North Carolina at Ga Tech
Time: 3 PM CST, Saturday
Spread: UNC -10.5
Odds c/o 5dimes
The North Carolina Tar Heels are 2-3 on the season and in third place in the ACC Coastal Division. It travels to face ACC rival Georgia Tech at 3 PM CST Saturday in a game the Tar Heels are 10.5-point favorites in. It will have an over/under set at 48.5 total points according to college football oddsmakers at bookmaker 5dimes.
UNC has lost three straight games since beginning its 2019 with a 2-0 record. It defeated South Carolina and Miami (FL) in Weeks 1 and 2, but has since lost to Wake Forest, Appalachian State, and No. 1 Clemson last week. The Tar Heels hope to get back on track against Georgia Tech this week as big favorites, and it nearly was able to defeat Clemson last week so that bodes well. The Tar Heels fell 20-21 to the Clemson Tigers in Week 5.
UNC attempted a 2-point conversion following a 38-yard TD pass to Trevor Lawerence, but Clemson stopped it and prevented the upset. Sam Howell completed 15 of 27 passes for 144 yards and two touchdowns, and the Tar Heels rushed for 146 yards, with Michael Carter leading the way in touches (16) and yards (99). Javonte Williams scored the lone rushing TD, though, on his 10 carries and 49 total yards. Williams caught two passes for 35 yards, as well, and the Tar Heels got TD receptions from Dyami Brown (three receptions, 63 yards) and Beau Corrales (three catches, 25 yards).
Chazz Surratt was the standout of the Tar Heels defense with seven tackles (3 solos), one sack, and two tackles-for-loss. UNC had just that one sack and only three TFLs, while Clemson sacked the QB three times and had nine TFLs. It might seem like a big discrepancy in some respects, but the Tar Heels played Clemson very tough in a near-upset. Howell is completing 62.5 percent of his passes this season with 1,168 yards and 11 TD passes with just two interceptions.
Williams leads the team with 348 rushing yards and averages 5.5 yards-per-attempt. Howell has just 14 yards on his 51 carries, though. Williams has caught seven passes this season for 71 yards, which ranks No. 5 on the team in receiving yards. Dyami Brown leads the team with 347 yards on 18 catches, while Dazz Newsome leads the team in total receptions (21) and ranks No. 2 in yardage (286). Brown averages nearly 20 yards per catch. Tight end Carl Tucker needs to be more involved, though he has caught four passes for 50 yards through five weeks.
Georgia Tech is 1-3 and in fourth place in the ACC Coastal division. The Yellow Jackets have lost its last two contests to Temple and Citadel. It defeated South Florida in Week 2, and was badly beaten by No. 1 Clemson in its opener. The Yellow Jackets were not particularly good last week against Temple, as it fell 2-24 to the Owls on the road.
The Yellow Jackets have yet to find a consistent source of production at quarterback having run through three potions that all failed for various reasons. James Graham, Tobias Oliver, and Lucan Johnson combine to average just 48 percent completions with two TDs and four interceptions. Oliver has two picks and not a single TD reception throw yet. Graham got the start against Temple and threw 10 of 24 for 100 yards with an interception, while Oliver came in to throw 4 of 11 for 74 yards. Graham had a quarterback rating under 10, while Oliver’s was also a pathetic 24.4. Oliver did rush 11 times for 68 yards, but he did not rush for a TD, nor did Georgia Tech score any in the game.
The Yellow Jackets did rush for 131 yards on 35 attempts, but only Oliver and Dontae Smith had rushes longer than 10 yards, and the team averaged just 3.7 per.
Ahmarean Brown and Jalen Camp combined to catch seven passes for 127 yards. Oliver did also have two costly fumbles which were both lost, and Temple applied a lot of pressure on the GT quarterback with its three sacks and six tackles-for-loss. The Yellow Jackets are going to have to get a lot better execution this week to avoid a big loss to a Tar Heels team having its own struggles. This is a redemption week for both teams, of sorts.