After North Carolina defeated NC State on Saturday 27-19, I discussed how having two quarterbacks was better than one for the 2013 Tar Heels. This was due to the fact that fifth year senior Bryn Renner and redshirt sophomore Marquise Williams complemented each other perfectly while running the offense.
Renner is a prototypical pocket passer with experience, whereas Williams is a dual-threat quarterback, using both his legs and arm to propel head coach Larry Fedora’s spread offense.
However, news broke Tuesday afternoon announcing Renner’s season – and career – was officially over due to a shoulder injury he suffered in the third quarter on Saturday against the Wolfpack. Renner will have surgery on Wednesday, November 6th and will never take the field as a Tar Heel again.
Renner finished his career among the top Carolina quarterbacks of all time. In the UNC record books, he ranks first in completion percentage (66.5), second in passing touchdowns (64), third in completions (668) and third in passing yards (8,221).
As terrible as this is for the quarterback who has spent the last five years representing the University of North Carolina with nothing but class during a time of great turmoil for the football program, the 2013 Carolina football season must go on.
The Tar Heels will rely solely on Williams to run the offense over the course of the last four regular season games. This is a situation he is much more prepared for than he was at the beginning of the year, as he started his first career game against Virginia Tech on October 5th and has split time with Renner over the last three games.
For the rest of the season, I think the offense will be just fine. Williams has shown incredible ability to run the ball and has vastly improved the Carolina running game – an area of their game that has been sub-par up until this point.
Also, Williams has proven to have good touch when throwing the ball deep and overall his throwing accuracy has not been bad – completing over 60 percent of his passes on the year with six touchdowns in 66 attempts.
As long as Williams can stay healthy over the last four games – not an easy task considering he does put his body on the line running the ball on a regular basis – I do not think UNC will suffer much on offense.
Of course, it is still going to be a tough task to for the Heels to win three of their last four regular season games to become bowl eligible, and this task just got a lot tougher losing one of the biggest leaders on the team.
Nevertheless, I think Williams will shine when the lights get the brightest over the last part of the regular season. With the help of an easier schedule, I would still be surprised if Carolina did not end the season with a record of at least 6-6 and make the first bowl game of the Fedora era at UNC.