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at Georgia Tech 35 ... North Carolina 28

CollegeFootballNews.com
Posted Sep 24, 2011


Week 4 CFN Fearless Prediction & Game Story - North Carolina at Georgia Tech


2011 Predictions & Game Story 

Week 4 - UNC at Georgia Tech

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Sept. 24 at Georgia Tech 35 ... North Carolina 28
CFN Analysis: The Georgia Tech defense gave up a big home run and struggled in the fourth quarter, but when it had to put the clamps down to close things out, he did. The offense continues to be tremendous, and now it’s cranking out yards in chunks against teams with top-shelf defensive talent. To be able to run for 312 yards against a front seven as good as North Carolina’s, and to do the little things needed on the short yardage plays, showed that everything is working in tune. Tevin Washington is razor sharp and is making all the right decisions. The O should blow up over the next several weeks, and right now, nothing is going to slow it down but mistakes.

North Carolina might have lost the battle, but it found its star that it needs to keep feeding. Giovani Bernard looked quick, fast, and strong with his knee injuries well in the past. Bryn Renner continues to be accurate, and while the two interceptions hurt, he made great decisions and he did what he could to keep control of the ball. It wasn’t enough as Georgia Tech held on to the ball for over 36 minutes, but the Tar Heels did a nice job of making a comeback late to tie it up. In crunch time, though, the defense couldn’t stop the Yellow Jacket option giving up a huge run to Roddy Jones to change the game. Next week against East Carolina, the Tar Heels need to improve the turnover margin and have to keep Barnard going.

(AP) ATLANTA -- Tevin Washington threw a long touchdown pass and ran for two scores, including a 5-yarder that gave No. 25 Georgia Tech a 35-28 victory over North Carolina on Saturday.

The Tar Heels (3-1, 1-1 ACC) fought back from a 28-14 deficit, tying the game on freshman Giovani Bernard's 55-yard run with 7:22 left. Georgia Tech (4-0, 1-0) needed only four plays to respond.

Roddy Jones reached out to take a pitch from Washington that looked too far in front of the running back, going 48 yards down the sideline to the North Carolina 9. Two snaps later, Washington took it in for the winning score with 5:20 left.

Stephen Hill had a huge game for Georgia Tech with six receptions for 151 yards, including a 59-yard touchdown. Bernard rushed for 155 yards and two TDs.

North Carolina (3-0) at Georgia Tech (3-0) Sept. 24, 12:00, ESPN

Here’s The Deal … In one of the more intriguing, under-the-radar games of Week 4, unbeaten North Carolina and Georgia Tech meet in a Coastal Division showdown. Both programs have opened with three consecutive wins, and are newly ranked in the Coaches Poll. The loser goes. The winner stays, while picking up a huge edge in the divisional race.

The Yellow Jackets have been a juggernaut so far, leading the nation in scoring and total offense. They made it look simple in last Saturday’s 66-24 demolition of Kansas, rushing for an ACC-record 604 yards. The Tar Heels are preparing for their second league game, a week after handling Virginia, 28-17. Considering that Butch Davis was axed in the summer, the program has done well to regroup in the aftermath. This is a particularly important game for Davis’ successor, Everett Withers, who can move a giant step closer to shedding his interim tag with a win at Bobby Dodd Stadium.

Why North Carolina Might Win: The Tar Heels might house the best defense that Georgia Tech faces all season. Sure, the Yellow Jackets have been potent, but their explosions have come against Western Carolina, Middle Tennessee and Kansas. The Heels are nothing like those three programs. They’re awash in NFL talent, especially on the first two lines of defense. An undersized Yellow Jackets O-line is going to have its hands full with the wave of Carolina stoppers that’s headed by linemen Quinton Coples and Kareem Martin, and linebackers Zach Brown and Kevin Reddick. Brown and Reddick, in particular, have the speeding and range to make plays all over the field.

Why Georgia Tech Might Win: Although the Jackets won’t continue to average 60 points a game, it’s clear that head coach Paul Johnson adequately revamped his attack in the offseason. Far more diverse, explosive and exciting than in 2010, they’re unveiling new weapons each week. QB Tevin Washington has thrown seven touchdown passes without a pick, helping turn WR Stephen Hill into a homerun hitter. And four players are averaging at least eight yards a carry, testament to the offense’s big-play ability. RB Orwin Smith has been setting the pace in Atlanta with 270 rushing yards and four touchdowns on a dozen carries, and four catches for 151 yards and another score.

What To Watch Out For: If Georgia Tech can succeed in turning this into a high-scoring game, can Carolina keep pace? Besides LB Julian Burnett, the Yellow Jackets aren’t exactly a scary bunch on defense, but the Heels have been inefficient and error-prone with the ball. Withers might opt to keep it simple on Saturday, leaning on a running game that produced 222 yards versus Virginia to pound away at a soft front wall of Tech. On play-action, the Bryn Renner to Dwight Jones is liable to catch the secondary off guard and out of position.

What Will Happen: The Carolina D is outstanding and star-studded, but one week is not enough time to prepare for this Georgia Tech triple-option. The attack is buzzing beyond anyone’s expectations, especially so early in the year. Washington has evolved into the perfect pivot man in this system, distributing the ball to his growing numbers of playmakers. While it’ll be nip-and-tuck throughout, as many as of these matchups are, the Tar Heels are going to find it difficult to keep pace with the high-scoring Tech offense.

CFN Prediction: Georgia Tech 31 … North Carolina 24
- Click For Latest Line From ATS: Georgia Tech -6.5   O/U: 58.5

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