Slowing Down The Fed Spread

Larry Fedora and his version of the hurry-up, no-huddle offense will come to Clemson on September 27. The Fed Spread is up next in our look at the five biggest challenges for the Clemson D in 2014.

Exactly who will be the Tar Heels' triggerman at quarterback is still up in the air, but it's a two-man race between Marquise Williams and Mitch Trubisky.

A redshirt junior, Williams started the final five games in 2013 and led UNC to a 4-1 record. For the year, he completed 126 of 217 passes for 1,698 yards with 15 touchdowns and six interceptions. His 536 yards and six touchdowns on the ground were both team highs.

Trubisky, a redshirt freshman, was a four-star prospect coming out of high school in 2013.

In the spring game, Williams completed 22 of 32 passes for 135 yards with an interception. Trubisky connected on 20 of 32 throws for 183 yards and a pick.

Despite losing tight end Eric Ebron to the NFL, Williams and/or Trubiskey will have some nice pieces to thrown the ball to, particularly at wide receiver.

Gaffney native Quinshad Davis was the top wide receiver at UNC last season with 48 catches for 730 yards and 10 touchdowns. Ryan Switzer was a freshman sensation as a punt returner, but he wasn't too shabby in the passing game either, hauling in 32 catches for 341 yards and three touchdowns.

Wide receivers Johnathan Howard, T.J. Thorpe and Sean Tapley all had over 20 receptions in 2013.

The young stable of running backs is just as talented, if not more. Scat-back sophomore T.J. Logan had 533 yards and four touchdowns as a freshman. Romar Morris, another shifty runner, had 296 yards and five scores as a sophomore. Khris Francis, who's a thicker between the tackles kind of runner had 236 yards as a freshman last season.

Then there's Elijah Hood, the four-star freshman from Charlotte. Notre Dame had him. Clemson wanted him. Everybody wanted him, but UNC got him. At the end of spring practice, Fedora said he's never had a freshman pick up the offense as quickly as Hood.

Hood is a front-runner to win ACC Rookie of the Year. We suspect he'll also contend for All-ACC honors, too.

There is one hitch to it all, on the ground and through the air. Up front, the Tar Heels are very inexperienced. There was some serious attrition along the offensive lineman. Guard Landon Turner -- is among the most experienced. Caleb Patterson, a 12-game stater in 2013, is back after missing the spring with a shoulder injury. Lucas Crowley, the starting center for three games last season, will be the full-time starter there.

That could make for a long afternoon/evening in Death Valley. Vic Beasley, Grady Jarrett and the rest of the Clemson defensive line could make life miserable for whoever is passing or running the ball for North Carolina. Top Stories