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Saturday January 28th, 2023 5:50PM

T25-Georgia Tech-North Carolina-Preview-Capsule

By The Associated Press

Georgia Tech (4-6, 3-4 ACC) at No. 13 North Carolina (9-1, 6-0), Saturday, 5:30 p.m. EST (ESPN2)

Line: North Carolina by 21 1/2, according to FanDuel Sportsbook.

Series record: Georgia Tech leads 31-22-3

WHAT’S AT STAKE?

The Tar Heels have already clinched the league's Coastal Division title and a trip to the ACC championship game with last weekend's win at Wake Forest. But coach Mack Brown has talked about leading a team that still has plenty to prove. Beating a Georgia Tech team that rolled against UNC last year would give the Tar Heels their first 10-win season since 2015. The Yellow Jackets have to win out to reach bowl eligibility, but it would take two stunning upsets for that to happen. After visiting North Carolina, Georgia Tech closes out the season at No. 1 Georgia.

KEY MATCHUP

North Carolina QB Drake Maye against the Georgia Tech secondary. The redshirt freshman has played his way into the Heisman Trophy conversation with an outstanding season, completing 253 of 361 passes for 3,412 yards, 34 touchdowns and just three interceptions. The Jackets' defense ranks 57th in yards passing per game, 66th in red-zone scoring percentage and 71st in third-down percentage.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Georgia Tech: LBs Ayinde Eley and Charlie Thomas. The teammates have combined for a remarkable 195 tackles, 18.5 tackles for loss, 5.5 sacks, five forced fumbles, four fumble recoveries and two interceptions in 10 games this season.

North Carolina: RB Elijah Green. The former reserve has risen to the top of the depth chart and is providing needed ground production. He ran 22 times for 91 yards with a touchdown to go with a receiving score against Virginia, then ran 18 times for 66 yards with another score in the Wake Forest win.

FACTS & FIGURES

UNC is trying to complete a perfect run through league regular-season play for the first time since 2015, which is the last time the Tar Heels went to the ACC title game. ... UNC receiver Josh Downs has been on a tear of late. He had 11 catches for 154 yards and three touchdowns at Wake Forest. That marked his third straight game with at least 10 catches and fourth straight with 100+ yards receiving. ... Brown is 99-64-1 in his 14 seasons, spread over two stints, leading the Tar Heels. ... Georgia Tech interim coach Brent Key is 3-3 since taking over after Geoff Collins was fired with the worst winning percentage in school history. ... Despite losing the turnover battle for the first time this season in last week’s 35-14 home loss to Miami, the Jackets rank fifth nationally in turnover margin (plus-11).

___

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