Life is full of complications, and this Thursday night the Tar Heels will have its share of them.
The task that the North Carolina defense faced against Clemson was difficult, but also relatively simple. All they had to do was limit Tiger quarterback Woodrow Dantzler. Though that task in itself was a tall order, the Tar Heels proved equal to it.
The task of the UNC defense this week is much more complicated. That is because there is more to stopping the Georgia Tech than stopping the Tech quarterback, George Godsey.
Godsey, even though ranked in the top twenty nationally in passing efficiency, is only one piece of the puzzle.
Georgia Tech has one on the best receivers in the conference, senior Kelly Campbell. Campbell has 42 catches on the year for 573 yards, and is pulling in 7 catches per game. But the plethora of Tech weapons does not stop there.
Wide Receiver Kelly Campbell
Sophomore Jonathan Smith has 30 receptions for Georgia Tech, amassing 347 yards on the season, and we aren't done yet.
Junior Kerry Watkins has hauled in 22 receptions for 380 yards. So far, we are just talking about the wide receiver corps. Though Georgia Tech has arguably one the deepest and talented wide receiver units in the conference, Godsey is also adept at dumping off to his backs and tight ends.
Tailback Joe Burns has 15 catches for 114 yards so far this season, while tight ends Russell Matvray and Will Heller have 9 catches, and tailback Sean Gregory has two catches, one for a touchdown.
All these weapons benefit from a quarterback second in the ACC in passing efficiency. Godsey is also second in the ACC in touchdown passes with 12 against six interceptions. He has thrown for 1691 yards so far this season, completing over 60% of his passes.
On the ground, Joe Burns is the fourth leading rusher in the ACC, averaging just under 90 yards per game. Junior Sidney Ford has rushed for 277 yards on 60 carries for a 4.68 yards-per-carry average.
As a team, Georgia Tech is second in the ACC in passing efficiency, number one in passing offense, number five in rushing offense, number two in total offense, and number three in scoring offense.
In term of matching up, North Carolina will pit the number one passing efficiency defense in the ACC against the high-powered Georgia Tech passing offense. The Tar Heels are also allowing a league-low 182.88 yards per game. Tech, meanwhile, average 279 yards per game through the air.
Arguably, it will be the toughest task faced by the UNC defense secondary this season. Texas and Oklahoma average an identical 237.14 yards per game passing, and both have a lower national ranking in passing efficiency and in passing offense than Georgia Tech. Only Maryland exceeds Georgia Tech in total offense, 442 yards per game to 435.71 yards per game by the Yellow Jackets.
For all its offensive weapons, the Yellow Jackets have to keep George Godsey on the field. Godsey, still wearing a bulky knee brace from off-season knee surgery, is not a threat to take off down field, as was Chris Rix or Woodrow Dantzler. He is credited with 34 rushes this season, and lost 28 yards in the process.
With his mobility greatly reduced, Godsey has been an easier target for pass rushers. He has been sacked four times in each of his last two games, and will face one of the best defensive lines in the ACC this Thursday night.
Godsey gets sacked by Duke
Sophomore Andy Hall backs up Godsey. Hall has only attempted 27 passes this season, completing 15 and tossi