Georgia Tech: 43
North Carolina: 21
The Yellow Jackets opened ACC play in 1998 in Chapel Hill against the North Carolina Tar Heels. Carolina had not started the season strong, dropping its first two contests to Miami of Ohio and Stanford to compile an 0-2 record. While Tech had bounced back from a tough opening loss to Boston College by defeating New Mexico State 42-7, fans were interested to see how they would fare against a tougher opponent.
The game saw a slow start before the Jackets finally got on the board late in the opening period. Joe Hamilton threw a 20 yard touchdown strike to Phillip Rogers with 1:30 to play to put Tech up 7-0.
The Ramblin’ Wreck added 10 points in just over a minute early in the second quarter. Ed Wilder scored from 7 yards out to increase Tech’s lead to 14-0 and kicker Brad Chambers hit from 35 yards to make it 17-0.
Carolina’s freshman quarterback Ronald Curry finally got the Tar Heels on the board with an 11 yard touchdown run with 5:19 to play in the half, and the score stood at 17-7.
Hamilton answered immediately, connecting with Dez White for a 56 yard touchdown on the ensuing drive, while consuming just 56 seconds of game time.
Holding a 24-7 lead, the Yellow Jackets took advantage of a huge Tar Heel mistake when defensive end Roderick Roberts scooped up a Carolina fumble and returned it 42 yards for a touchdown. Chambers would miss the extra point, however, and the Jackets’ lead stood at 30-7.
Tech repaid the favor on the last play of the half. With little time remaining, the Jackets lined up to attempt a 36 yard field goal. But Tech faked the attempt and Rodney Williams lost a fumble that Carolina safety Antwon Black recovered and returned 81 yards to cut Tech’s lead to 30-14 at half time.
The Tar Heels found another spark to start the second half when Kory Bailey took the opening kickoff 95 yards for a touchdown to cut the tech lead to 30-21.
But the Yellow Jacket defense held strong for the rest of the game and Carolina would not score again.
Meanwhile, the Tech offense kept up its production. Hamilton hit Dez White for the pair’s second touchdown on a 20 yard pass with 10:31 remaining in the third quarter. Chambers would then add fourth quarter field goals of 32 and 30 yards to reach the 43-21 final.
North Carolina went on to finish the season strong, winning six of its last eight games to finish the regular season at 6-5. The Tar Heels went on to defeat San Diego State in the Las Vegas Bowl by a score of 20-13 to compile an overall record of 7-5.
GT – 20
UNC – 11
GT – 186
UNC – 156
GT – 14-24-303
UNC – 9-26-113
GT – 1-1
UNC – 2-2
GT – 0
UNC – 2
USA Today Recap: http://www.usatoday.com/sports/scores98/98269/98269412.htm