Georgia Tech quarterback James Graham threw for three touchdown passes and ran for another in a 28-26 win over visiting North Carolina State on Thursday in Atlanta.
Georgia Tech (3-8, 2-6 ACC) broke a three-game losing streak and is ensured of avoiding the cellar in the Coastal Division.
North Carolina State (4-7, 1-6) nearly erased an 18-point deficit in the second half.
The Wolfpack closed the gap to 28-13 when Christopher Dunn kicked a 29-yard field goal late in the third quarter. They narrowed the gap to 28-20 when Larrell Murchison recovered a fumble, leading to a 4-yard touchdown pass from Devin Leary to Cary Angeline with 11:53 to play.
NC State pulled to within 28-26 with 5:17 remaining when Ricky Person Jr. scored on a 1-yard dive. But the two-point conversion pass failed when pressure from Georgia Tech's Christian Campbell forced Leary's pass to go long. Georgia Tech took the ensuing kickoff and ran out the clock.
Graham set the tone on the game's first offensive play when he threw a 54-yard pass to Malachi Carter and two plays later fired a 17-yard touchdown pass to Ahmarean Brown.
Graham completed 7 of 15 passes for 129 yards and ran 14 times for 112 yards. Jordan Mason carried 22 times for 141 yards.
NC State's offense was led by Leary, who completed 19 of 31 passes for 227 yards and one touchdown. Zonovan Knight rushed 18 times for 100 yards and one touchdown.
Georgia Tech went ahead 14-0 early in the second quarter when Graham found Tobias Oliver, who began the season as the starting quarterback, for a 13-yard touchdown.
NC State drove 93 yards on 18 plays to the Georgia Tech 3, but had to settle for a 20-yard field goal from Christopher Dunn.
The Wolfpack forced Georgia Tech to go three-and-out, but Thayer Thomas fumbled the punt and Jaytlin Askew recovered for the Yellow Jackets. Georgia Tech scored three plays later when Graham found Brown for an 11-yard touchdown for a 21-3 halftime lead.
NC State took the second-half kickoff and scored on a 12-play drive that was capped by Knight's 7-yard scoring run. But the Yellow Jackets answered with a 67-yard drive that culminated with Graham scoring on a 26-yard keeper and led 28-10.
--Field Level Media