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Atlanta, Ga – Jeff Sims replaced Jordan Yates at quarterback late in the second quarter and led the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (2-2) to a 45-22 win over the North Carolina Tarheels (2-2) at Mercedes Benz.
Sims had his best game of his career completing 10-13 for 112 passing yards and a touchdown including rushing for 130 yards and three touchdowns.
“I just knew that my time was going to come and told myself just go out there and be you,” stated Sims. “I prayed before the game and prayed that his will be done. Yeah, I was prepared and I was ready to go.”
The Tarheels struck first on their second possession of the game driving 40 yards in four plays, which was capped by a 23-yard touchdown run by quarterback Sam Howell. Howell broke four tackles to reach the end zone.
After that, Georgia Tech’s defense took over causing two takeaways that led to 10 points. Defensive linemen Jordan Domenick got the first forced fumble while linebacker Quez Jackson recovered it. Djimon Brooks forced the second fumble and Demetrius Knight recovered it, and returned it 37 yards before tripping over his own feet at the Tarheels 17-yard line.
“Everybody was feeding off each other. When the offense produce, it’s makes it easier on us and when we’re doing our job, it makes it easier on them too,” said Jackson.
The defense sacked Howell eight times with three forced fumbles which was all recovered by the Yellow Jackets. Howell managed to throw for 306 yards on 25-39 completions in spite of.
Sims led Tech to five straight scoring drives after punting on their first possession of the second half, including an eight-play drive for 81 yards where he went 4-4 for 60 yards. That drive ended in a four-yard Jahmyr Gibbs touchdown run that put the Yellow Jackets up 27-7.
North Carolina was able to stay in the game after a 75-yard drive that ended with a seven-yard touchdown reception by Kamari Morales to cut the lead 27-14.
Tech added another touchdown drive which included nine plays for 75 yards and a 27-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Kyric McGowan to push the lead 35-14.
The Tarheels respond by driving down 75 yards for a touchdown,.Howell completed a four-yard pass to wide receiver Josh Downs for the score.
After the Yellow Jackets forced their third turnover with 2:04 on the clock, Sims ran up the middle for 50 yards for a touchdown to put the game away. Georgia Tech was able to gain 394 yards on offense.
Although they lost to the Clemson Tigers 14-8 last week, head coach Geoff Collins was proud of his team for battling to the last whistle. Collins talked about how that energy transferred to Saturday’s night win over the Tarheels.
“The challenge was to do it again against a #21 ranked team. It just speak to the leadership, the character, all of those things in our program. Now we got to do it again,” stated Collins.
Georgia Tech’s next opponent will host the Pittsburgh Panthers at Bobby Dodd Stadium at 12:00 pm eastern.