season.
“Play for everybody out there on the field except for yourself and be a great leader and a great competitor,” Briles said of Johnson. “He’s done an admirable job. He’s made some mistakes, which are understandable, but we sure feel like we can go out and win with him.”
Johnson has appeared in eight games, in which he has completed 39.5 percent of his pass attempts for 220 yards and three touchdowns with a pair of interceptions thrown. The extra time to prepare Johnson to run the Baylor offense will come in handy, rather than throwing him right into the fire in games against Oklahoma State, TCU and Texas with a Big 12 championship on the line.