Well, at least North Carolina didn’t blow a fourth-quarter lead Saturday. But the bad news is against Georgia Tech, the Tar Heels were never really in the game.
It took North Carolina nearly 55 minutes to finally get on the board in Week 5, as the Yellow Jackets cruised to a, 33-7, victory. The loss drops the Tar Heels to a miserable 1-4.
Here are the grades from North Carolina defeat:
Quarterback continues to be a major problem for the Tar Heels. Redshirt freshman completed 18 of 30 passes but only for 141 yards, averaging just 4.7 yards per attempt. He also had an interception. Graduate transfer Brandon Harris had only one attempt and that was picked off as well.
North Carolina had a decent rushing day, but Georgia Tech controlled the time of possession, and led early enough that the Tar Heels were forced to push things through the air.
The defense didn’t play well either, but they did record two takeaways and the offense wasn’t able to do anything with the opportunities. The Tar Heels were also just 2-of-12 on third down and scored a season-low seven points.
Unfortunately, the two takeaways were the only positive thing the defense did all day. Georgia Tech outgained North Carolina, 456-247, and the Tar Heels allowed 403 rushing yards. The Yellow Jackets averaged 6.1 yards per rush, which really set the tone for the entire game.
Georgia Tech was also 8-for-16 on third-down conversions and 3 of 3 on fourth downs. North Carolina’s defense inability to get off the field contributed to the limited offensive opportunities the offense had in the game.
Special Teams: C-
It probably wouldn’t have changed the outcome, but North Carolina missed a pair of field goals that could have altered the complexion of the game. Only down by seven in the second quarter, kicker Freeman Jones missed a 40-yard kick, and then on the ensuing possession, Georgia Tech extended its lead to 10.
Next, Jones failed to hit a 52-yard attempt as time expired in the first half. That miss is a little more understandable, but either field goal would have kept North Carolina within a touchdown at halftime. Instead, it snowballed from there.
This one was expected to be a difficult game for the Tar Heels, but it was one they really needed, and once again, their performance fell very flat. Now at 1-4, North Carolina must win five of its last seven games, and three of those contests are against ranked opponents.
Hard to believe this program has fallen on such hard times after winning the Coastal Division just two years ago.
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