Brandon Mitchell

Upset Alert: Jacoby Brissett dazzles in first half as NC State leads No. 1 FSU 24-21

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The North Carolina State Wolfpack is giving the No. 1 Florida State Seminoles everything they can handle and then some.

North Carolina State senior quarterback Jacoby Brissett was stellar through two quarters of play as the Wolfpack leads Florida State 24-21 at halftime.

A year ago, Florida State pounded North Carolina State by a score of 49-17. The Seminoles led 42-0 at halftime. North Carolina State’s quarterback last year, Brandon Mitchell, was awful. Mitchell was 17-of-33 passing with a pair of interceptions and generally overwhelmed by Florida State’s talented defense.

Brissett’s play in the first half was the complete opposite of Mitchell’s.

This year’s starter is 14-of-20 passing for 214 yards and a pair of touchdowns. It’s been Brissett’s ability as both a passer and runner which baffled Florida State early in the contest. Brissett’s second touchdown pass was a thing of beauty and will go down as one of the best plays of the college football season (see: below).

Brissett was matched by Florida State’s Jameis Winston. The reigning Heisman Trophy winner returned this week after being suspended for last week’s game. Winston continues to play at a high level. The sophomore was 14-of-21 passing for 210 yards and two touchdowns.

These two quarterbacks will be expected to play at high level in the second half for their team to capture a victory.

Although, momentum built in Florida State’s favor in the second quarter. North Carolina State jumped out to an early 24-7 lead in the first quarter before Winston and the Seminoles came roaring back.

The Wolfpack needs to regain the intensity it had to start the game, while Florida State overcame the early emotion and looked more like the best team in college football during the second quarter.

From CSU to NCSU, Pete Thomas now at ULM

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Already this morning, we’ve done posts on two different players who have either landed at or are searching for their third FBS football programs to call home.  As it turns out, we’ve officially hit the triple-transfer trifecta.

Louisiana-Monroe announced vi a press release Tuesday that Pete Thomas will join the Warhawk football program this summer.  As the quarterback will be a graduate transfer, he will be eligible to play for ULM immediately.

Once on campus, Monroe will merely serve as the latest destination for a football vagabond in search of playing time.

Brandon Mitchell was named the Wolfpack’s starter over Thomas heading into the 2013 season but suffered an injury in the opener, with the broken bone in his foot sidelining him for the first half of the year.  Mitchell, himself a graduate transfer from Arkansas last year, completed his collegiate eligibility, which would’ve cleared the way for Thomas to at least compete for the starting job at NCSU.

That, though, would’ve meant another competition with a former SEC quarterback.  In January of last year, Jacoby Brissett transferred from Florida to NCSU.  Sitting out the 2013 season to satisfy NCAA transfer rules, Brissett entered spring practice as the favorite to win the starting job, prompting Thomas to exit the program in February.

Thomas sat out the 2012 season after transferring to the Wolfpack from Colorado State.  He started six games in 2013, including games 2-6 in place of the injured Mitchell.

Hogs move A.J. Derby from No. 2 QB to TE

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In 2013, A.J. Derby served as the backup to starting quarterback Brandon Allen.  A year later, it appears Derby is poised to be on the receiving end of Allen’s pass attempts.

It was revealed Thursday that Derby, entering his final season of eligibility, has been moved from quarterback to tight end.  The move doesn’t appear to come because of Derby’s struggles at the position — ArkansasNews.com wrote that “[t]he position switch came after Derby turned in one of his best scrimmage performances” — but rather the improvement of Austin Allen.

Barring injury or regression, it now appears the redshirt freshman Allen will exit spring and enter summer camp as the No. 2 quarterback behind the starting Allen.  And, yes, the two Allens are brothers.

The 6-5, 246-pound Derby, whose brother was a tight end at Iowa, transferred to the Razorbacks from the JUCO ranks in December of 2012.  He transferred out of the Iowa program in the January prior to that.

When Brandon Mitchell left the Hogs in May of 2013, Derby slid into the No. 2 spot behind Allen in the quarterback pecking order.  As Allen’s primary backup, Derby completed 19-of-36 passes for 178 yards, one touchdown and one interception.  He started one game in the place of the injured starter.

Pete Thomas transferring again, this time from NCSU

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A little over two years after transferring into the North Carolina State football program, Pete Thomas is transferring out.

NCSU officials confirmed Friday that the quarterback has decided to take his leave of the Wolfpack and transfer to another program.  As Thomas will graduate this spring, he will be eligible to play at the FBS level in 2014 without sitting out a transfer year.

No reason for the departure was given, although “tired of competing with SEC transfers” could very well have played into it.

Brandon Mitchell was named the Wolfpack’s starter over Thomas heading into the 2013 season but suffered an injury in the opener, with the broken bone in his foot sidelining him for the first half of the year.  Mitchell, himself a graduate transfer from Arkansas last year, completed his collegiate eligibility, which would’ve cleared the way for Thomas to at least compete for the starting job.

That, though, would’ve meant another competition with a former SEC quarterback.  In January of last year, Jacoby Brissett transferred from Florida to NCSU.  Sitting out the 2013 season to satisfy NCAA transfer rules, Brissett will enter spring practice as the favorite to win the starting job.

Thomas sat out the 2012 season after transferring to the Wolfpack from Colorado State.  He started six games in 2013, including games 2-6 in place of the injured Mitchell.

Injury leaves NCSU QB Brandon Mitchell questionable for BC

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As North Carolina State looks to win its first ACC game under Dave Doeren, the Wolfpack may have its starting quarterback at its disposal.  Or, it may not.

Brandon Mitchell was listed as questionable on the Wolfpack’s injury report earlier this week for today’s game against Boston College.  The exact nature of what’s ailing the Arkansas transfer, however, was not revealed.

The only known is that Mitchell suffered the mystery injury in the loss to Duke last weekend and had not fully participated in practice this week.

Mitchell, who was named the starter shortly before kickoff of the opener, broke his foot on the third possession of the season against Louisiana Tech.  He missed the next five games because of the injury; it’s unknown if his current health situation is related to that issue.

In the loss to the Blue Devils, Mitchell was part of a quarterback rotation along with Colorado State transfer Pete Thomas.  That experiment failed miserably as neither player completed more than 50 percent of their passes and combined to throw three interceptions, including back-to-back pick-sixes late in the fourth quarter that sealed the loss to Duke.

If healthy, Mitchell will get the start against the Eagles.