By Rebecca Washney
ATLANTA— Pulling off their third straight win with a 33-7 triumph over North Carolina, Georgia Tech can credit the stunning performance from their defensive team.
The Yellow Jackets’ defense practically had the Tar Heels running in place this Saturday, shutting down almost every opportunity for North Carolina’s freshman quarterback Chazz Surratt.
Georgia Tech kept possession for the majority of the game, totaling 38 minutes possession time compared to the Tar Heels paltry 21 minutes.
“If you hold the ball for 38 minutes, you’re going to win most of the time,” said Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson.
It was a slow start for the Yellow Jackets, holding the ball for 18 plays on a 90-yard touchdown drive. Quarterback TaQuon Marshall’s finally managed the first touchdown after a 5-yard rush in the last few minutes of the first quarter.
“Our defense played 44 snaps in the first half, so there was no doubt that they were going to end up wearing down,” said North Carolina coach Larry Fedora.
The second quarters only points were scored by a 21-yard field goal by Shawn Davis, ending the half at 10-0.
In the third quarter, a fumble from Marshall at midfield started a complete change in the flow of the game. Immediately after the fumble, North Carolina’s inexperienced Chazz Surratt threw his second interception to A.J. Gray. On Tech’s next offensive play, running back KirVonte Benson rushed for 63 yards all the way to the end zone for the Yellow Jackets second touchdown.
“Like coach Johnson always says, you got to hit it, attack the hole, it’s going to be there,” Benson said. “The linemen did a great job up front, especially off the edge. I just got to make one guy miss – and that’s exactly what I did, I got him off me. I saw Ricky [Jeune] down the field blocking, I knew it was destined to be a touchdown.”
Benson ended the game with a total of 130 rushing yards, putting him at an impressive 476 rushing yards for the season so far.
UNC only made it to the end zone once, scoring their only touchdown in the fourth quarter off an 8-yard rush from tailback Jordan Brown.
Backup quarterback Matthew Jordan scored the final points of the game with three minutes left on the clock. Jordan rushed for 29 yards during his limited time on the field, scoring the touchdown on a 5-yard rush. Bennett Barton failed to make the extra point.
The win brings Georgia Tech up to a 2-0 record in the ACC Coastal Division, dropping North Carolina to a dismal 0-3. The Yellow Jackets have the next Saturday off before playing Miami on Oct. 14.