CHAPEL HILL – Mitch Trubisky closed spring drills with a solid finish in his battle to wrestle North Carolina’s starting job away from Marquise Williams.
The redshirt freshman threw for 183 yards and led six scoring drives resulting in 38 points in Saturday’s spring game. Five drives went for touchdowns, though Trubisky didn’t throw a touchdown pass.
Williams, a rising junior who started six games last year, directed a pair of scoring drives that resulted in a touchdown and a field goal. He threw for 135 yards but took six sacks compared to one by Trubisky.
The quarterbacks rotated on both teams during the Blue’s 38-17 win against White. Coach Larry Fedora said the two will continue to battle for the job in training camp this summer.
“I thought both of them made some good plays,” he said. “There were a couple of things I didn’t like, a couple of balls that were thrown from each of them that I didn’t like. We’ll keep evaluating and they’ll keep competing.”
It wasn’t a spectacular day for either quarterback. In fact, the only two touchdown throws came from third-stringer Kanler Coker and receiver Quinshad Davis, who took a toss from Trubisky and connected downfield with T.J. Thorpe for a 37-yard score.
Trubisky completed 20 of 32 passes and had an interception on a deflected pass. One of his empty drives reached the four-yard line and ended with a short field goal that was missed.
“I thought I did all right,” Trubisky said. “Coach always talks about you don’t have to go out and make a big splash. You’ve just got to do your job and move the ball.”
Williams completed 22 of 32 passes and had his own pick immediately after Trubisky’s interception. Two of his drives ended on downs when he threw incompletions after driving inside the 30.
“I felt good, man,” Williams said. “I probably missed about two or three throws I wish I could have back. Other than that, I felt good throwing the ball today and it felt real good outside.”
Fedora and Seth Littrell, the new assistant head coach for offense, are looking for a permanent replacement for three-year starter Bryn Renner.
Williams earned a steadily increasing role in the no-huddle spread last season with his run-pass ability, and then started the last five games after Renner went down with a shoulder injury. Trubisky redshirted last year and has been pegged by many as the eventual starter.
Both quarterbacks got plenty of help from the ground game.
T.J. Logan ran for 108 yards and two touchdowns to lead Blue, including a 36-yard score late. Khris Francis ran for 87 yards and two scores for White.
The game also marked the debut of touted freshman tailback Elijah Hood, last season’s Associated Press prep football state player of the year out of Charlotte Catholic. The January enrollee finished with 15 yards on nine carries for Blue.