Rain had washed through Atlanta before the game and didn’t leave anytime soon. The stands looked empty, but that didn’t keep the Tar Heels and Yellow Jackets from running onto the field. North Carolina set out to seek four straight losses including a devastating loss last season in Chapel Hill.
North Carolina 13 – Georgia Tech 0
North Carolina came out with guns a blazing in the first quarter. On their first drive of the game, the Tar Heels pushed Georgia Tech to their limit. It began with a good kick return from Sean Tapley and ended with a four yard rushing touchdown by Romar Morris. Larry Fedora for the second game in a row decided to go for two points on the first touchdown, but just like two weeks ago it would fail.
With the early 6-0 lead, North Carolina’s defense looked to hold that lead. After struggling early this season, the defense looked strong forcing Georgia Tech to punt away. They were rather impressive through out the first half.
North Carolina would respond with a beautiful catch by Eric Ebron from Bryn Renner and with the PAT, the Tar Heels would go up 13-0 before the quarter would come to a close.
North Carolina 20 – Georgia Tech 14
Georgia Tech would start making some noise and pushed UNC’s defense hard attacking them with their triple option runs. Tech would score the touchdown to give them six points but it wasn’t without controversy. Just as David Sims crossed the line for the touchdown, the ball was fumbled and recovered by North Carolina who would run it back deep down the field. The play was reviewed but not enough evidence was there to over rule the call.
Later in the quarter, Renner would respond again this time finding Sean Tapley in coverage for another touchdown to put North Carolina up 20-7. Renner was being pressured by the Yellow Jackets defensive line, scrambled around to connect to Tapley is a very tough play. That touchdown shows just how much awareness Renner has on the field as he protected himself and found a hole just small enough to make the touchdown pass.
With the defense struggling late in the quarter the Yellow Jackets drove deep down the field and took advantage of both the defensive line and secondary not at their best. Vad Lee threw to Darren Walker for a 21 yard touchdown to get the Jackets within a touchdown of the Tar Heels, 20-14!
Georgia Tech 21 – North Carolina 20
Georgia Tech looked promising on their first drive of the second half, but two forced fumbles (that they did recover though) led to a Tech punt to UNC!
Jon Heck would cost the Tar Heels and freshman Ryan Switzer an 82 yard touchdown by holding a defensive lineman that would bring the play back inside Tech’s twenty yard. In heavy rain, Tech would sack Renner on top of yet another holding call against Hurst this time forcing a 4th & 14 punt. Carolina would get called for an illegal formation forcing UNC to punt again. Heck’s penalty would be the changing point of the game for both team sending UNC down a slippery slope and giving Tech the momentum.
Georgia Tech would respond to that series of unfortunate events of UNC’s to score another touchdown with a one yard rush by Vad Lee giving them the one point lead, 21-20.
Georgia Tech 28 – North Carolina 20
After a sloppy second half, UNC forced a fumble on a deep Georgia Tech drive, but the ruling was overturned in Georgia Tech’s favor. After a lot of issues chagned the mentality for UNC it changed drastically making it tough on the UNC defense and on the offense to cover come the obstacles. Tech would score on the drive giving them the 8 point lead, 28-20.
On the most crucial drive of the game for North Carolina, they moved into Georgia Tech territory, but Renner’s pass to Ebron was tipped and tipped into Georgia Tech’s hands for the interception.
The momentum was fully in Georgia Tech’s hands and North Carolina’s gassed defense could not stop the option offense. Georgia Tech would score fourteen un-answered points and hand North Carolina their second loss of the season, first in the conference.