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Brown, Bernard Get ACC Weekly Awards

UNC has two players tabbed for honors this week by the ACC with Zach Brown being named linebacker of the week and Gio Bernard rookie of the week for a second time.

LINEBACKER – Zach Brown, North Carolina, Sr., LB, 6-2, 230, Columbia, Md. Senior linebacker Zach Brown finished with nine tackles, including 2.5 tackles for loss, an interception, a sack, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery, in North Carolina’s 49-24 win over Wake Forest. UNC scored on both of the possessions following Brown’s turnovers. Brown now has a team-high 62 tackles this season with team-highs of 5.5 sacks and 9.5 tackles for loss

ROOKIE – Giovani Bernard, North Carolina, Fr., TB, 5-10, 205, Davie, Fla. Redshirt freshman tailback Giovani Bernard had 27 carries for 154 yards and two rushing touchdowns in North Carolina’s 49-24 victory over Wake Forest. Bernard also had his first touchdown reception, a 7-yard scoring catch-and-run to the pylon in the first quarter. He is the first Tar Heel to score three times in a game since tailback Shaun Draughn had three rushing touchdowns against East Carolina in 2010. Bernard’s 154 rushing yards were the most by a Tar Heel against Wake Forest since Ronnie McGill rushed for 244 yards in 2003. It was the most rushing yards allowed by the Deacons this year (previous was 136 by Virginia Tech’s David Wilson). Bernard has rushed 168 times for 965 yards and 11 touchdowns this year, an average of 5.7 yards per carry and 107.2 yards per game. His 11 rushing touchdowns are the most by a Tar Heel since Leon Johnson scored 12 times in 1995. Bernard rushed for 100-plus yards for the sixth time this season, tying the UNC record for 100-yard games by a freshman with Amos Lawrence (1977).

Zach Brown has been operating in beast mode lately. His sack of Wake Forest’s Tanner Price leading to a forced fumble on the game’s first possession to set the tone for the game. Brown also snagged an INT with UNC scoring after both takeways. Gio Bernard returned from a week of being hobbled by a hip injury in a big way scoring three TDs and racking up his sixth 100 yard game of the season. Bernard is 35 yards short of 1000 with three games left to play.

Noticeably missing from the awards is Bryn Renner who had a performance worthy of being named offensive back of the week except Boston College’s Rolandan Finch rushed for 243 yards against Maryland. That is probably a bigger indictment of Maryland than it is a credit to Finch who entered the game averaging 44 yards per game. The solution? Renner comes out against NC State and does the same thing again this time versus NC State.



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6 comments to Brown, Bernard Get ACC Weekly Awards

  • OldSchool

    Bernard might be the best back in the league. It’s been a long time since we could say that (1993 - Natrone Means). The Heels should beat State handily this year, and finally wipe that smirk off O’Brien’s face. Go Heels!

  • makeitWayne22

    “It’s been a long time since we could say that (1993 – Natrone Means)”

    do some research on #12 before you make a comment like that….

    “Leon Johnson is the only player in Atlantic Coast Conference history to be in the top five in career all-purpose yards, top five in career touchdowns, top five in career scoring, top 10 in career rushing yards and top 10 in career receptions. He is first in all-purpose yards in league history, second in touchdowns and fifth in scoring. He scored 50 touchdowns in his career, just one shy of the all-time ACC record held by Ted Brown of N.C. State. He scored 306 points, one of just four players in league history to top the 300-point mark. He and Brown are the only two non-kickers to accomplish that feat.”

    Gio Bernard is the best back since my favorite tar heel #12 leon johnson

  • gregrustin

    gio looks like a sec back when he runs. I am so thankful he chose the sky blue

  • OldSchool

    Nice work, MakeitWayne. Leon’s star rose after Natrone went to the NFL. Both were Mac Brown recruits, so you know they had big-time potential. Natrone was more highly regarded by the NFL (drafted in 2nd round - #41 overall) and had a better NFL career, although Leon Johnson (drafted in the 4th round - #104 overall) had a good NFL career as well.

    I think of Natrone as the better runner, a physical dominator who could run over or around defenders. Leon was a nice runner as well, but it was his ability to catch the ball out of the backfield that made him so special.

    Giovani Bernard has a little bit of both in his make-up, the swiftness of Leon Johnson and the physical toughness of Means. We are fortunate to have him here at Tailback University!

  • Silent Sam

    Natrone Means Business!

    gregrustin — pardon my ignorance — what does “sec back” mean?

    It’s been a great pleasure to watch Gio this year; it’s going to be nice to return to the days of UNC having a 1,000 yard rusher and, hopefully two at some point in the future (to wit: Leon and Curtis Johnson in ’93 + Tyrone Anthony & Ethan Horton in ’83 + Kelvin Bryant and “Famous” Amos Lawrence in ’80 + Mike Voight and James “Boom Boom” Betterson in ’74).

  • I think he means SEC conference back.