North Carolina: 24
Georgia Tech: 41
At 5-4, Georgia Tech stood one win away from bowl eligibility when it welcomed the North Carolina Tar Heels to Bobby Dodd Stadium in mid-November. Having recently improved to 2-9 with a win over Wake Forest, the Tar Heels were once again an underdog to a squad that had defeated them in each of the previous five meetings. UNC’s last win in the series came in the form of a 16-13 victory in Atlanta in 1997.
After the Tech defense forced a punt to start the game, Dan Burnett put the Jackets on the board with a 35 yard field goal at the 10:23 mark of the first quarter.
North Carolina then answered with a 12 play, 65 yard drive that ended with a 1 yard Darian Durant touchdown run to make it 7-3 in favor of the Tar Heels late in the opening period.
A stalemate then ensued for much of the second quarter before each squad added a touchdown to make it 14-10 at intermission. The Jackets scored first on an 8 yard pass from Reggie Ball to P.J. Daniels to briefly regain the lead at 10-7, but the Tar Heels consumed the remainder of the period before scoring on a 2 yard run by Bobby Blizzard to jump ahead just before halftime.
Tech took advantage of the opening possession in the second half, marching 67 yards in 12 plays to regain the lead at 17-14 on a 16 yard touchdown pass from Ball to Nate Curry.
The Tar Heels answered just over three minutes later, however, when Dan Orner connected on a 39 yard field goal to tie the contest at 17-all. Durant’s 32 yard pass to Jacque Lewis a few plays earlier helped to setup the eventual score.
As play carried into the fourth quarter, all momentum shifted to the Yellow Jackets. Dan Burnett put Tech back on top with a 31 yard field goal just eight seconds into the period. Carolina then marched to within the Ramblin’ Wreck red zone, but lost possession when Keryaron Fox forced a Lewis fumble at the Yellow Jacket 14 yard line that was recovered by Reuben Houston.
The Tech offense covered 86 yards in 10 plays, consuming four minutes from the clock to extend its lead to 27-17 on a 26 yard touchdown pass from Ball to Jonathan Smith.
Durant brought the Heels back within seven with an 8 yard touchdown pass to Lewis shortly thereafter, but Ball and Smith hooked up again for a 30 yard score that pushed the Tech lead back to ten at 34-24.
The Yellow Jacket defense finally stepped up to force a three-and-out, and Jonathan Smith sealed the game with a 73 yard punt return for a touchdown to reach the 41-24 final. Carolina pushed to the Tech five on the ensuing drive, but was unable to score before time would expire.
The Tar Heels would face the Duke Blue Devils one week later to cap off the 2003 season with a 30-22 loss in Chapel Hill for a final record of 2-10.
UNC – 21
GT – 28
UNC – 157
GT – 298
UNC – 26-40-289
GT – 14-27-148
UNC – 1
GT – 0
UNC – 1-1
GT – 1-0
UNC – 5-38
GT – 3-23
Game Summary: http://www.ramblinwreck.com/sports/m-footbl/recaps/111503aaa.html