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Nov. 10, 2012
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (AP) - It's not unusual for two ACC schools to score 118 points in a game - unless they're playing football.
Georgia Tech and North Carolina got into a gridiron track meet on Saturday and the Yellow Jackets held off the Tar Heels 68-50 in the highest scoring football game in Atlantic Coast Conference history.
Robert Godhigh rushed for two touchdowns and caught a third for Georgia Tech. Jamal Golden returned a kickoff 100 yards for a score, and backup quarterback Vad Lee rushed for 112 yards and two touchdowns and threw for a third.
That helped the Yellow Jackets (5-5, 4-3) continue their push toward bowl eligibility and remain alive in the murky Coastal Division race.
The teams combined for 1,085 yards, 118 points - and just five punts - in surpassing the previous ACC record of 110 points set in Virginia's 63-47 victory over Tulane in 1968.
Georgia Tech outgained the Tar Heels 588-497 and set a school record for points in an ACC game, eclipsing its 63 against Wake Forest in 1998.
Bryn Renner threw two touchdown passes for the Tar Heels (6-4, 3-3).
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Gio Bernard and A.J. Blue each scored two touchdowns for North Carolina, which hadn't allowed this many points since Louisville hung 69 on them in 2005.
For a game dominated by offense, it swung on a curious play by North Carolina's special teams.
North Carolina lined up for just its second punt of the day on a fourth-and-10 at its own 25. Punter Tommy Hibbard took off with the ball, and was stopped eight yards shy of the sticks at the 27.
On the next snap, Godhigh took a pitch around the left end for the touchdown that put the Yellow Jackets up 51-36. His 32-yard touchdown catch on Georgia Tech's next possession made it a 58-36 game.
The Tar Heels pulled to 58-50 on Renner's 11-yard touchdown pass to Quinshad Davis and Tim Scott's 32-yard interception return on the first play of the fourth quarter. Orwin Smith followed that with a 22-yard touchdown run to put the Yellow Jackets up 65-50.
Chris Tanner kicked a 34-yard field goal to complete the scoring with 3:40 left.
Smith finished with 83 yards rushing and 39 yards receiving. Starting quarterback Tevin Washington tied former teammate Joshua Nesbitt's ACC record for quarterbacks with his 35th career rushing touchdown, a 25-yarder on his team's opening series.
Lee, a native of nearby Durham, N.C., took over on Georgia Tech's third offensive series, immediately led three straight scoring drives and played the rest of the way. He finished 6 of 10 for 169 yards passing.
David Sims added an 11-yard touchdown run for the Yellow Jackets, one of four Coastal Division teams - along with North Carolina, Miami and Duke - with three league losses.
Romar Morris had a 30-yard touchdown run for the Tar Heels, and Renner finished 24 of 35 for 350 yards with an interception.
The second half started with a bang: two touchdowns - one by each team - in a 34-second span.
Golden put the Yellow Jackets up 34-29 when he returned the opening kickoff of the second half for a touchdown. Bernard then took a short pass from Renner and broke two tackles while turning it into his longest career reception, a 78-yard score that briefly gave the Tar Heels a 36-34 lead.
Godhigh followed that with a 4-yard TD that put Georgia Tech ahead to stay. Tanner kicked a 35-yard field goal to make it 44-36.
Bernard, the ACC's leading rusher, became the first Tar Heel rusher since Natrone Means to crack 1,000 yards in consecutive seasons. He scored on an early 4-yard run but finished with just 78 yards rushing.