ATLANTA – The North Carolina Tar Heels had their five-game winning streak snapped in what may be considered the team's worst performance of the year in a 28-21 loss at No. 22 Georgia Tech on Thursday night.
Here is a look at some of the interesting notes and milestones reached by some of the Tar Heels.
Darian Durant became UNC's all-time freshman passing leader when he connected with Bosley Allen for an 18-yard completion early in the second quarter. Durant entered the game needing just 27 yards to eclipse Ronald Curry's mark set in 1998. On the day, Durant threw for 286 yards and now has 1,235 yards on the season.
Durant's three touchdown passes added to his UNC freshman record, giving him 12 on the year. He also had 100 completions on the season, another Carolina freshman record.
The last time UNC won five consecutive games was to open the 1997 season, when the Heels started out 8-0 before losing at home to Florida State in what was deemed "Judgment Day" by the national media. The Tar Heels finished 11-1 that season after crushing Virginia Tech in the Gator Bowl, 42-3, just weeks after coach Mack Brown left for Texas. UNC also finished the season ranked No. 4 in the coaches poll and No. 6 in the AP poll.
The last time Carolina had played on an ESPN Thursday night telecast was in 1999 when a 1-8 UNC team upset N.C. State 10-6 in Charlotte. The 28-21 loss in Atlanta was UNC's third appearance on exclusive national TV this season (Oklahoma and Texas).
This was also Carolina's first ever loss on ESPN's Thursday night prime time games. The Heels won at Louisville in 1995, won at Georgia Tech in 1997, the win over State in Charlotte and Thursday's loss. UNC is 3-1 on Thursday nights.
The 424 total yards by the Yellow Jackets was a season high against UNC's defense. Virginia had 405 yards in a 30-24 loss to the Tar Heels in Chapel Hill three weeks ago.
Here are Carolina's various rankings from the computers that help comprise the BCS ranking prior to the loss: Sagarin (13), Massey (17), Rothman (14), Colley (26), Seattle Times (26), Billingsley (22), Wolfe (20), Mathews (16).
Here are Carolina's various schedule strength rankings from the computers that help comprise the BCS ranking prior to the loss: Sagarin (2), Massey (1), Rothman (N/A), Colley (11), Seattle Times (8), Billingsley (N/A), Wolfe (5), Mathews (N/A).
Carolina's string of playing teams that played on bowl games a year ago reached its peak Thursday night against the Yellow Jackets. Eight of UNC's first nine opponents played in bowl games last year with the exception being Maryland, which is currently ranked in the top 15 nationally. Those eight teams went 3-5 in the postseason last year. None of Carolina's three remaining opponents played in a bowl game last year.
Georgia Tech now leads the all-time series with the Tar Heels 18-16-3. Tech has won four straight in the series dating back to a 16-13 loss at home to the Heels in 1997.
Kory Bailey had three receptions for UNC but remains in fifth place all-time with 123. He is six behind Octavus Barnes (1994-97), fourth all-time with 129 receptions.
Bailey's 51 receiving yards gives him 1,739 for his career, which is good enough for fifth on the school's career list as he passed Art Weiner (1946-49) on the list.
Chick-fil-A, which has sponsored the Peach Bowl for the past five years, announced an extension with the Atlanta bowl. No other figures were announced.
Andrew Jones is in his sixth year covering football and basketball for Inside Carolina. He is also in his fourth year as a copy editor and staff writer for the Wilmington Star-News and hosts a nightly radio show on WAAV-AM980 in Wilmington. He has also written for ACCNews and once published The College Game and the former Total Sports. He can be reached via e-mail at: AJWAAV@aol.com.