The Stanford Cardinal defeated the North Carolina Tar Heels Friday afternoon in the Sun Bowl, holding off a late two-point conversion attempt to win 25-23. The Cardinal defensive line got pressure on quarterback Mitch Trubisky on the attempt, and UNC came up short.
Trubisky started and ended the game quite well, but did have some issues in the middle. He led UNC on a ten-play 71 yard scoring drive in the first quarter, getting the first points on a 19-yard touchdown pass. On the final UNC scoring drive, he led the team 97 yards on ten plays in 1:09, completing a two-yard touchdown pass to Bug Howard. He finished the game 23 of 39 for 280 yards with two touchdowns, two interceptions and a fumble.
The turnovers will be something on people’s minds, although the fumble is a tough one. He was running with the ball, and a referee trying to maneuver out of the way grazed him and dislodged the ball. Of course, even if we remove that, the two interceptions were certainly not ideal.
Trubisky showed all the tools that make teams intrigued by him, including the accuracy, deep ball, and scrambling skills. However, the inconsistency was there to keep some people hesitant about spending a high draft pick on him. If there were one or two other clear-cut top of the first round quarterbacks, people might be more inclined to look at him a bit later. But he is being discussed as a potential early first round pick. Teams are desperate for a franchise quarterback in the draft, and frequently they will get aggressive even if they have significant questions about the player.
And so, we will now wait and see what the pre-draft process brings. Trubisky has not declared yet, but signs point to it happening. Assuming he does, the Combine, Pro Day, and workout process will provide plenty of opportunity for people to pick apart his game.