Nov. 17, 2007
ATLANTA (AP) – Travis Bell atoned for an earlier miss by kicking a 27-yard field goal with 15 seconds left as Georgia Tech overcame four lost fumbles to beat North Carolina 27-25 on Saturday.
The Tar Heels had taken advantage of quarterback Taylor Bennett’s second fumble to go ahead 25-24 with 5:50 remaining.
Bell missed a 33-yard attempt with 2:31 to go, but the Yellow Jackets stopped North Carolina on three plays and got the ball back at their 50 after a 29-yard punt by Terrence Brown.
Tashard Choice, who had 33 carries for 142 yards, quickly moved Georgia Tech into field goal position.
North Carolina coach Butch Davis was charged with a timeout with 18 seconds left, but he said after the game he was only trying to inform the officials and his team of his intention to call the timeout closer to the play.
Bell made a 32-yard kick, but officials had waved the play dead because North Carolina had 12 players on the field.
After the penalty, Bell was good from 27 yards.
North Carolina’s Connor Barth had a 63-yard field goal attempt partially blocked on the final play.
Greg Smith had six catches for 155 yards and two touchdowns for Georgia Tech (7-4, 4-4 Atlantic Coast Conference), which has finished .500 or better in the conference 13 straight years.
The Tar Heels (3-8, 2-5 ACC) still haven’t won outside the state of North Carolina since beating Arizona State in 2002.
Bennett’s second fumble came when he was sacked by North Carolina’s Da’Norris Searcy. Hilee Taylor recovered for the Tar Heels at the Georgia Tech 2, and Anthony Elzy scored from the 1 for a 25-24 lead.
Georgia Tech answered with a drive to the North Carolina 16, but Bell’s try was wide right.
Freshman Greg Little made his first start at tailback and had 24 carries for 89 yards for North Carolina.
Another freshman, T.J. Yates, was 21-of-35 for 283 yards and a touchdown to set the Tar Heels record for yards passing in a season.
Smith scored on a 40-yard pass from Bennett in the third quarter and added a 47-yard touchdown catch from freshman Josh Nesbitt in the fourth.
Bennett also caught a 17-yard touchdown on a halfback pass from Choice in the first quarter.
Barth kicked field goals of 42, 21, 39 and 32 yards to give him a school-record 54 for his career.