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ACC Now: Q&A With John Shoop Plus A QB Decision

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Welcome to the QB Carousel.

ACC Now has an excellent Q&A with John Shoop broken into two parts here and here.  Allow me to comment on his key statements:

  • There are two main differences between Paulus and Sexton.  Paulus has a big arm and can throw the ball with speed and distance.  Sexton is quicker on his feet and can create a little bit outside the pocket.  These aspects are being evaluated to see which one fits in with the offense and matches up against the opposing defense.
  • The whole offense was to blame for the meltdown Saturday.  Fumbles as well as the interceptions were costly.  Shoop reintirates the point we have heard since last season and that is the coaches want a QB who will not make mistakes.  Shoop said the best thing Yates was doing on Saturday was not committing turnovers.  UNC wants to end every drive with a kick.
  • The offensive playbook will remain largely the same.  Adjustments will be made to play to the strength of whoever the starter is which I take to mean they will probably opt for shorter passes with Sexton but maybe cut Paulus loose a little more.  If the offensive line is having problems, I imagine they might roll Sexton out of the pocket if he is in or run Paulus in the shotgun which is more comfortable for him.
  • Shoop says he will not be on the sideline like he was last season for Yates, however Yates will be down there and should be very helpful in guiding either QB.
  • Shoop talks up the Miami defense as possibly the best one they have faced.  Hard to believe they are better than Virginia Tech who caused UNC all sorts of trouble.

Also, Butch Davis is now indicating that they may use both Paulus and Sexton on Saturday.  I am not overtly crazy about using a QB-by-committee following the disaster it was in 2006.  Granted that did not happen under Davis and Shoop so hopefully they have a better clue how to employ it.  I think there is an element of not knowing for sure which QB will handle the Miami defense better and also may underscore concerns about the offensive line protecting the pocket.  Sexton is more mobile and experienced which could mean he is less likely to be sacked either via escape or making the decision to throw it away.  Paulus, if he can get protection, will probably do a better job of getting the ball to the Big Three and stretch the field.

Or Davis may simply be looking for whoever has the hot hand and go with them.