- Associated Press - Thursday, November 3, 2016

Georgia Tech (5-3, 2-3 ACC) at No. 18 North Carolina (6-2, 4-1, No. 21 CFP), 12:30 p.m. (ACC Network)

Line: North Carolina by 10.

Series record: Georgia Tech leads 28-20-3

WHAT’S AT STAKE

The Tar Heels need a perfect November - and an ACC loss somewhere by Virginia Tech - to earn a second straight berth in the ACC championship game. With a victory the Yellow Jackets will return to bowl eligibility after last year’s hiccup ended their bowl streak at 18 years.

KEY MATCHUP

North Carolina defense vs. Georgia Tech rushing offense. Beating the Yellow Jackets almost always means finding a way to slow down Paul Johnson’s triple-option offense, which for a change is only second-best in the ACC, but still has rushed for at least 240 yards in four straight games. The Tar Heels have the worst run defense in the league, allowing nearly 203 yards on the ground per game, and must show improvement or risk being upset.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Georgia Tech: QB Justin Thomas is coming off the best game of his career, rushing for 195 yards and throwing for 264 more in a 38-35 victory over Duke. He threw three touchdown passes in last year’s North Carolina game, one of only three times he’s passed for that many TDs.

North Carolina: RB Elijah Hood rushed for 107 yards with a touchdown in the Tar Heels’ last game two weeks ago at Virginia, reaching the 100-yard mark for the 10th time in his three-year career.

FACTS & FIGURES

The Tar Heels are playing just their second home game since late September and their first since a 34-3 loss to Virginia Tech that cost them an important tiebreaker in the division race. North Carolina won’t leave the state the rest of the regular season. … Georgia Tech’s 605 total yards last week against Duke was its most since 2014. … Extra preparation time before the Georgia Tech game hasn’t been kind to UNC in recent years. The Tar Heels lost both previous times they had a week off before facing the Yellow Jackets (2012, ‘13).

LOAD COMMENTS ()

 

Click to Read More

Click to Hide