Sep 25, 2021; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; North Carolina Tar Heels wide receiver Josh Downs (11) is tackled by Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets linebacker Charlie Thomas (25) in the first quarter at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

QB Jeff Sims, Georgia Tech demolish No. 21 North Carolina

Reserve quarterback Jeff Sims ran for three touchdowns and passed for another as Georgia Tech knocked off No. 21 North Carolina 45-22 on Saturday night in Atlanta.

Georgia Tech (2-2, 1-1 Atlantic Coast Conference), which flirted with an upset a week earlier at Clemson, produced its first signature victory under third-year coach Geoff Collins.

Sims gained 128 yards on 10 carries as part of Georgia Tech’s 261-yard rushing attack. He capped it with a 50-yard touchdown run.

North Carolina (2-2, 1-2) has lost both its road games, this time despite Sam Howell’s 306 yards on 25-for-39 passing for two touchdowns. He lost fumbles three times.

Jahmyr Gibbs scored on a 4-yard run with 5:39 to play in the third quarter as Georgia Tech extended its lead to 27-7.

The Tar Heels struck back less than two minutes later on Howell’s 7-yard touchdown pass to Kamari Morales.

On Georgia Tech’s next possession, one play after converting a fourth-and-3 on Sims’ pass to Kyric McGowan, Malachi Carter made an incredible catch on the side of the end zone on a 27-yard pass. The Yellow Jackets tacked on a two-point conversion on a trick play.

Again, North Carolina wasted little time finding the end zone. Howell connected with Josh Downs on a 4-yard scoring play and a two-point conversion.

Georgia Tech then ate up more than seven minutes before Brent Cimaglia’s 31-yard field for a 38-22 lead.

North Carolina began the game much better, scoring first on Howell’s tackle-breaking 23-yard run. That came after Gio Biggers blocked a Georgia Tech punt, so the Tar Heels needed to go only 40 yards.

A pair of Cimaglia field goals in a span of less than a minute got Georgia Tech going. Then the Yellow Jackets went ahead when Sims scored on an 11-yard quarterback keeper.

Those last two scoring possessions of the half came after North Carolina turnovers gave Georgia Tech possession inside the Tar Heels’ 20-yard line.

Howell was sacked five times in the first half.

The game was played at Mercedes-Benz Stadium, home of the NFL’s Atlanta Falcons, rather than at Georgia Tech’s campus stadium.

–Field Level Media