- Associated Press - Friday, October 10, 2014

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (AP) - North Carolina has one quarterback who is leading the team in rushing, another with less experience and shaky confidence, and an offense that has been inconsistent through the first five games.

And yet, the Tar Heels are sticking with their weekly plan to play both heading into No. 6 Notre Dame on Saturday.

“If we were 5-0 right now, it wouldn’t even be a question,” receiver Ryan Switzer said. “Everyone’s a critic when things are going wrong. … So far it’s been the thing that people want to point out: ‘Oh, they shouldn’t be playing two.’

“But honestly - I would let you know - it doesn’t have an effect on any of the guys out there.”

Marquise Williams, a junior, has gotten most of the snaps for the Tar Heels (2-3) and ranks second in the Atlantic Coast Conference in total offense. He has thrown for 1,083 yards and nine touchdowns while rushing for a team-high 243 yards with two scores.

Mitch Trubisky, a redshirt freshman, has entered each game on the third offensive series and played later based on game flow. Coach Larry Fedora has said it’s important to get Trubisky some experience while also utilizing Williams’ run-pass skills, but the Tar Heels - while scoring 36 points per game - have lacked offensive consistency and battled stretches of flat play.

Fedora, however, said the rotation isn’t the culprit.

“Whether people think it’s working or not, we haven’t been successful,” he said. “So you can say that’s the reason we’re not successful. (But) I don’t think that has anything to do with the reason we’re not successful right now.”

Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly said UNC’s no-huddle offense doesn’t change much depending on which QB is playing.

“Their system is really the same, whether it’s Marquise or Mitch,” Kelly said. “The tempo I think is probably the biggest thing. It’s hard to get your different (substitution) groups into the game so that’s really the biggest challenge moreso than the two quarterbacks.”

Williams has been more effective, if for no other reason than he’s gotten more chances to build a rhythm and play through his mistakes.

He has led the Tar Heels to 16 of their 22 offensive touchdowns, while Trubisky has directed just four of those drives, according to STATS. The two both played on the same series during another TD drive at Clemson on Sept. 27.

Williams was in a similar rotation behind three-year starter Bryn Renner for part of last year. He has said he was concerned about possibly disrupting Renner’s rhythm.

Now he’s in Renner’s position, though he hasn’t complained publicly about it.

“We’re just doing what we need to do,” Williams said. “It shouldn’t affect the offense as a whole because we’ve been throwing with the same guys and the same backfield and the same offensive line and the same tempo. It shouldn’t affect nothing that’s out there.”

It’s been a bit tougher on Trubisky, who has two touchdown passes with three interceptions. He threw a pick-6 in one of his two series in last weekend’s loss to Virginia Tech.

While he said the game experience has helped, he said his confidence has taken a hit because he hasn’t carried his practice work to the game. He also said he has put more pressure on himself knowing that he won’t get many reps if he’s not playing well.

“I haven’t played nearly close to my potential, which is frustrating for me,” Trubisky said. “I’ve just got to find my confidence and hopefully I can put it out there soon. I know what I’m capable of doing and I certainly haven’t shown it yet.”

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Follow Aaron Beard on Twitter at https://www.twitter.com/aaronbeardap

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