Eleven minutes and fifty-one seconds. That was the length of time for Georgia Tech's two second half scoring drives, which took a combined 25 plays, all but one on the ground, and included six successful third down conversions and resulted in 14 points, enough to put the game out of reach. Not that the game was very much in reach with the offensive ineptitude on display, but those six third down conversions, all but one for five yards are more killed any comeback that the Heels were trying to put together. Against an exhausted quarterback in Josh Nesbitt the Carolina defense couldn't put the Tech offense away, and any hope of another UConn game was dashed by run after run after run. Tech had a monstrous 317 yards on the ground in this game, which goes a long way by itself in explaining the final score.
But the Yellow Jacket offense could only win the game by being on the field, which they were for over 42 minutes of the hour of game time. UNC's offense couldn't put together much of anything in a way of a sustained drive, going 1 for 11 on third downs and managing two drives of more than four plays. The rushing game never made any headway, save Ryan Houston's brief string of runs in a drive that resulted in a missed field goal. Passes bounced of hands or sailed over heads or went in strange directions after quick tosses from a harried quarterback. UNC wasn't prepared for the new Tech defense and it showed in the utter frustration of the brief moments the Heels had the ball. Carolina needed this win to mount any sort of challenge for the Coastal Division crown; now they have three weeks until their next serious opponent. Time enough to get everything on track, but a bitter disappointing way to finish September.
(Maybe I should travel more. UNC hasn't won in Atlanta since I last attending a game there, in 1997.)