That touchdown gave UNC a commanding 17-0 lead going into halftime.
Coming out of the break, the North Carolina defense continued to dominate, forcing Georgia Tech into a three-and-out. The Tar Heels then drove 45 yards down the field to get Noah Ruggles a 39-yard field goal attempt. However, he missed the field goal and the ball turned over to the Yellow Jackets.
That must have given Georgia Tech momentum, as the team marched down the field on the next possession for its first score of the game. They capped off the drive with a 28-yard touchdown pass.
It took 8:11 for another score but UNC, extended its lead at the start of the fourth quarter. Howell found Dyami Brown in the corner of the end zone for a 18-yard pass touchdown to extend the North Carolina lead to 24-7.
Following the UNC touchdown, the Yellow Jackets quickly marched 73 yards downfield on just five plays to score a touchdown. Georgia Tech then completed a two-point conversion to make the score 24-15.
What was a defensive battle early on was now turning into a shootout, as UNC scored again on its next possession. Howell tossed the ball to tight end Garrett Walston, who dove past the pylon for a 16-yard score that gave the Tar Heels a 31-15 lead with 9:53 remaining.
The North Carolina defense got a stop on its next drive, then conducted a methodical drive that lasted 5:57 and ended in a three-yard touchdown run for Javonte Williams to put the game out of reach.
A Georgia Tech touchdown with 1:45 remaining wasn't enough, and North Carolina would leave Atlanta with a win to get back to .500.
Who stood out?
Sam Howell had a career day at quarterback. The first-year completed 33 passes on 51 attempts for 376 yards. He also threw four touchdown passes.
Running back Javonte WIlliams also had an impressive day, rushing 17 times for 138 yards and a touchdown.
When was it decided?
Though the Yellow Jackets made things interesting in the second half, the Tar Heel offense was able to continue manufacturing points to keep Georgia Tech at bay. Williams' touchdown run all but sealed the win for UNC.
Why does it matter?
UNC is now 2-1 in the ACC, and still very much in control of its own destiny in the Coastal division. North Carolina is also only three wins away from being bowl eligible, and looking like a different team after its close loss to No. 1 Clemson last week.
When do they play next?
The Tar Heels have a bye next week before traveling to Virginia Tech on Oct. 19 for a crucial divisional matchup.
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