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How Good is Yates Relatively Speaking?

The Fayetteville Observer highlights T.J. Yates and ECU's Patrick Pinkney as two surprise QBs this season:

Davis’ preseason concerns about UNC’s quarterback position have been answered by Yates, who enters Saturday’s game at South Florida ranked ninth nationally in passing efficiency. He’s already thrown nine touchdown passes in three games, putting him more than halfway to the school single-season record of 17 held by Darian Durant.

Let me first offer my "mea culpa" where Yates is concerned. I am on record as saying that I thought the QB production would be limited this season and the best we could hope for was a QB who would simply not hurt the team.

Boy was I wrong.

Yates has been an incredible surprise for a program that has not really benefited fromincredible surprises. In fact Yates has been so good he is over halfway to the UNC school record for passing TD which might not be that impressive. But to put this in perspective NC State's Philip Rivers holds the freshman record for TD passes in one season at 25. Rivers also holds the ACC record for most TD passes in a season at 34. It is conceivable at this point that Yates could eclipse the freshman mark. He would have to average 2 TD passes a game for the rest of the schedule which would give him 27. That could be a tall order but with the lack of any discernible running game and the corps of receivers UNC has, it is possible.*

There is no way of knowing how good Yates will end up being, but for now it is nice to have a solid QB under center.