It was another rough day on the Flats on Saturday afternoon as the scoreboard read 38-22 as the final score in favor of the North Carolina Tar Heels.
Georgia Tech’s offense finally was able to gain some traction with James Graham under center but it wasn’t enough on Saturday afternoon as Sam Howell and North Carolina was able to get past the Jackets and hand them a 38-22 loss.
1) Offense finally started to click in the second half
The Yellow Jackets started the game on Saturday leaving where they left off on offense. They were virtually nonexistent in the first half only gaining a total of 92 yards. They had 46 rushing yards and 46 passing yards. James Graham ended the first half just 5/10 with 46 yards and one interception. Running back Jordan Mason had just 14 rushing yards on four carries.
At the start of the second half the Jackets had a big 56 yard run by running back Jordan Mason which setup a beautiful pass and catch from quarterback James Graham to wide out Malachi Carter for the Jackets first touchdown in six quarters.
At the end of the game Graham ended up going 11/24 for 171 yards and 2 touchdowns. Jordan Mason ended up with 62 yards on 8 carries and 1 touchdown.
The offense still has plenty of room to improve, but in the second half of the game on Saturday it seemed to be the most consistent the Jackets have played all year. It also seems that with such a big second half for James Graham, he has to be Tech’s quarterback moving forward.
2) Defense was a tale of two halves
Although the scoreboard might not look like it, the defense did everything they could to keep the Jackets in the game. Especially in the first half. The Jackets offense is partially to blame as they could not give the defense the breaks they needed throughout the game causing the defense to get worn out. The Jackets secondary did almost give up quite a few wide open looks, but luck would be on their side as it seemed the Tar Heels receivers could not manage to haul in the long balls despite being open.
The defense in the second half really started to struggle, especially against the run. It could be that they started to get tired. The defense had given up 211 rushing yards by the end of the game and they only gave up a total of 96 in the first half. UNC quarterback Sam Howell in the first half was 17/29 with 198 yards and two touchdowns and ended the game going 33/51 for 376 yards and 4 touchdowns.
One of the biggest issues for the defense was third down conversions. They could not seem to figure out how to get off of the field on third down going 11/19. The defense also gave up a ridiculous 34 first downs to the Tar Heels offense.
3) Adonicas Sanders with a big game
Following the injury to wide receiver to Jalen Camp this past week, sophomore Adonicas Sanders stepped up in a big way. Sanders had just 3 receptions, but they went for big yardage. Sanders ended the game with 67 yards and a long of 39 yards that went on to set up a touchdown for the Jackets. Through the game Sanders averaged an outstanding22.3 yards per reception.