Georgia Tech won’t have to worry about seeing quarterback Marquise Williams in the North Carolina huddle Saturday. He wrapped up his playing career after tormenting the Yellow Jackets for the past two seasons with his feet and his arm.
But the Yellow Jackets won’t get a break. Mitch Trubisky has taken the reins and has proven to be as formidable as Williams, who finished his career as No. 4 on the all-time ACC total offense list.
“They’re both good players,” Georgia Tech head coach Paul Johnson said. “Marquise Williams was a really good player, and I think that Trubisky is a very good player, as well.”
Trubisky gave the Tar Heels a peek of his ability a year ago when he completed 40-of-47 passes (85.1 percent) for six touchdowns. This season, Trubisky has completed 203-of-285 passes (71.2 percent) for 18 touchdowns and a 160.8 passing efficiency rating.
To put it in perspective, Trubisky is almost comparable to Louisville’s Lamar Jackson, who is being touted as a Heisman Trophy contender. Trubisky has a higher rating and trails Jackson by only 144 yards and four touchdowns.
“He’s very accurate,” Johnson said. “I think it helps that he’s surrounded by really good skill players. But there’s no question he understands the system and he fits it well. He does a really, really good job of distributing the ball. He’s a good player. There’s no question about that.”
North Carolina’s bye advantage?: The Tar Heels will be rested and ready after an off week that gave them extra time to prepare for Georgia Tech. But Tar Heels head coach Larry Fedora dismissed the idea that the additional week will work to his team’s advantage.
“We didn’t have a bye week against them last year, and we did OK,” Fedora said of his team’s 38-31 win last year. “I think really the bye week for me is more about the health, the mental and physical health, of our football team and where it is in the season. I don’t know if you get to pick the ideal time, but for us, we really needed it. We were beat up physically and mentally, and it just so happens that it gives us some extra practices on Georgia Tech, so you have that that’s beneficial.”
Roster update: A-back J.J. Green will miss Saturday’s game with a right leg injury, and B-back Dedrick Mills is eligible to return after clearing the concussion protocol.
Green was injured on a kickoff return against Duke and had to be helped off the field. The injury leaves the Yellow Jackets shorthanded at A-back, where Green was one of the top blockers, and on kickoff returns, where he averaged 24.6 yards and returned one kick for a touchdown.
Lance Austin replaced Green last week and averaged 12.7 yards on three returns. Austin’s inexperience was evident as he unwisely opted to return two kicks from the end zone and left the Yellow Jackets deep in their own territory each time.
Mills missed last week’s game with Duke after suffering a concussion in practice. In six games this season, Mills has rushed for 446 yards and scored 10 touchdowns.
Two reserve defensive backs, Jalen Johnson and Christian Campbell, have been suspended pending investigation of an on-campus incident.