NCAAF: Ga. Tech rallies from 17 down to upset No. 13 North Carolina
Georgia Tech put together a pair of second-half touchdown drives and held host No. 13 North Carolina scoreless after halftime to pull off a 21-17 upset Saturday at Chapel Hill, N.C.
Hassan Hall scored the winning touchdown on a 6-yard run with 11:08 remaining.
Georgia Tech (5-6, 4-4 ACC) remained in contention to become bowl eligible, but that would mean stunning top-ranked Georgia on the road in next week’s regular-season finale.
North Carolina (9-2, 6-1) had a six-game winning streak snapped a week after it wrapped up the ACC’s Coastal Division title. Before facing Clemson in the conference championship game, the Tar Heels will have a home date with rival North Carolina State on Friday.
Georgia Tech kept tabs on North Carolina quarterback Drake Maye, who had a rough time by completing 16 of 30 passes for 202 yards and one interception. He didn’t throw a touchdown pass for the first time this season.
North Carolina’s Elijah Green ran for 92 yards and two touchdowns on 10 carries.
Georgia Tech didn’t have a lot of offense, but the Yellow Jackets were balanced with 187 yards through the air and 186 yards rushing. Zach Gibson completed 13 of 18 passes for 174 yards.
North Carolina appeared poised to retake the lead late in the game, but receiver Josh Downs couldn’t handle Maye’s fourth-down pass that would have been a 19-yard scoring play with less than five minutes remaining. The Tar Heels never had another possession.
Maye’s top target was Bryson Nesbit, who caught four passes for 85 yards.
The Tar Heels led 17-7 before Georgia Tech put together a nine-play, 68-yard drive capped by Taisun Phommachanh’s 4-yard touchdown run with 7:31 left in the third.
After a Maye interception, the Yellow Jackets went 81 yards on nine plays, with Hall running for go-ahead points.
Green’s 80-yard run opened the scoring on the first play of North Carolina’s first possession.
Noah Burnette extended the lead with a 31-yard field goal more than 15 minutes later.
Green’s 1-yard run helped put North Carolina up 17-0 with 3:13 to play in the half.
However, the Yellow Jackets marched 84 yards on nine plays to score on Dontae Smith’s 2-yard run 48 seconds before halftime.
Green had two touchdowns on four first-half carries.
North Carolina held a 257-171 in total yards in the first half. Even with that, Maye had his least impressive half of the season, with 108 passing yards and 21 rushing yards.
–Field Level Media