Joe Ovies

Talking Points: Triangle quarterbacks in the spotlight

Posted August 31, 2014

1. After months of poring through preview magazines, parsing countless media day interviews and diligently reading every camp update -- college football is finally back.

Let me guess. Your first Saturday of the season probably started out like this, correct?

By now the initial excitement has worn off and you've been pondering the deeper meaning of the results ever since. Perhaps your favorite program trounced the competition. Maybe it took a few quarters for everything to click and the win was too close for comfort. And heaven forbid your squad suffered an embarrassing loss.

It was a Saturday where Florida State was taken to the brink, Clemson was run over by Todd Gurley and Virginia was left wondering "what if those turnovers didn't turn into touchdowns?" Whatever happened, just keep in mind the first Saturday of football does not define the rest of the season.

2. The anticipation of Jacoby Brissett's NC State quarterback debut grew with every injury and bad throw at the position last season. The glowing reviews from his Wolfpack teammates and head coach Dave Doeren only added to the hype, but Brissett had to shake off the cobwebs first. Considering he hadn't seen actual football competition in almost two years, his early struggles should've surprised no one. 

Brissett was 10-of-17 for 78 yards and an interception in the opening half. There were at least three passes that could have turned into touchdowns had they not been overthrown. Eventually Brissett settled down and delivered when NC State desperately needed it in the fourth quarter. Two of his three second half touchdowns came in the final 7:00.

The moment where it all came together for Brissett came on the game-winning drive, where he completed a series of quick strikes to his receivers. NC State's offense was moving so efficiently that Georgia Southern was forced to burn their final timeout. Unable to adjust, Brissett eventually hooked up with Matt Dayes for a 35-yard touchdown.

The Wolfpack lacked that level of consistency seen in Brissett's second half performance all of the previous season. While credit should also go to the offensive line and runningback Shadrach Thornton, NC State doesn't rally without him. Just another not-so-subtle reminder how much that position matters.

3. North Carolina head coach Larry Fedora openly trolled the media over who would be his starting quarterback against Liberty. Would it be Marquise Williams or Mitch Trubisky? Fedora simply wouldn't reveal his choice, going so far as to drop a bunch of "or" qualifiers in the game week depth chart.

Which was fine. Common sense said Williams would start against the Flames and sure enough that was the case. Fedora felt that his experience from last season gave him a slight edge. However, Trubisky also earned the opportunity to take meaningful snaps. So this quarterback competition is far from over despite Williams getting the first crack at it. 

Williams finished 19 of 29 for 169 yards. While he did throw two interceptions, Williams did toss two touchdowns and rushed for two more scores. Trubisky wrapped up the evening 10 for 16 for 66 yards, one interception and one touchdown.

Although Williams didn't exactly wow on Saturday night, he does have a better grasp of the action compared to Trubisky. Call it a hunch, but Williams will continue to start for the Tar Heels.

4. Duke cruised past Elon as quarterback Anthony Boone threw for 247 yards and four touchdowns. The Blue Devils scored on all but three of their offensive drives against the Phoenix.

And that's about it. Seriously. 

5. Duke made it look easy. North Carolina and NC State not so much. Both the Tar Heels and Wolfpack experienced self inflicted moments of severe anxiety in the second half of each game. 

Those mistakes will undoubtedly be addressed by the respective coaching staffs in the coming weeks, but some of these issues are holdovers from last season.

NC State's rushing defense, which gave up an average of 217.4 yards per game in the ACC in 2013, had similar trouble stopping Georgia Southern's ground attack. Down 20-10 to the fourth quarter, the Wolfpack got a break when Eagles runningback Kevin Ellis fumbled at the goal line. NC State turned that stop into a 99-yards touchdown drive and changed the momentum of game.

North Carolina upped the difficult level of knocking off Liberty with early turnovers, a missed field goal and a botched snap that resulted in a safety. It got real dicey for the Tar Heels when Liberty took a 22-21 lead in the third quarter after safety Jacob Hagen returned a fumble for a touchdown. 

The Flames were then extinguished with a combination of their own mistakes and opportunistic defense from the Heels. 

10 Comments

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  • @JonesyWales Sep 3, 7:24 p.m.

    The author has 23 Years of Tecmo Bowl Experience. I guess that was hyperbole and and attempt at humor.

  • lewiskr45 Sep 2, 2014

    View quoted thread


    And 2 of them are his! Sad

  • heelsforever Aug 31, 2014

    View quoted thread



    He was most certainly on everyone's RADAR. I'm pretty sure Carolina was in his top 2-3 and State may have been in the running too. In the end he chose a football school. Can't say that I blame him, ar any other top player in NC for that matter, for leaving the state to attend a football school.

  • Josh Anderson Aug 31, 2014

    View quoted thread

    You're right...He won WRAL's award for best football player last year and they cover them on TV, but yes, you're right...

  • Toddler10-21 Aug 31, 2014

    Six wins and everybody is happy. Did anyone see Todd Gurley yesterday? People wonder why he went out of state. Was he even on State/UNC/Wake/Duke's radar? Young man will be a top pick in the draft next year. Kelvin Bryant is a legend in Tarboro, but Gurley may surpass!

  • 4DukeTillDeath Aug 31, 2014

    Since when is Greenville in the Triangle madkkowz?

  • JACKSON SAWYER REVENGE Aug 31, 2014

    with the exception of WAKE I think the triangle teams and ECU will go to a bowl game this year-STATE AND UNC WILL BE BETTER and while Duke may not be better they will be the best in the triangle.

  • dave437 Aug 31, 2014

    wow, only four Tweets in an Ovaries blog....

  • Jeanne Gunn Aug 31, 2014

    While the final score would suggest otherwise, until halfway through the third quarter, the game was anything but easy for the Heels. State had a tougher time beating GS. Agree that the opening game doesn't define the rest of the season.

  • Josh Anderson Aug 31, 2014

    Thanks for not mentioning the best of the bunch - Shane Carden.

  • ACC: Syracuse at NC State

    Saturday at 12:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • SEC: Florida at Kentucky

    Saturday at 2:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • Pac 12: Stanford at Arizona

    Saturday at 4:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • Big Ten: Wisconsin at Minnesota

    Tomorrow at 7:00 pm on 99.9 The Fan

  • NBA: Dallas at Portland

    Tomorrow at 9:30 pm on 99.9 The Fan

  • NHL: Hurricanes vs. Minnesota

    Friday at 8:00 pm on 99.9 The Fan

Scoreboard
Local
4th
BRK 70
CHA 97
 
2nd
DUKE 69
WAKE 33
 
Final
LOS 4
CWS 6
 
Final
CLE 4
CIN 2
 
Final
TEX 2
KAN 13
 
Final
SFG 2
OAK 9
 
Final
SEA 4
SDP 3
 
Final
MIL 8
WMIL 0
 
Final
COL 3
ARI 6
 
9th
MIN 3
UMIN 1
 
Final
IND 105
NYK 82
 
Final
ORL 100
PHO 105
 
4th
BRK 70
CHA 97
 
4th
TOR 93
CLE 95
 
4th
BOS 72
UTA 68
 
3rd
MIN 51
DEN 66
 
3rd
NOP 52
DET 50
 
3rd
MIA 53
LAL 55
 
3rd
HOU 72
MEM 73
 
3rd
OKC 60
PHI 63
 
2nd
SAN 45
SAC 36
 
10:30pm Tonight
GSW
MIL
10:30pm Tonight
LAC
POR
Final
UNCA 80
LIB 70
 
Final
PSU 67
OSU 77
 
Final
USB 62
BING 57
 
Final
FORD 66
DUQ 81
 
Final
GMAS 51
GWU 67
 
Final
UNH 54
HART 52
 
Final
STJOE 55
LAS 50
 
Final
Terriers 79
LIU 70
 
Final
GTDNS 83
MAINE 66
 
Final
LOU 59
ND 71
 
Final
SHU 66
PROV 79
 
Final
BRY 91
SHU 85
 
Final
MORE 79
SEMIZ 74
 
Final
MNTER 58
RFLSH 73
 
Final
LSU 63
TENN 78
 
Final
SFLA 74
UCF 45
 
Final
VERM 66
UMBC 39
 
Final
RMU 91
WAGN 68
 
Final
UMASS 53
RICH 56
 
2nd
TULA 46
HOU 43
 
2nd
YALE 58
HOW 43
 
2nd
PITT 47
MIAMI 49
 
2nd
TXPA 35
NMST 45
 
2nd
MSU 39
PURD 33
 
2nd
STLU 37
BONA 48
 
2nd
DUKE 69
WAKE 33
 
1st
TULSA 8
CIN 12
 
1st
VANDY 22
MSST 29
 
1st
OKST 17
TCU 21
 
1st
UCLA 32
USC 19
 
1st
WYO 30
UTST 22
 
1st
MARQ 9
STJ 10
 
1st
EILL 0
SIUE 0
 
10:00pm Tonight
FRES
AFA
10:00pm Tonight
SJST
BSU
10:00pm Tonight
NEV
COLST
10:00pm Tonight
ILL
NEB
11:00pm Tonight
ORST
OREG
11:00pm Tonight
UNLV
SDST
11:59pm Tonight
HAW
UCSB
 
2nd Intermission
WIN 0
OTT 3
 
2nd
DET 1
NYR 1
 
10:00pm Tonight
ANA
MON
10:00pm Tonight
COL
PIT