UNC-Georgia Tech Odds

Atlanta, GA North Carolina owns one of the nation's top rush defenses, along with an understanding of the challenge it faces from Georgia Tech's triple-option threat.

That comes from last season's victory over the Yellow Jackets, which has given the Tar Heels confidence heading into Saturday's rematch.

Bet College Football Week 4

The No. 22 Tar Heels, though, will be looking to snap a five-game losing streak at Bobby Dodd Stadium when it faces Georgia Tech in its ACC opener.

Oddsmakers from online sports book BetOnline have made Georgia Tech -2.5 point spread favorites (View College Football odds) for Saturday’s game (Game Matchup). Current public betting information shows that 63% of bets for this game have been placed on Georgia Tech -2.5 (View College Football bet percentages).

North Carolina limited East Carolina to 55 yards on the ground and 247 total yards in a 31-17 win last Saturday, improving it to 3-0 for the first time since 1997.

North Carolina, which has held three consecutive opponents to fewer than 20 points for the first time in nine seasons, has yielded 1.8 yards per carry. The Tar Heels are sixth in the nation in total defense with 198.7 yards per game and rank seventh in rush defense at 52.3.

Their next challenge comes in the form of Georgia Tech's dangerous option attack. The Yellow Jackets are averaging 243.7 rushing yards, 16th in the Football Bowl Subdivision.

"It certainly is one of the things you talk to your football team about - option responsibility," Tar Heels coach Butch Davis said. "You're going to see it over the course of the season so you have to spend some time on it.

"We are fortunate that we've got some experience on defense that hopefully they'll remember some of the lessons they learned last year."

Georgia Tech ran for 326 yards against North Carolina on Nov. 8, but the Tar Heels won 28-7 and limited the Yellow Jackets to a then-season-low point total. Their only score came in the fourth quarter on an 85-yard run from ACC player of the year Jonathan Dwyer.

"If you start over thinking and trying to do too much (against the option), that's when things get out of whack," said defensive end Robert Quinn, who had two sacks against East Carolina. "You listen to the call, try to be disciplined and read your keys and assignments."

North Carolina may benefit from Dwyer not being at full strength. The junior carried five times for seven yards and injured his shoulder in a 33-17 loss to then-No. 20 Miami last Thursday.

Dwyer said he was "pretty much able to do everything" during Monday's practice. He needs one yard to become the 10th player in program history with 2,000 rushing yards.

After running for 300-plus yards in victories over Jacksonville State and Clemson, the Yellow Jackets (2-1, 1-1) were held to 95 in their loss to the Hurricanes - 60 coming on their first drive.

"We could never get them off the field,'' coach Paul Johnson said. "In a game like that, you better maximize and we didn't. We played very poorly on offense."

Junior Demaryius Thomas caught six passes from Josh Nesbitt for 133 yards, including a 56-yard touchdown. Thomas is 12th in the nation with 109.0 receiving yards per game.

North Carolina's young offense took a step forward in last week's victory, piling up a season-high 433 yards.

"We know they can move the ball," Tar Heels defensive tackle Marvin Austin said. "They just had to get in a rhythm and go out and execute. I'm glad they've got that thing rolling now. It's going to help us on defense. We can pin our ears back and go get 'em now."

Junior T.J. Yates completed 19 of 24 passes for 227 yards and two touchdowns.

Erik Highsmith caught six passes for 113 yards and a score, and became the first Tar Heels freshman since Hakeem Nicks to reach the 100-yard plateau.

Freshman Jheranie Boyd added a 59-yard touchdown reception versus East Carolina.

Junior Shaun Draughn carried 19 times for 84 yards while Ryan Houston rushed for two touchdowns. Draughn had 90 yards on 17 carries in the November matchup with Georgia Tech.

The Yellow Jackets won nine of the past 11 meetings with the Tar Heels to take a 23-18-3 lead in the series.

North Carolina's last victory at Bobby Dodd Stadium was 16-13 on Oct. 30, 1997.

Bet College Football Week 4

Posted: 9/22/09 3:10PM ET

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