Georgia Tech looked to be no match for North Carolina early on as rain fell on Bobby Dodd Stadium, but Georgia Tech scored 21 unanswered points and shut out the visiting Tar Heels in the second half to pick up a key ACC Coastal Division victory, 28-20.
The momentum in the game flipped late in the first half as Georgia Tech scored a touchdown to cut North Carolina’s lead to 20-14 before going to the break. In the second half it was Georgia Tech’s defense that took command by suffocating North Carolina’s offense and forcing UNC quarterback Bryn Renner to let go of the football. Renner also got little support from his receivers at times, who dropped a number of passes all afternoon. There just were not enough plays out of North Carolina’s offense to mount a comeback. The Tar Heels were forced to punt three times and the lone promising drive in the second half traveled 54 yards before ending with an interception.
Typical of Georgia Tech, the offense stuck to the running game to wear down North Carolina’s defense in the second half. The patient running of the Yellow Jackets never yielded in big plays but moved the ball consistently and led to a lopsided time of possession battle as well. David Sims ended the day with 99 yards and two touchdowns and Robert Godhigh rushed for 100 yards as well. Quarterback Vad Lee also was a part of the running game with 55 yards and a touchdown.
The ACC’s Coastal Division will likely be a three-team race between Georgia Tech, North Carolina and Miami. Virginia Tech has looked a little behind the curve early on (the Hokies were struggling with Marshall at home), so any win a team can pick up in head-to-head competition could prove to be valuable in the standings. Georgia Tech is now 2-0 in the ACC after defeating Duke last week and the Tar Heels on Saturday. Net week Georgia Tech can really put themselves in a good position if they can defeat Virginia Tech at home.