RECAP GBU: Georgia Tech 28 North Carolina 21

<P> George O'Leary and Bill O'Brien saw the film. They knew Julius Peppers and Ryan Sims were great players. But on this 68 degree perfect night for a college football game, the Tech coaches decided to find out how tough the two future first round picks and the Heel defensive line really were. 237 yards rushing and over 70 offensive plays later, Ramblin' Wreck Nation and a watered-down national television audience (World Series and Michael Jordan) had their answer.

In their most complete victory of the year, the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets took out North Carolina and their five game win streak 28-21 Thursday night.

The Good:

Tech's defense reduced the Tar Heel offense to a one-dimensinal attack by allowing only a puny 17 yards on 13 rushing attempts. That, folks, is just 1.3 yards per carry and it put talented Freshman QB Durian Durant in exactly the position Tech coaches wanted him in often: third and long. Nevertheless, all things considered,  Durant played very well....Daryl Smith's return obviously contributed to the defensive performance....Joe Burns, champion that he is, had his "redemption" game, rushing for a career high 198 yards on 34 carries.... UNC's highly regarded defense was manhandled surprisingly well by the Jackets. It was just the kind of effort that George O'Leary loves to see.... QB George Godsey, who came into the game the nation's sixteenth rated passer, completed 18 of 27 passes for 187 yards and one TD. More impressively, he directed the Jackets to first downs on 10 of 17 third down conversion attempts.... Jonathan Smith led the receivers with 8 catches for 86 yards and a TD....Freshman Nate Dorsey, who lined up opposite Julius Peppers most of the night--without help-- more than held his own against the superstar. In fact, Mr. Dorsey personally crushed Peppers' longshot Heisman hype by shutting him down on national television ....The Jackets came from behind in the second half to win, always an impressive accomplishment against a tough opponent.... Tech won the special teams battle against a Tar Heel team that had been excelling on kick coverage. In all, the Jackets had 118 yards in returns, including two critical long punt returns by Kelly Rhino. Kelly Campbell may have supplied the last nail in the coffin with his 50-yard kickoff return after the Heels closed to within one touchdown in the fourth quarter.... Tech won the turnover battle 1-0 (one INT) and time of possession 37 minutes to 23....And finally, the Jackets had just four penalties for 26 yards, half as many as UNC.

The Bad:

Tech continued to struggle a bit in the red zone. They failed to score any points on their opening drive, which stalled on a failed fourth down conversion at the Tar Heel two yard line. It was the first time all year the UNC defense had stopped an opponent who had entered their red zone from scoring at least a field goal. I, like just about every other Tech fan, would like to see the Jackets throw the ball into the end zone more in red zone situations.

The Ugly:

Tech's worst red zone showing came at the end of the first half when they failed to call a timeout on a third and goal at the six with about 20 seconds left. They were penalized on the ensuing play as the clock ran down to six seconds, an incomplete pass to the end zone. Luke Manget bailed them out with a 25 yard field goal, but if the Jackets had called a timeout before third down, they may have been able to regroup and score a TD.

I know. It's a good night when you have to get a little picky to find the ugly.


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