It was going to happen. UNC was going to lose a close game, one that they probably should have won by 30. It happened on Saturday as UNC fell to the visiting Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets 21-17. Drake Maye was shut down for the first time in his young career, finishing 16-30 for 202 yards and 1 interception. UNC had many opportunities to win the game late, mistakes like Josh Downs dropping a potential game-winning touchdown on 4th and 11 from the 19 is just one example. It was a dime of a throw by Drake. UNC’s defense was unable to get the ball back to the offense after that. UNC had Tech at 3rd and 4 at their own 25 but a poor angle taken by Cam Kelly allowed Hassan Hall to turn the corner for a first down.
That was all she wrote in terms of the game, but the aftermath remains significant, as UNC falls to 9-2 ahead of their game against NC State on Friday. They did something Mack Brown has warned them of all season, they got complacent. The Heels had a 17-0 lead in the second quarter, but the offense stalled as the O-line was not able to protect Maye enough for him to go through his progressions and find receivers. The defense played well all game, the offense just was not able to help them out enough to win the game. UNC plummeted to 18th in the AP Poll and will likely see a similar fall in the CFB Playoff Poll as well.
UNC needs to put this frustrating game behind them as they will play NC State on Friday. The big rivalry carries a lot of weight with Tar Heel fans.