RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — So much for that debate about who should start at quarterback for North Carolina State.
The Wolfpack (1-0) have no choice but to enter this week's game against Richmond with Pete Thomas now that Brandon Mitchell is out with a broken foot.
"Obviously, with Brandon being down for a substantial amount of time, Pete will be our quarterback," coach Dave Doeren said Monday. He said Mitchell had surgery Sunday and "it's just a matter of healing time now for him."
Thomas is listed on the depth chart as the starter and behind him are a pair of freshmen — Bryant Shirreffs and Josh Taylor.
Mitchell beat Thomas out during preseason camp but lasted only three series before he broke a bone in his left foot during the first quarter of the opener against Louisiana Tech.
Thomas stepped in for him and threw for 212 yards on 15-for-27 passing in a 40-14 rout of the Bulldogs.
Doeren says Mitchell — who was in the training room during the coach's weekly news conference — will spend the next 4-5 weeks focusing on academics and his rehab, and will "be back for the latter half of our schedule.
"It could have been worse, is the way we look at it," Doeren added.
The Wolfpack's offense will look a little different with Thomas taking snaps out of Doeren's no-huddle offense — not because he's incapable of running the ball like Mitchell, but because N.C. State is forced to play things safer with two freshmen behind him.
Mitchell had 19 yards on five carries before he was injured. Thomas carried twice for no yardage.