Notes: Walk-on kicker comes through for Tech

Notebook from Doug Roberson

1. Coach Paul Johnson said he almost kissed Chris Tanner after he kicked a 34-yard field goal in the fourth quarter of Tech’s 68-50 win at North Carolina.

Before hitting two Saturday, Tanner hadn’t kicked a field goal since he was at Norcross High School in 2007 and hadn’t kicked an extra point since 2009. Tanner, a senior, found out earlier this week that he was going to handle the kicks.

“The past couple of days I’ve just been like, ‘I can do this,’” he said.

Tanner said he was helped by the fact he was kicking from the middle of the field, and that the snap and hold were perfect.

Tanner made a 35-yard field goal in the third quarter. He was perfect on all eight extra-point attempts. It was the first time Tech hadn’t missed a kick in a game since the loss to Middle Tennessee. Tech was 5-of-11 on field-goal attempts and 39-of-42 on extra-point attempts before Saturday.

2. Robbie Godhigh may have been the shortest player on the field, but he outjumped two defenders to pull down a 32-yard touchdown pass from Vad Lee in the decisive third quarter.

It was one of three touchdowns Godhigh scored in the period. Before the catch, the 5-foot-7 A-back scored on runs of 4 and 32 yards. He rushed for 41 yards on five carries.

On the touchdown catch, Godhigh said he beat his man at the line. When he saw the pass coming to him, he decided he was going to make a play. Godhigh estimated he has a vertical leap of 32 inches.

“He made some plays; he’s done that all year for us,” Johnson said.

3. Jamal Golden returned a kickoff 100 yards for a touchdown on the first play of the second half to give Tech a 34-29 lead. It was part of a school-record 231 yards on seven kickoff returns for Golden.

It was Golden’s second return for a touchdown this season, tying the school’s single-season record set by Drew Hill in 1978. It also tied the school’s career record, held by three other players. Golden returned one 97 yards for a touchdown against BYU earlier this season.

Golden said all of his returns went to the right in the first half Saturday. Tech’s coaches noticed that the Tar Heels were starting to overpursue on the play, so they called the first one of the second half to go left. He caught the ball, made the first tackler miss and turned up field.

“I had a block and Synjyn Days led me down the field for a touchdown,” he said.

The previous record for return yards in a game was set by T.J. Edwards with 184 on six returns against Duke in 1989.

4. Linebacker Brandon Watts made one of the critical stops in the game when he tackled punter Tommy Hibbard 8 yards short of a first down on a fourth-and-10 at North Carolina’s 25 in the third quarter.

Godhigh rushed for a 27-yard touchdown on the next play to give Tech a 51-36 lead with 6:21 left in the third quarter.

Watts said he was supposed to be blocking for the return when he saw the punter was running too fast to kick the ball. Watts left his man, avoided a block and brought down Hibbard.

“We needed that, and the offense put points on the board,” Watts said.

A few more records were set during the game:

  • The teams combined to score 118 points, the most in ACC history. The previous record was 100, set when Virginia defeated Tulane 63-47 in 1968. The previous record for two ACC teams in the same game was set when Clemson defeated Wake Forest 82-24 in 1981.
  • Tech’s 68 points and UNC’s 50 were the most for each in the series history.
  • Tech’s 68 points were the most allowed by UNC at home and the most allowed to a conference opponent. The previous home high was set by Maryland when it scored 59 in 2002. The previous conference high was set by FSU when it scored 63 in 2000.

15 comments Add your comment


November 10th, 2012
11:30 pm

Godhigh is the man, the myth, the legend…. So much win packed into such a small body!


November 10th, 2012
11:31 pm

I loved all the blocking today! Keep putting the defenders to the ground!


November 11th, 2012
12:26 am

Godhigh has become my favorite player. 5′ 7″ walk-ons play with a chip on the shoulder!! And he’s got talent – I guess other teams couldn’t get passed the 5′ 7″.


November 11th, 2012
12:50 am

Vad is the man in my book today. What a great day he had (minus the interception).


November 11th, 2012
12:51 am

glad the kicking game improved too!

Alabama Jack

November 11th, 2012
7:23 am

Hmm,where are all the trolls??????????????????????????/

ME Jacket

November 11th, 2012
7:47 am

Yo, wish I could jump like Robbie…


November 11th, 2012
7:59 am

Maybe we will see Tanner end his short career with late game heroics in Atlanta, Athens, Charlotte and Miami.

I know, I know…


November 11th, 2012
9:13 am

The D was just good enough and the O was unbelievable. Let’s build on it.


November 11th, 2012
9:45 am

What IS it with the paragraph numbering..??..

Jacket Man

November 11th, 2012
11:34 am

The defense came up big the second half of the game. Take away Carolina’s one play TD on their first snap of the 2nd half (blown coverage) and the Jacket defense held the Tar Heels to one offensive TD the second half of the game at the end of the 3rd quarter. The last Carolina score was on their Pick 6…

And don’t forget, North Carolina was known for being a 2nd half offensive team; 4th Quarter in particular. Great defensive adjustments.


November 11th, 2012
12:07 pm

Yesterday’s performance actually gave me some hope for the game against Duke. Their D is s lot worse than UNC’s.


November 11th, 2012
1:05 pm

sad we haven’t seen Chris Tanner until now…so glad he was given the opportunity but why did it take so long? Big time coaching error
Jamal Golden is still the MAN
Oh my God……………………..high, what a player….


November 11th, 2012
10:57 pm

I cannot believe that we still have a chance to go to the Championship Game. Miracles can happen!


November 14th, 2012
2:46 am

TECH rules, keep your eyes on Dookies !