Georgia Tech faced off against North Carolina State on Thurs. Nov. 21, under the bright lights of a home game at Bobby Dodd Stadium and the national spotlight. The Yellow Jackets squeezed out a 28-26 win in a tough battle.
Both teams came in this matchup with a short week of rest and practice having played this past Saturday. Both teams were in need of a desperate win.
The Yellow Jackets came into the matchup on a three-game losing streak. The 45-0 lost to Virginia Tech was their worst of the season.
The Wolfpack came into the matchup on a four-game losing streak, suffering their last lost 20-34 against Louisville. The Wolfpack and Yellow Jackets were desperate for their second win in the ACC.
The Yellow Jackets got off to a hot start. Clicking on both sides of the ball helped them go into the half with a 21-3 lead over the Wolfpack. Yellow Jackets’ quarterback James Graham played his best half of the season. Graham was six of ten for 120 yards passing and three touchdowns through the air. Running back Jordan Mason pitched in with ten carriers for 99 yards in the first half. The defense also came up with key third and fourth down stops to halt two long Wolfpack drives.
The Yellow Jackets wide receiver Malachi Carter spoke about his quarterbacks’ bounce-back game.
“Especially after last week, he had something to prove. He just went out there and did his thing.”
The Wolfpack stormed back in the second half. They stayed with their run game until it finally paid off in the second half. The team rushed for 115 yards but finally started to find the end zone with two scoring touchdowns in the second half.
Wolfpack running backs Zonovan Knight and Jordan Houston both ran the ball effectively. Knight had eighteen carries for 100 yards and one touchdown. Houston had sixteen carriers for 89 yards.
Despite Yellow Jackets’ quarterback Grahams two fumbles, one late in the fourth quarter, he still had his best game of the season. Graham finished seven of fifteen with 129 yards passing and three touchdowns. He also showed his dual-threat ability carrying the ball for fourteen times, with 112 yards rushing.
Yellow Jackets’ offense had one of their best outings of the season. Even though their offense only scored seven points in the second half, the team still showed balance. They didn’t have as many passing yards as rushing, but they were efficient and had big plays in the passing game. Also, freshman wide receiver Ahmarean Brown tied Calvin Johnson receiving touchdowns record with five on the year with still a game left. Brown scored two of his five touchdowns against the Wolfpack.
The Yellow Jackets will have a little extra rest as they prepare for their final regular-season game at home on Nov. 30 against their old rivals, the University of Georgia. The Yellow Jackets can play spoilers for the Bulldogs’ college football playoffs’ hopes if they can pull off the upset.