Despite throwing two interceptions and fumbling twice, Joe Hamilton remained upbeat going into overtime.
Hamilton set up the tying field goal by freshman Luke Manget with five seconds left in regulation, then scored on a 6-yard run in overtime to give No. 7 Georgia Tech a 31-24 victory over North Carolina on Saturday.
"You have to forget about the bad plays," Hamilton said. "I don't win games by myself and I don't lose games by myself."
Hamilton, a Heisman Trophy contender, completed 14 of 26 passes for 273 yards and two touchdowns. He also ran for 77 yards on 14 carries.
The Yellow Jackets (4-1, 2-1 Atlantic Coast Conference) then stopped the Tar Heels on four downs in their overtime possession.
Tech tied it at 24 when Manget, who had missed two field goals earlier, kicked a 36-yarder with five seconds remaining in regulation.
The Yellow Jackets took over on their 2-yard line with 1:10 left, and marched 79 yards in seven plays behind Hamilton, who completed 3-of-3 passes in the drive. Hamilton completed passes of 32 and 35 yards to Kelly Campbell and had a 6-yard keeper to the 19 to set up Manget's field goal.
Campbell caught seven passes for 203 yards, including TD receptions of 47 yards and 59 yards.
The Tar Heels (1-4, 0-4), who lost starting quarterback Ronald Curry early in the second period with a torn Achilles, had a chance to put the game away when Tim Burgess intercepted a pass by Hamilton and returned it to the Tech 10 with 2:44 left in regulation.
But on fourth-and-goal from the 2, North Carolina went for the TD instead of a field goal and failed despite three earlier field goals by Josh McGee, including a 36-yarder that put the North Carolina in front 24-21 with 9:19 left in the final perio.
"I'm sure there will be a lot of questions about that," said North Carolina coach Carl Torbush. "Two things went through my mind. One, we wanted to win the game. We weren't in the game to tie. Secondly, we thought they wouldn't be able to drive the ball 97 yards and they were able to do that with two really big plays."
Manget had missed on a 39-yard attempt with 5:53 left that would have tied it and also had a 40-yard attempt hit the crossbar late in the first quarter.
North Carolina freshman quarterback Luke Huard tied the game at 21 when he scored from 4 yards out and then connected with Alge Crumpler on a pass for the 2-point conversion.
That score was set up when Hamilton fumbled after a 24-yard gain and Errol Hood recovered and brought it back 20 yards to Tech's 36.
Tech, held scoreless for the first time all season in the opening quarter, fell behind 13-0 before Hamilton went to work. He threw a 47-yard scoring pass to Kelly Campbell 49 seconds before halftime and then connected with Campbell on a 59-yard TD bomb to give the Yellow Jackets their first lead at 14-13 early in the second half.
Tech made it 21-13 on a 2-yard run by Rogers with 7:14 left in the third period.
North Carolina took advantage of three first-half fumbles by Tech to take a 13-7 lead at halftime, scoring on a 30-yard run by Curry in the first quarter and field goals of 24 yards and 21 yards by McGee in the second quarter.
Curry, who also plays guard on the basketball team, gave North Carolina a 7-0 lead on his 30-yard scamper 7:28 into the game.
Tech's Marvious Hester fumbled two consecutive punts in the second period, setting up both of McGee's first-half field goals.
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