ESPN lists Georgia Tech vs UNC as one of the best games of the 2022 season
One of the biggest surprises of the college football season received well-deserved recognition today as one of the best games of the past college football season.
ESPN’s Bill Connelly started today’s ranking of the top 100 games of the 2022 season and the matchup between the Tar Heels and the Yellow Jackets came in at number 92. Here’s what Connelly had to say about that game:
“No one can be held responsible for turning this one off. North Carolina was heavily favored, rising 17-0 in the second quarter. But the Tar Heels would remain scoreless on their last six drives and Hassan Hall’s 6-yard score with 11:08 left gave the Yellow Jackets a shocking 21-17 lead. A late UNC turnaround at Downs sealed a stunning turnaround.”
Georgia Tech was a three-touchdown underdog making its way to the road trip against Heisman nominee Drake Maye, and the Tar Heels were ranked 13th in the latest college football playoff rankings.
Georgia Tech kept one of the best offenses in the country and their then-Heisman quarterback Drake Maye at their season-low (at this point in the season) in yards, points and passing yards for Maye. UNC only had 108 yards in the second half.
No other team has played as well against the UNC offense to this point, and there’s a lot of praise that deserves going around for the job they put in that night. Defensive coordinator Andrew Thacker has done an excellent job at times this season (particularly after Geoff Collins was fired) and should get proper credit for Georgia Tech’s victory in that game.
Keion White finished the game with three sacks, D’Quan Douse had one, Makius Scott had one, and Jason Moore had another, giving Georgia Tech six for the game. The defense also had 12 tackles for loss as well as an interception from LaMiles Brooks.
There are many reasons Georgia Tech won this game, but I think defense ranks high on the list.
Quarterback Zach Gibson didn’t play well at all against Virginia, Florida State, or last week’s Miami, but when Georgia Tech needed him most, Gibson delivered one of the most unexpected performances of the season. Jeff Sims and Zach Pyron didn’t play in that game through injury and it was up to Gibson and Taisun Phommachanh to earn the win for the Yellow Jackets.
Well, Gibson’s stats won’t blow your mind, but he managed the game, didn’t turn the ball over and wasn’t sacked against that North Carolina defense. Gibson finished the game 13-18 for 174 yards.
After the game, ESPN analyst Kirk Herbstreit listed Georgia Tech as one of his top teams of the week and had Key and Thacker’s coaching jobs as two of his best coaching performances that week.
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