North Carolina: 21
Georgia Tech: 28
Needing just one win to become bowl eligible for the fifth consecutive season, the 23rd ranked, 5-2 Yellow Jackets would square off with the 22nd ranked, 5-2 North Carolina Tar Heels at Bobby Dodd Stadium in Atlanta. Carolina was heavily touted for its run defense that featured dominant defense end Julius Peppers (a future NFL Pro Bowl defensive end). But the Jackets were not impressed and junior running back Joe Burns went for 198 yards and a score in Tech’s fourth consecutive victory over the Tar Heels.
Neither team got off to a strong start and the squads entered the second quarter scoreless. But the Jackets began a drive with just seconds remaining in the opening period that resulted in points with just a minute gone in the second quarter. Tech took over at the Carolina 31 after Kelly Rhino returned a Tar Heel punt 20 yards from midfield. Four plays later, Godsey hit Jonathan Smith on a 17 yard scoring strike to take a 7-0 lead.
On the ensuing drive, Darian Durant led the Tar Heels 65 yards in 7 plays in just under three minutes to tie the game at 7-all. Durant found Kelly Bailey on a 30 yard touchdown pass for the score.
Tech’s next three drives went deep into Carolina territory, but the Yellow Jackets were unable to find the end zone. Luke Manget instead attempted three field goals, missing from 32 and connecting from 41 and 25 yards to give Tech a 13-7 lead at half time.
Godsey threw an interception on Tech’s opening drive of the third quarter and Carolina capitalized, moving 41 yards in 6 plays to take a 14-13 lead. The score came on a 15 yard pass from Durant to Sam Aiken.
The Jackets took the lead back on their following drive, however, consuming a whopping 8:47 of game time in the process. Tech moved 84 yards in 18 plays to take the lead on a 3 yard sneak by Godsey with just over a minute to play in the third quarter. The Ramblin’ Wreck would carry a 20-14 lead into the fourth quarter.
With 7:58 to play, Joe Burns gave Tech some insurance when he exploded for a 51 yard touchdown run on the first play of the Tech drive. Godsey then hit Burns for a successful two point conversion attempt to give Tech a 28-14 lead.
Carolina took the ball 76 yards in 9 plays on their next possession to cut it to 28-21 on a 21 yard pass from Durant to Aiken, but it was too little, too late for the Tar Heels, who would drop the hard fought contest by a seven point margin to the Jackets.
The Tar Heels went on to finish at 7-5 and earned a berth in the Chick-Fil-A Peach Bowl where they would topple the Auburn Tigers 16-10 to finish 8-5 on the season.
UNC – 15
GT – 26
UNC – 13
GT – 237
UNC – 22-37-286
GT – 18-27-187
UNC – 0-0
GT – 1-0
UNC – 1
GT – 1
UNC – 8-45
GT – 4-26
Game Summary: http://www.ramblinwreck.com/sports/m-footbl/recaps/110101aaa.html