Fast or slow?
North Carolina’s pace is almost a diametrical opposite of Georgia Tech’s. The Tar Heels hurry to maximize plays and possessions. Methodical drives are not something they do, ranking 106th in the country in time of possession. Georgia Tech’s offense is capable of big plays, but few teams can play ball control and limit possessions like the Yellow Jackets. Tech’s best chance may be in forcing quick punts from North Carolina and then keeping the ball for half a quarter at a time.
Two quarters or four?
The following does not bode well for the Jackets – Tech has outscored the opposition in every quarter but the fourth, which has gone 95-60 for its opponents. North Carolina has outscored its opponents in every quarter, but decisively in the third (89-23) and fourth (75-28) quarters. One of the Jackets’ biggest challenges has been sustaining energy and focus for 60 minutes. Anything less than that against the Tar Heels will mean a barrel full of trouble.
Washington or Lee?
Coach Paul Johnson has held off again on naming a starting quarterback. A week ago, he started Tevin Washington and then rotated Vad Lee every two series, a pattern that worked in a 33-13 win over Maryland. Given its success, it would not be a surprise if Johnson opted for a similar strategy. Don’t be surprised, though, if Johnson ends up giving more opportunities to whichever quarterback is more effective.
A win for Georgia Tech would …
Be its fourth in a row over the Tar Heels, seventh of the last eight and 13th of the last 15
A win for North Carolina would …
Extend its record at home this season to 6-0
Matchup to watch
Miami vs. Virginia
Virginia Tech’s loss Thursday night to Florida State improved Tech’s dim hopes of winning the Coastal Division. Their chances would grow further if the Cavaliers were to upset the Hurricanes in Charlottesville, Va., in a game that kicks off at noon. Tech will win the Coastal and play for the ACC title if it beats UNC and Duke and the Hurricanes lose to Virginia and Duke. The possibility of Miami self-imposing a bowl ban in response to NCAA infractions, which would eliminate it from ACC title contention, also looms.
The history book
Series record: Tech leads 26-18-3
Last meeting: Last September, after giving up a two-touchdown lead to fall into a 28-all tie, Tech won with a fourth-quarter touchdown drive for a 35-28 win. Quarterback Tevin Washington ran for two touchdowns and passed for another. Outside linebacker Jeremiah Attaochu collected three sacks.
Tweet of the week
I think we have a good chance but the defense has to stop the run and our offense has to (be) efficient on third down and no turnovers
Former Tech star Jonathan Dwyer