Georgia Tech started with the opening possession and was quickly moved off the field after starting 3 and out. The Tar Heels followed suit, with a 3 and out for their own. However, the trend would not continue, as they Yellow Jackets were able to put together the 9th longest drive in Tech football history on their 2nd drive.
It was an 18-play 90-yard drive that ate 8 minutes and 54 seconds off the clock. The drive was capped off by a 5 yard QB run from TaQuon Marhsall to the right side pylon. This made it 7-0 with just 3:27 left in the quarter. UNC was held to just 7 yards of total offense during the first quarter compared to 91 by Tech.
UNC’s ensuing possession showed promise as they swiftly marched down to the Tech 23 yard line. However, after the Yellow Jackets defense stiffened up, they were able to forced a 40 yard field goal. Freeman Jones would send that attempt wide left for UNC and Tech took over at their own 23.
Then it was again Georgia Tech’s turn to do what they do best, running the ball and eating the clock. This time it was a 17 play drive that went 74 yards eating 7 minutes and 37 seconds off the clock before Shawn Davis put through a 21 yard field goal to give Tech a 10-0 lead with just 1:08 left to play.
North Carolina was able to move the ball swiftly down field with limited time. However, after getting just inside field goal range and with 1 second left on the clock, Freeman Jones would miss his 2nd field goal of the day to send Tech into the locker-room with a 10-0 half time lead.
After a quick 1st possession of the 2nd half for UNC ended in a 3 and out, Tech started moving the ball down field in hopes of extending their lead. However, after getting the ball to midfield, QB TraQuon Marshall fumbled the ball and the Tar Heels recovered it. That gift was then immediately returned to the Yellow Jackets as UNC’s Chazz Surratt was picked off by A.J. Gray, which then set the Yellow Jackets with a 1st and 10 at their own 37 yard line.
On the first play from scrimmage on the next possession for Tech, KirVonte Benson took it 63 yards to the house with the help of some great blocks for a Yellow Jackets TD. This made it 17-0 with 8:45 still left in the 3rd quarter.
After another UNC drive stalled, Georgia Tech was able to again quickly move the ball. It took them just 5 plays to move the 80 yard down field as Marshall found Rickey Jeune for the 12-yard td completion to make it 24-0 with 1:16 left in the 3rd.
Yet another turnover for UNC on their next possession, resulted from a 2nd A.J. Gray interception, setup Tech with prime field position starting at the UNC 24 yard line.
Georgia Tech head coach Paul Johnson spoke highly of Grays performance, “I told somebody walking in, I thought A.J. probably played as well as he has played. Some of their run-pass stuff he was right on cue with it. He stepped underneath the slants and got a couple picks and it was good to see him make plays because he has got a lot of ability. Plus he made a couple nice plays in open field on tackles. I’m proud of A.J., I thought he played well.”
This set the Jackets in forward motion right up to the goal line. However, Benson fumbled the ball before crossing the goal line and UNC recovered in the endzone for a touchback as the 3rd quarter approached a close. He Tar Heels was unable to move the ball and would have to punt after 3 plays.
Then, once again the Jackets got things rolling on offense, however, this time their drive would stall out after getting deep into Tar Heels territory, forcing tech to settle for a 25 yard field goal from Brenton King to make it 27-0.
The ensuing possession for UNC was their most successful drive of the game. After starting at their own 39 yard line, it took just 7 plays for the Tar Heels to drive 61 yards down field with tailback Jordon Brown capping off the drive with an 8 yard TD run to break the goose egg on the scoreboard for UNC.
The Tar Heel’s would attempt the on sides, but were unable to recover. Tech would then run the 6 straight times to find themselves back in the end zone on a 5 yard rushing TD from back up QB Matthew Jordan. This made it 33-7 after the missed PAT with just 1:39 left to play.
The dominating performance moved Georgia Tech to 4-1 on the season and 2-0 in the ACC, while UNC falls to 1-4 and 0-3 in ACC play.