Joe Giglio offers some interesting and I would note spot-on analysis of T.J. Yates and the future of the UNC QB position:
Given the loyalty Davis and offensive coordinator John Shoop have shown to quarterback T.J. Yates — choosing him over Cam Sexton in 2007 and again at the end of 2008 — it's hardly a certainty that his 31st career start was his last but you have to figure that freshman Bryn Renner will be given every opportunity to win the starting job in 2010.
Yates plateaued, at best, and regressed, at worst, in his third season as UNC's starting quarterback. With his experience, there's no reason he should have even attempted the pass that was intercepted in the second quarter at the goal line.
And it's not just the random bad decisions (not that Shoop is absolved for calling a pass after running back Ryan Houston ran 10 times on the 12-play drive). Yates throws a fastball on nearly every pass attempt. For a guy with such good touch on his deep throws, he has no "off" switch on shorter or intermediate routes.
He threw a great ball, with a ton of mustard, to Little for a third-quarter touchdown. A post route between the corner and safety is when you are supposed to load the gun and sling it.
On second-and-goal on the same series as the interception in the second quarter, Yates threw a heater to the left corner of the back of the end zone that would have been too high for Yao Ming. He has got to lead Little on that throw with some air, not zip it as hard as he can.
Those are decisions that a third-year starter should be making in their sleep and ultimately that could be what costs him his starting job as a senior.
The book on Renner is that he's more athletic, and by all accounts, has been strong in practice (he won the team's award for best practice player). In normal circumstances, you would give a would-be senior with 31 starts the edge in decision-making but Yates' play Saturday suggests otherwise.
I really don't have anything to add. Yates' inaccuracy has been a bugaboo all season but Giglio points out it is more than that. Yates throws the wrong kind of pass at the wrong time. His experience as a starter should equate to better decisions but it hasn't. Red zone INTs are a constant issue for Yates not to mention just suspect decision making all around. Giglio thinks Yates being out by next fall is a long shot given the loyalty John Shoop has for the rising senior. In case you were wondering, Bryn Renner has been good in practice but whether that is enough to unseat Yates in the minds of Shoop and Butch Davis remains to be seen.
Be sure you read the whole piece over at ACC Now which ultimately makes the point that had UNC played smarter they would be 11-2 right now. Hard to argue with that given the way three of their losses went down.