Tech worked the middle on its opening drive, going to B-backs Anthony Allen and Preston Lyons until about midfield. Joshua Nesbitt was then faulted for a fumble recovered by Carolina, but Roddy Jones should’ve been there to receive the pitch. Jones had slipped at the snap and wasn’t in position.
Carolina immediately responded to the first non-scoring possession of the day with a touchdown drive of three straight Johnny White runs. White was up to 95 yards on the day after the drive.
Junior A-back Marcus Wright then flubbed a pitch after Tech had again reached midfield, resulting in a big loss that forced Tech’s first punt.
The Jacket defense then managed to force a rare three-and-out after some good-enough pass rushing from Brad Jefferson and others forced a T.J. Yates throwaway and hilarious scramble that featured an amazing, time-of-possession-padding spin move attempt.
Tech stalled at midfield again, as Carolina bottled up an off-tackle Nesbitt keeper on fourth-and-two. Carolina then fumbled a handoff as Yates tripped over his fullback, with Jefferson recovering for the Jackets.
The new strategy for the Heels, aggressively crashing on Nesbitt with three bodies on every option, is working to prevent long gains on pitches — or even pitch attempts. Several times Nesbitt has looked confused and hesitant. Nesbitt scrambled to convert a third-and-11 pass to Roddy Jones and soon followed with his 31st career touchdown run.
Carolina worked up another three-and-out that again featured delightful Yates playmaking inspired by Tech’s decent pass rush — a third-and-long impromptu one-armed shovel pass, as Yates is just having fun out there.