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November 13, 2013

Brandon Mitchell remains confident

Fifth-year senior quarterback Brandon Mitchell goes back under center as the full-time signal caller against Boston College Saturday.

Last week against Duke he split time with redshirt junior Pete Thomas. Mitchell completed 7 of 18 passes for 148 yards and a touchdown but also had two interceptions. He also ran 14 times for 49 yards.

Mitchell though noted that the offense improved against the Devils. "We just have to finish better," he added.

"Going into last week, we felt like both us could get the job done," Mitchell said. "For the most part, for the first three quarters, it worked for us. The fourth quarter we just made mistakes that hurt ourselves.

"We just have to finish. We keep moving the ball up and down the field. We just got to get touchdowns instead of trying field goals. That's been the epitome of our season. It starts with the quarterback."

Despite the two interceptions against Duke, Mitchell does not feel that he is pressing as hard as he did against Florida State and UNC in his two prior starts, performances that led to the dual-quarterback system against Duke.

Mitchell pointed to the pick six he threw in the fourth quarter that turned a 24-20 Duke lead into a 31-20 Blue Devil advantage. On the play, Mitchell was close to being sacked when he tried to flick a pass out to redshirt freshman tight end David J. Grinnage.

"Looking back it I probably could have eaten it," Mitchell acknowledged. "But there was a guy wide open, and I was trying to make a play.

"[Dave Doeren] said he saw the same thing. He probably would have tried to make the same play. We had David Grinnage open in the flat, guy playing pretty well for us, was trying to get him the ball. If the ball gets over [Duke defensive back DeVon Edwards'] head, that's probably a 25-30 yard gain right there, and we're on our way to possibly having a game-winning drive."

Boston College presents a challenge for Mitchell and the offense. The Eagles will run the ball consistently regardless of circumstances. The potential for BC to eat up large chunks of possession time puts the onus on the offense to capitalize on its opportunities, and that has been a weakness for the Pack this season.

NC State has scored just 10 touchdowns in 28 red zone trips. They are next to last in the country in touchdown passes (five) and only seven teams have thrown more interceptions than State's 15.

Mitchell said though he remains as confident as he was when he first started the season against Louisiana Tech Aug. 31, and getting the chance to be the primary quarterback again does not change his approach.

"To be able to go into a game, knowing you're going to play the whole game, might be able to get into a little better rhythm, but for the most part, coach has always had confidence in whoever is back there," Mitchell said. "We just have to go out there and make plays and lead them to victory."

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