UNC plays its lone road game in a stretch of six weeks when it travels to Atlanta to take on Georgia Tech on Saturday, Sept. 25. Kickoff from MercedesBenz Stadium is set for 7:30 p.m. ET on ACC Network. UNC is 9-19-1 all-time on the road at Georgia Tech.
The Tar Heels are 3-9 at the Yellow Jackets going back to 1997, but did earn a 38-22 win in their most recent trip to Atlanta in 2019. In the 2019 victory, then freshman Sam Howell threw four touchdown passes and completed 33 of 51 attempts for 376 yards as Carolina piled up 587 yards of total offense. Javonte Williams ran 17 times for 138 yards and a TD.
The two Coastal Division rivals did not play in 2020 after the schedule was reconfigured due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The two squads met every season between 1980-2019. The series dates back to 1915 when the Jackets started a streak of four-straight victories that year with a 23-3 win in Atlanta. UNC’s first win came on the road in 1929 by a
margin of 18-7.
- Carolina is ranked No. 21 in the Associated Press poll this week. The Tar Heels sit at No. 20 in the Amway Coaches Poll.
- UNC snapped a four-game losing streak against Virginia with a resounding 59-39 win last Saturday night in Chapel Hill in the 126th playing of the South’s Oldest Rivalry.
- Carolina gained 699 total yards, its most ever against Virginia and the sixth most in any game in school history. It was the third most by the Tar Heels in a game coached by Mack Brown.
- North Carolina ranks second in the ACC with 553.3 yards of offense per game. The Tar Heels have gone over 600 yards in back-to-back games heading into Saturday’s game with Georgia Tech.
- The Tar Heels have compiled 1,306 total yards the last two games – 607 yards in the home opener against Georgia State and 699 last week against ACC foe Virginia. Carolina has accumulated 600 or more yards of offense five times in its last 13 games.
- Sam Howell has 875 yards alone of offense the last two weeks, 659 through the air and 216 on the ground. He has tossed 8 TDs in 2 games. Howell is the third UNC QB to ever have backto-back 400-yard total offense games, joining Marquise WIlliams (Notre Dame and Georgia Tech in 2014) and Mitch Trubisky (James Madison and Pitt in 2016).
- Sam Howell joined a group of only four FBS quarterbacks to ever have back-to-back games with 300 passing yards and 100 rushing yards.
- Tennessee transfer Ty Chandler rushed for a career-high 198 yards and Carolina racked up 392 yards on the ground against Virginia. Chandler’s previous career high was 158 rushing yards at UT against UTEP in 2018.
- Sophomore wide receiver Josh Downs has been Sam Howell’s favorite target each of the
first three weeks of the 2021 season. Downs is tied for second in the ACC and leads
UNC with 24 receptions. He leads the ACC (2nd nationally) with 399 receiving yards and is second with four receiving touchdowns.
- Carolina already has five takeaways on defense through three games in 2021. The Tar Heels are almost halfway to the 11 turnovers they created in 2020.
- Ja’Qurious Conley has a pair of interceptions and a fumble recovery. Power Echols has a pick and Desmond Evans has scooped up one fumble.
- Sophomore linebacker Kaimon Rucker has started the last two games and responded with the best game of his collegiate career last week against Virginia with two sacks, a forced fumble and five total tackles.
About Georgia Tech
- Georgia Tech is coming off a heartbreaking 14-8 defeat at No. 6 Clemson last Saturday. Tech outgained Clemson, 309-285, and became the first ACC team to hold the Tigers to under 20 points and under 300 yards in seven years, but came up just inches short of having a chance to send the game to overtime in the waning seconds.
- Georgia Tech currently ranks among the top 25 nationally in five different statistic categories, including passing defense (5th – 124.3 ypg), defensive touchdowns (t-14th – 1), fumble recoveries (t-18th – 3), red-zone defense (t-24th – .667), total defense (25th – 285.7 ypg).
- Georgia Tech became the first Atlantic Coast Conference team in seven seasons to limit Clemson to less than 20 points and less than 300 yards in last Saturday’s narrow 14-8 defeat to the sixth-ranked Tigers. Prior to last Saturday, Clemson had not scored under 20 points or totaled fewer than 300 yards in an ACC game since Georgia Tech surrendered just 190 yards in a 28-6 victory over the Tigers on Nov. 15, 2014.
- Georgia Tech’s roster includes just 13 seniors eligibility-wise, which is the fourth-fewest among all Power Five-conference teams (Colorado – 6, Oregon – 8, Utah – 11).
- Statistically, Georgia Tech returned 96% of its passing yards, 98% of its rushing yards, 69% of its receiving yards and 85% of its scoring in 2021.
- This season marks the second-straight year that Tech has opened the season with consecutive 400-yard games. Last season, the Yellow Jackets had at least 400 yards of total offense in each of their first four games of last season (438 at Florida State, 471 vs. UCF, 453 at Syracuse, 450 vs. Louisville). Prior to the beginning of the 2020 season, the Jackets had gone 16 games without compiling 400 yards of total offense, with their last 400-yard game coming on Nov. 3, 2018 at North Carolina.
- Georgia Tech was one of only six NCAA Division I FBS teams with three players that rushed for at least 350 yards through 10 games last season — QB Jeff Sims (492), RB Jahmyr Gibbs (460) and RB Jordan Mason (352). The other teams on the list were Appalachian State, Coastal Carolina, Florida State, Kentucky and Nebraska.
- Georgia Tech was one of only six NCAA Division I FBS teams with three players that rushed for at least 350 yards through 10 games last season — QB Jeff Sims (492), RB Jahmyr Gibbs (460) and RB Jordan Mason (352). The other teams on the list were Appalachian State, Coastal Carolina, Florida State, Kentucky and Nebraska
UNC vs Georgia Tech
- The Yellow Jackets and Tar Heels squared off annually for 40-straight seasons from 1980-2019. The string was snapped last season when the ACC rearranged its 2020 schedule due to the Covid-19 pandemic and the GT-UNC game was removed from the ledger.
- Georgia Tech leads the all-time series between the longtime rivals, 30-22-3.
- The GT-UNC series is one that has been punctuated by streaks over the past three decades. From 1992-2018, the series went like this: UNC won 5-of-6, GT won 14-of-16 (including six-straight from 1998-2003 and five-straight from 2009-13), UNC won three-straight, GT won two-straight.
- UNC snapped Tech’s two-game winning streak in the series with a 38-22 win at Bobby Dodd Stadium in 2019.
- Georgia Tech is 19-9 all-time versus North Carolina atmhome, including wins in nine of the last 11 matchups played in Atlanta.
How to Watch
Time: 7:30 pm
Television: ACC Network Roy Philpott, play-by-play; Tim Hasselbeck,
analyst; Kelsey Riggs, sideline
Radio: Tar Heel Sports Network: Jones Angell, play-by-play; Brian Simmons, analyst; Lee Pace, sideline Satellite Radio: Sirius (85), XM (85)