Triple option this.
Actually the first thing that leaps right off the stat sheet and slaps you upside the head is the fact Georgia Tech racked up some ridiculous yardage on the UNC defense. Yet three turnovers and two missed field goals meant the Jackets only scored seven points. UNC got a score to start the game and basically struggled on offense for the next two plus quarters of football before GT had a pair of crucial turnovers giving UNC prime field position which turned a 7-0 game in the 3rd quarter to a 21-0 contest with 10 minutes left in the fourth.
Aside from the bend but not break aspect of the UNC defense, gobs of credit go to the Tar Heel offensive line for opening up the running game against a highly touted GT defensive line. The passing offense was less than spectacular with Cam Sexton feeling some pressure but it was more than compensated for by exploiting the GT turnovers and 164 combined rushing yards from Shaun Draughan and Ryan Houston. Houston and Draughan are quickly gelling into a perfect combination of speed and power coming out of the backfield. And yes they still have plenty of time ahead of them at UNC. Following a GT score, Sexton found Hakeem NIcks in the end zone to remove any doubt about the outcome of the game. With the matter decided, Butch Davis inserted TJ Yates into the game to give him some real game reps. It was evident Yates was out of sync which was to be expected. Sexton had an average day at best going 7-16 for 100 yards and two TDs. Then again UNC was behind in time of possession and John Shoop was looking to run the ball more than pass it on the Yellow Jacket defense which was not as efficient in stopping the run as it was the passing game. The bottom line where Sexton is concerned is the number or lack of one under the INT column. Mistake free football will continue to win games for this team and that is what happened today.
Overall I think this is the most impressive win of the season. So many of UNC's wins have been devalued down the line because the teams they beat ended up playing poorly afterwards. The same could happen with GT but coming into this game, everyone was pretty much agreeable to the idea that the Yellow Jackets were a quality team. You also have the triple option offense which must be defended. UNC did that, kept GT off the scoreboard for most of the game and patiently waited for the Jackets to shoot themselves in the foot opening the door for a win. The win also put UNC in a three way tie for first in the Coastal Division with only one of the co-leaders, Virginia Tech, owning a tie-breaker on the Heels. The other is Miami whom UNC already beat. With the UVa loss at Wake Forest, UNC only needs a VT loss Thursday night at Miami to establish control of their own destiny with MD, NCSU and Duke left on the schedule.