VegasInsider.com
VI Mobile Scores and Betting OddsVI Mobile Scores and Betting Odds Be Social
Home
NFL
NBA
NHL
MLB
NCAA FB
NCAA BK
Golf
Auto
Horses
Soccer
Fantasy Sports
More
Betting Tools

 
Williams, Trubisky start QB battle for UNC

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (AP) - Marquise Williams helped lead North Carolina's turnaround from a 1-5 start to a winning record and a bowl victory. Now he is competing with a player who has never taken a college snap to remain the Tar Heels' starting quarterback.

Advertisement
''I'm working for it to be my job,'' the junior said Saturday during UNC's preseason media day. ''I'm working to be on the first team. That's how you have to think. Whatever happens next, happens next.''

The battle between Williams and redshirt freshman Mitch Trubisky is the highest-profile position race for the Tar Heels, who opened preseason camp Friday. The winner will lead a fast-paced spread offense that has put up big numbers in coach Larry Fedora's first two seasons here.

A year ago, UNC's line of succession seemed clear. Bryn Renner was entering his third year as a starter with Williams backing him up and the coaches grooming Trubisky to take over in 2014.

But Williams, a Charlotte native, earned rotation duty as a run-pass threat for UNC, then performed well enough to grow his role before Renner went down with a season-ending shoulder injury in November. Williams started the rest of the way and finished the year as UNC's leading rusher (536 yards, six touchdowns) while throwing for 1,698 yards and 15 touchdowns with six interceptions.

Now the race is a bit more uncertain, though Williams' experience would seem to give him an advantage. He said he made some of his biggest gains by working to become a better practice player, a transition that Fedora said began after Renner went down.

''You saw that he became a different player in practice,'' Fedora said. ''There was no more waiting for my time to come. ... You saw him lock in, you saw him focus, you saw him do the things you knew he was capable of doing. You hadn't seen it a bunch. And now that's what you see - and you saw it from that point on.''

Trubisky, from Mentor, Ohio, said he has focused on becoming a more vocal leader. He figures the quarterback that protects the ball and generates the most explosive plays will win the job.

''I'm going to try to be as prepared as I can when I get called on,'' Trubisky said, ''if it's for spurts at a time or over a long period of time. You've just got to be ready when your number is called.''

Sophomore receiver Ryan Switzer, who tied an NCAA single-season record with five punt returns for touchdowns, said he thought it was a close race entering camp.

''I'm not a quarterback expert, so as long as that guy is getting me the ball in a good space, I'm OK with it,'' Switzer said. ''And they're both doing that right now. I don't know what the coaches are looking for. I don't know what separates them, what one does better than the other. I just know it is close.''

Fedora would not say when he will name a starter, pointing out there is a long time until the opener against Liberty on Aug. 30. He also jokingly asked reporters if they had questions about any other positions after an early series of questions about the QB race.

Williams did not seem to mind answering the questions, though.

''We're pushing each other,'' Williams said. ''That's what we need and that's what I love about the game. I don't want anything to be handed to me. I want to earn what I deserve.''

---

Follow Aaron Beard on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/aaronbeardap

Copyright 2017 by STATS LLC and Associated Press.
Any commercial use or distribution without the express written
consent of STATS LLC and Associated Press is strictly prohibited.

  
HEADLINES
News: Conference Championship Odds
News: 2017 Heisman Betting Odds
QB race remains close at Virginia Tech
Dormady makes case in Vols' QB competition
Kiffin's first spring at FAU comes to a close
Fromm shines, Eason 'electric' in UGA game
Snyder again presides over K-State spring
New Baylor offense shows drastic changes
Notre Dame hope spring yields progress
MORE HEADLINES
 
Why Buy Picks From VegasInsider.com
NCAAFB College Football Handicapper Sports Picks Records
VegasInsider.com Gold Membership
2016 CFB SEASON PICK RECORDS
Money Leaders
Handicapper Money
Scott Rickenbach + 2051
Joe Williams + 1909
Pat Hawkins + 1752
Last Week's Leaders
Handicapper Money
Greg Smith + 400
Joe Nelson + 385
Scott Rickenbach + 380
Percentage Leaders
Handicapper Pct
Scott Pritchard 60 %
Scott Rickenbach 59 %
Kyle Hunter 57 %
Guaranteed Leaders
Handicapper Money
Micah Roberts + 1239
Scott Rickenbach + 1082
Kyle Hunter + 1023
Over-Under Leaders
Handicapper Money
Micah Roberts + 2485
Kyle Hunter + 2166
NeiltheGreek + 2076
Member Leaders
Handicapper Money
Vince Akins + 805
Scott Rickenbach + 657
Pat Hawkins + 595
MORE PICK RECORDS
  
corner graphic
With a VI Gold Membership, you can SAVE 10% off a Live Odds subscription, SAVE 20% off Daily Pick packages, and receive access to up to 1,000 Member Plays each month!
VI Gold Membership