Ben Sherman/Inside Carolina

Fedora: UNC Could Win With Trubisky

UNC's head coach has full faith that his team could win with its backup quarterback.

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. – Larry Fedora has been vocal and direct this summer in declaring Marquise Williams the unquestioned No. 1 quarterback for his HUNH offense.

Fedora also has full confidence in Williams’s backup, sophomore Mitch Trubisky.

“We could win with Mitch right now if we went with Mitch, no doubt,” Fedora said following Wednesday’s practice. “We’ve got two quarterbacks that I know we can win with right now.”

Trubisky appeared in 10 games as a redshirt freshman in 2014, completing 42 of his 78 passes for 459 yards, four touchdowns and four interceptions. The Mentor, Ohio native was involved in an early quarterback controversy that prompted criticism from the fan base when he subbed in for the third series in each of the first five games of the season.

UNC lost three of those five games, with poor offensive starts in each outing.

Fedora and quarterbacks coach Keith Heckendorf defended the substitution pattern at the time, and the fourth-year UNC head coach continues to credit that experience for Trubisky’s game-winning 16-yard touchdown pass to T.J. Thorpe against Virginia in late October.

“The things that we did with him when he walked into that Virginia game on [3rd-and-15], he didn’t blink,” Fedora said. “He threw a touchdown pass to win a game, so I think all of those things paid off in that situation.”

Trubisky split reps with Williams during training camp in 2014, but that hasn’t been the case this year. As such, his mindset has adjusted to maintaining focus for any potential opportunities in a live game setting.

“I think it’s just always being engaged,” Trubisky said. “Even out in practice, even when I’m not in, knowing the play and knowing what I would do if I was in.”

Trubisky has benefitted in meetings and film study by serving as a veteran of sorts in the quarterbacks room. While Williams is the fifth-year senior leader of the group, Trubisky is next in line with three freshman quarterbacks rounding out the depth chart.

“It’s kind of different being the older guy with me and ‘Quise leading the meetings and out here on the field,” Trubisky said. “It’s great to have younger guys ask you questions and knowing you’re helping them get better.”

Fedora told reporters Trubisky’s game has improved dramatically from where it was this time last year.

“It’s not even close,” Fedora said. “He’s much more mature, much more comfortable and much more confident in what he’s doing out there.”

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