Change at quarterback sparks North Carolina to win over Delaware

Mitch Trubisky shook off some early rust to throw for four touchdowns in relief of Marquise Williams. Ben McKeown/Icon Sportswire

North Carolina is 3-1 for the first time in four years, but the season could be at a crossroads this coming week. Starting quarterback Marquise Williams was on the sideline in the second half and the Tar Heels turned to backup Mitch Trubisky.

UNC coach Larry Fedora now might have a quarterback controversy on his hands, if not a complete reshuffling of the depth chart. Fedora said after the game they went with Trubisky because he had the hot hand and there was no injury to Williams.

Twice with North Carolina nursing only a six-point lead in the third quarter, Trubisky threw long touchdowns to help the Heels pull away from Delaware 41-14. He finished the game with 312 yards and four touchdowns on 17-of-20 passing.

What the win means for North Carolina: It might have a new starting quarterback. Williams’ three interceptions cost the Heels in the season-opening loss to South Carolina, and he was not playing great in the bad conditions against Delaware. Trubisky, a redshirt sophomore, struggled early but found his footing, and he could be the Heels’ starter moving forward. If the move doesn’t cause a break in the locker room and Trubisky continues to play well, the Heels will have as much momentum as they’ve had under Fedora entering league play. Could the Heels be the ACC Coastal favorite?

What the loss means for Delaware: Helped by the elements, Delaware had a chance to pull off the upset in the rain at Chapel Hill. Despite leaving with a loss, Delaware can be pleased with how it played against a quality Power 5 opponent. Delaware can do some damage with running back Thomas Jefferson.

Stat of the game: Trubisky fumbled on the fourth snap of the second half, giving Delaware the ball at midfield in a game in which UNC led by only six points. Instead of pulling the ball from Trubisky’s hands -- or pulling him from the game -- Fedora left it up to Trubisky to win it. Over the remainder of the third quarter, Trubisky threw it eight times and rushed it once more. The rest of the team had two rushes.

Top play: It wasn’t another punt return touchdown, but it sure looked like one as soon as Ryan Switzer picked the ball out of the air. Switzer broke a tackle, set up some blocks and then cut across the field for a 63-yard touchdown.