THE FLATS — Georgia Tech exploded for 227 yards of offense and 22 points in the second half but it wasn’t enough to overcome a slow offensive start and an inefficient third-down defense, as the Yellow Jackets dropped a 38-22 decision to North Carolina on Saturday afternoon at Bobby Dodd Stadium.
After being limited to 94 yards of offense in a scoreless first half, Georgia Tech put together one of its best offensive halves of the season after the break. In addition to racking up 227 of their 321 total yards, the Yellow Jackets scored touchdowns on three of their first six possessions after the break.
However, Georgia Tech’s offensive outburst was offset by an inability to get off the field defensively, as North Carolina converted 12-of-20 third- and fourth-down attempts. Five of UNC’s 12 conversions came with nine yards or more to go for a first down. Conversely, Tech converted just 4-of-11 third downs.
Both the Yellow Jackets and the Tar Heels averaged 6.1 yards per play for the game, but UNC’s ability to convert third downs led to the Heels running 44 more plays than the Jackets (97 to 53).
Making his first-career start, redshirt freshman quarterback James Graham accounted for 219 yards of total offense for Georgia Tech — 171 yards and two touchdowns through the air and 48 yards on the ground. Running back Jordan Mason led the Yellow Jackets with 62 rushing yards on just eight carries (7.8 avg.) and, also making the first start of his career, sophomore wideout Adonicas Sanders led Tech with three receptions for 67 yards.
Mason (2-yard run), Malachi Carter (28-yard reception) and Ahmarean Brown (32-yard reception) scored the Jackets’ three touchdowns.
Defensively, junior linebacker David Curry led Tech with a career-high 16 tackles. As a team, the Jackets accounted for seven tackles for loss.
Georgia Tech returns to action next Saturday at ACC Coastal Division rival Duke. Kickoff is set for 12:30 p.m. The game will be televised on ACC RSN (Fox Sports South in Atlanta).
David Curry (6) had a career-high 16 tackles against North Carolina on Saturday.
- Georgia Tech’s offense came alive in the second half of the game. After being limited to 94 yards in a scoreless first half, the Yellow Jackets broke out for 227 yards and 22 points in the second half.
- North Carolina converted 12-of-20 third- and fourth-down attempts, while Georgia Tech was 4-for-11 on third downs.
- The discrepancy in third downs played a big part in UNC running 19 plays, compared to 11 for Georgia Tech.
- Yards per play were even, with both teams averaging 6.1 yards per play.
- Georgia Tech scored for the 279th-consecutive game, which is the seventh-longest streak in NCAA Division I FBS. The Yellow Jackets have not been held scoreless in a game since a 38-0 loss at No. 3 Florida State on Oct. 18, 1997.
- Georgia Tech scored in its 381st-consecutive home game. The Yellow Jackets have not been held scoreless at Bobby Dodd Stadium since a 7-0 loss to Georgia on Nov. 30, 1957.
- Georgia Tech fell to 30-22-3 all-time against North Carolina.
- Georgia Tech r-Fr. QB James Graham made his first-career start.
- Georgia Tech So. C William Lay III made his first-career start.
- Georgia Tech So. WR Adonicas Sanders made his first-career start.
- Georgia Tech Sr. S Christian Campbell made the second start of his career and his first since Nov. 4, 2017 at Virginia.
- Georgia Tech Jr. LB David Curry had 16 tackles, breaking his previous career high of 14, set in the Yellow Jackets’ last home game vs. The Citadel (Sept. 14). Curry upped his team-leading season total to 45 tackles through five games.
- Curry’s 16 tackles are the most in a single game by a Yellow Jacket since Morgan Burnett had 16 tackles against Georgia on Nov. 28, 2009.
- Georgia Tech Jr. DL Antwan Owens registered the first interception of his career in the first quarter. Owens is the first Georgia Tech DL to intercept a pass since Anree Saint-Amour’s interception against North Carolina on Nov. 3 of last season.
- Graham threw for a career-high 171 yards (prev.: 100 – last Saturday at Temple).
- Sanders set career highs with 3 receptions (prev.: 2 – last Saturday at Temple) and 67 receiving yards (prev.: 19 – last Saturday at Temple).
- Georgia Tech So. RB Jordan Mason’s 2-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter was his team-best fifth TD run in five games this season.
- The TD run was Mason’s 12th in 18 career games.
- Mason’s’ 43-yard run during the Yellow Jackets’ first TD drive in the third quarter was his longest run of the season, the second-longest of his career (long: 46 at USF, Sept. 8, 2018) and was Georgia Tech’s longest run of the season (prev.: 39 – Tobias Oliver at Clemson, Aug. 29).
In addition to wearing its special Onyx Gray Cape Day uniforms, Georgia Tech honored the superheroes at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta by sending its captains to midfield for the coin toss wearing capes and bringing along two special patients who are battling illness at Children’s.
Georgia Tech Head Coach Geoff Collins Postgame Press Conference (Video)
Georgia Tech Student-Athletes Postgame Press Conference (Video)
Georgia Tech Head Coach Geoff Collins Postgame Press Conference (Audio)
ACC Digital Network Highlights (Video)
ACC Digital Network Condensed Game (Video)