Larry Fedora got his first signature win of the season in a comeback victory against Georgia Tech in Atlanta on Saturday. With the win, Carolina's game vs Duke in November looms as a game that could decide the Coastal Division, a far cry from what most fans were thinking even a few weeks ago. The Heels won behind the arm, legs and hands of Marquise Williams who led Carolina in Passing yards, rushing yards and receiving yards. After going down 21-0 Carolina rebounded and outscored Georgia Tech 38-10 the rest of the way.
Vaguely Limit the Run: A
Carolina started slowly on this one but got much better as the game went on. Carolina held Georgia Tech to 4.2 yards per carry for the game, the second lowest yards per carry that the Heels have allowed in a game all season and 1.5 yards better than the previous week against Delaware. Early on, the Yellow Jackets were doing their best work with the pitch part on the triple option. However, the Heels were always limiting the Yellow Jackets' ability to break big runs--the long for the game was 20 yards. As the game went on, the Heels were getting two men on the pitch option at all times, one kept Thomas from taking it upfield himself and the other chased the pitch. Behind this, the Heels stopped Tech and forced them to throw. Carolina's defense continued to come up strong with their backs to the goal and in short yardage as well--this has been a great year so far for coach Chizik.
Attack them with the Pass: B
The Heels were not great throwing the ball in this game, going 15-26 for 182 yards and 1 touchdown. However, the Heels were able to pick up first downs through the air and they completed a high percentage of their passes. It is also notable that a lot of Marquise Williams' rushing attempts were when he ran from the pocket. The passing highlight of the day was Quinshad Davis' pass to Marquise Williams--the exact same play they ran against Notre Dame last year. The Heels were competent through the air in this game and did not turn the ball over in the passing attack. That proved to be enough as the ground game took over and powered the Heels to a win.
Make Thomas Beat You: A
Carolina got ahead late in this game and successfully forced the Yellow Jackets to have to throw on them. Thomas ended the day 12-21 with 180 yards, one touchdown and an interception on the final play of the game. The Heels also kept the ball in Thomas' hands in the run game. Thomas led Georgia Tech in carries with 18 and only managed 56 yards--a 3.1 average. By forcing Thomas to keep the ball, the Heels not only forced Georgia Tech into the middle of the field toward help but the Heels also kept the ball in the hands of Georgia Tech's least skilled runner. The Heels got better as the game went on in short yardage too as they realized that on those plays the Yellow Jackets chose to sneak the ball with Thomas every time. As the game went on, the Heels definitely made Thomas less effective--a big part of how the Heels came back and won.