Saturday’s intra-squad scrimmage could go a long way in determining who earns the starting quarterback job for the North Carolina State Wolfpack. Head coach Dave Doeren announced the battle has become a two-man race between Brandon Mitchell and Pete Thomas.
While Thomas has more starting experience, having played two seasons at Colorado State before transferring to N.C. State, Mitchell is the better fit for Doeren’s offense. As the head coach at Northern Illinois, Doeren’s quarterbacks often led the team in rushing. In 2012, quarterback Jordan Lynch ran for 1,815 yards for Northern Illinois, four times more than the highest running back total on the team.
After losing the starting quarterback race at Arkansas during spring ball, Mitchell decided to transfer to N.C. State this May. During his years with the Razorbacks, Mitchell displayed athleticism that Doeren covets in his quarterbacks. In fact, last season he lined up at wide receiver for Arkansas at times, ending the year with 17 catches and 272 yards.
At 6-foot-4, 239 pounds, Mitchell has great size to play quarterback as well. He did earn a few snaps at quarterback for Arkansas, but he spent a majority of his career as the backup for Tyler Wilson. There is no Wilson on the roster at N.C. State, giving Mitchell an excellent chance to win the job during fall camp.
On Saturday, Wolfpack fans will descend upon Carter-Finley Stadium to watch the first live battle for the quarterback job. If Mitchell has been able to learn the playbook over the past few months, he should earn the starting job over Thomas.
If not, Thomas could end up under center in 2013, and Doeren would have to alter his offense to match his skill set.
And that’s something he doesn’t want to do.