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Chat: Bernard punt return for TD gives UNC win over NC State

Posted October 27, 2012

UNC 43-35

Fourth Quarter:

North Carolina's Giovani Bernard returns a punt for a touchdown with thirty seconds to go in the game to put UNC ahead of NC State. Hibbard passes for the successful two point conversion and North Carolina takes the 43-35 win.

UNC found pay dirt for the first time since the first quarter when Bryn Renner hit Sean Tapley for a three-yard touchdown pass.

Third Quarter:

On the first play of N.C. State's drive, Mike Glennon found Bryan Underwood for a 55-yard touchdown, which was Glennon's fifth of the day.

35-25 NCSU, :39 3Q

Halftime: NCSU 28-25

Second Quarter:

On 3rd & 23, Mike Glennon tossed his fourth touchdown pass on an 83-yard pass to Tobias Palmer to give the Wolfpack its first lead of the day.

28-25 NCSU, 6:49 2Q

Mike Glennon found Bryan Underwood for a 22-yard touchdown pass after a shanked punt gave the Wolfpack the ball in UNC territory. It's the eighth straight game that Underwood has caught a touchdown pass.

25-21 UNC, 11:35 2Q

First Quarter:

Less than a minute after UNC's touchdown, Mike Glennon found Rashard Smith for a 30-yard touchdown pass to cut into UNC's lead.

25-14, 0:26 1Q

Giovani Bernard rushed for his second touchdown of the day following an N.C. State fumble in its own territory.

25-7 UNC, 1:24 1Q

N.C. State's defense came up with a stop once UNC crossed midfield, and the Tar Heels had to settle for a 45-yard field goal by Casey Barth.

18-7 UNC, 3:36 1Q

Mike Glennon found Charlie Hegedus wide open in the end zone for a 35-yard touchdown pass that put N.C. State on the board.

15-7 UNC, 6:35 1Q

Two plays after forcing a three-and-out, UNC got into the end zone again when Erik Highsmith went 45 yards on a reverse. UNC picked up the 2-point conversion out of the swinging gate field goal formation.

15-0 UNC, 11:00 1Q

North Carolina marched 85 yards in 1:41 to open the game with a touchdown. Giovani Bernard ran eight yards for the score.

7-0 UNC, 13:19 1Q

For the second straight week the North Carolina Tar Heels will take on an instate rival when the NC State Wolfpack pay a visit to Kenan Memorial Stadium for an Atlantic Coast Conference bout.

It wasn't the prettiest win of the season for NC State last weekend but thanks to a 43-yard field goal with 32 seconds remaining by Niklas Sade, the Wolfpack escaped from College Park with a 20-18 win over Maryland. The win was the second straight for the Wolfpack. The other win in that streak also came in thrilling fashion as the Wolfpack overcame a 16-0 halftime deficit to lay a 17-16 defeat on the then No. 3 Florida State Seminoles. North Carolina at N.C. State Inside the Rivalry: NCSU vs. UNC Football

A trip down Tobacco Road ended in disappointment for North Carolina last weekend as the Tar Heels dropped a 33-30 decision to the rival Duke Blue Devils. It was the first loss on the road to Duke by the Tar Heels since 1988 and the first time UNC has ever allowed Duke to score more than 30 points. The loss put an end to a four-game winning streak and put the Tar Heels at an even 2-2 in conference play this season.

This long-time rivalry has been dominated by North Carolina, with the Tar Heels having almost twice as many wins in the series as NC State (63-32-6). However in recent years the Wolfpack has been the dominant side with wins in five straight, all coming under the five-year tenure of head coach Tom O'Brien. The streak includes a 13-0 shutout win for NC State in Raleigh last season. It was the first shutout by the Wolfpack since a 14-0 win over South Florida in the 2006 Meineke Car Care Bowl.

NC State's offense has been solid this season ranking near the middle in the ACC in both total yards (414.3 ypg, seventh) and scoring (26.9 ppg, seventh). The Wolfpack are efficient in the red zone, scoring on 21-of-24 attempts for the fourth best conversion rate (87.5 percent) in the ACC. North Carolina at N.C. State NCSU vs UNC

The success in the red zone has come despite a less than stellar rushing attack. The team has only amassed 912 yards on the ground to 1,988 through the air. Leading the aerial assault is Mike Glennon who has thrown for all 1,988 yards, while completing 58.3 percent of his pass attempts. He also has twice as many touchdowns (14) as interceptions (seven). Glennon is coming off a 307- yard effort against Maryland, which raised his ACC-leading yards per game average to 284.

At the end of many of Glennon's passes is Quintin Payton, who has team-highs in both receptions (29) and yards (551) for an impressive 19.0 yards per catch average. However Payton has only caught one touchdown pass. It is Bryan Underwood who has been the most dangerous in scoring situations, bringing in eight touchdowns this season. That is the second most in the conference behind Clemson's DeAndre Hopkins.

In terms of running the ball the Wolfpack are led by a tandem of backs in Tony Creecy (337 yards, 81 carries, 3 TDs) and Shadrach Thornton (284 yards, 55 carries, 2 TDs). Although Creecy is more of a workhorse, Thornton has been more explosive averaging team highs in yards per carry (5.1) and per game (70.5).

NC State does not allow teams to score at a high rate when it is on defense. The Wolfpack are the third best scoring defense in the ACC this season (20.3 ppg), while ranking sixth in total defense (394.1 ypg). The Wolfpack have also gotten to the quarterback well with an ACC-leading 22 sacks.

Earl Wolff (57 tackles) and Brandan Bishop (54) have each eclipsed the 50- tackle plateau for the Wolfpack, while Rickey Dowdy has been a force up front with a team-high nine tackles for loss. All-American David Amerson has recovered from a slow start with 12 tackles in each of the last two games along with four interceptions this season.

There are a number of weapons on offense for North Carolina especially in the backfield. Giovani Bernard has been stellar this season racking up 795 yards and eight touchdowns on 103 carries. He is averaging 132.5 yards per game and 7.7 per carry which are both team highs and conference highs among players with at least 40 rushes this season. Bernard has also contributed in the pass game with the third-most receptions (24) while tied for the second most touchdown receptions (three) on the team. Bernard isn't the only back that has been tough to stop, with A.J. Blue (339 yards, 6 TDs) and Romar Morris (321 yards) each averaging 5.3 yards per carry.

The Tar Heels can also pile up yards through the air, led by Bryn Renner. Renner has thrown for 2,028 yards and 17 touchdowns, completing 62.3 percent of his pass attempts this season. His passing touchdown total is the highest in the ACC.

Renner is spreading the ball around effectively. Erik Highsmith (39 rec., 395 yards) has been a solid possession receiver while Sean Tapley has been an explosive deep threat with a team-high four touchdowns passes and 18.6 yards per reception average. Four different receiver have collected at least 23 receptions for the Tar Heels this season.

The Tar Heels have been an even better defensive team than the Wolfpack. UNC ranks third in the conference in total yards (349.9 ypg) and second in scoring (19.3 ppg). In fact along with Florida State, the Tar Heels are the only team in the conference to allow fewer than 20 points per game. North Carolina does a great job in forcing negative plays, with an ACC-leading 60 tackles for loss.

Kareem Martin (10.5 tackles for loss), Kevin Reddick (9.0 tackles for loss, 3.5 sacks) and Sylvester Williams (8.0 tackles for loss, 5.0 sacks) have been the anchors of a powerful front seven for the Tar Heels. Meanwhile, Tim Scott (31 tackles, 3 INTs) and Tre Boston (52 tackles, 3 INTs) have played well in the secondary.

This matchup is exactly what anyone could want out of a rivalry game. What this game will come down to is which offense can be more explosive and with Bernard leading the charge, the Tar Heels have the edge.

Sports Network Predicted Outcome: North Carolina 28, NC State 21

118 Comments

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  • HEELS4ME Oct 28, 6:15 p.m.

    Best game of my lifetime!!! Kenan was rocking, and it was because of what the HEELS did, not what the pitiful packers didn't do...These post are hilarious. Not to mention, we are banned for a year from bowl games, and the Wulpfack fan's have a lifetime ban, with TOBy has their head Coach...Same ol, same ol...8-5 season's, with lowly bowl games. The Wulfie's big game every year, is against Carolina, and five years of winning...NOW WHAT!!!! Larry Federoa will get the HEELS in the top ten every year, bet on that...

  • Chapel Hail Oct 28, 6:26 a.m.

    http://youtu.be/1gQ7tVlMruo

    .... three blocks in the back that could have been called on this punt return that gave the game to the Heels, thanks again, Ron Cherry, for giving STATE "the business", geez!

  • Aint ur day Oct 27, 9:44 p.m.

    yow, put on your big girl britches..fire opie...not about losing against unc..maryland... View More

    — Posted by ncsu4me

    WOW, state loses to UNC after how many years, and now thier fans are calling for TOB's JOB? Are you kidding me??? Who ya gonna go after if they did fire him? You don't believe there is a line out of the stadium just waiting for that job do ya? Better take the loss and quit whining about one game with UNC. Look at the bright side, your gonna get to a bowl so its not the end of the world.

    To some this may not mean much, I don't like state and never will...partly because of the above and how they always throw their coaches under the bus and then back up over them again...

    TOB is a good coach, and he is also a veteran of our military, no matter what happened today...for this country and for NC State he has devoted countless hours defending both respectfully. Show some class to the guy, its a dam game and you state fans who are nothing but arm chair...leave him alone and let him handle his business. Its his JOB, not yours and theres good reason why none of you have it!!!!

  • Claudius Oct 27, 7:19 p.m.

    Shades of Dudley Bradley! Early lead, State comeback letting them believe they will win, and then -BAM- Tar Heels prevail. What a classic game!

  • lvnuisgood Oct 27, 5:48 p.m.

    Awesome game....should be an ESPN instant classic

  • jcinncar Oct 27, 5:36 p.m.

    Carolina should have beaten Duke JG. Not that Duke isn't a good football team...they are. But Carolina has more good players and they should have won the game. They didn't match Duke's emotion last week and it cost 'em.

    I didn't take that loss well either. lol

  • NoMore3Putts Oct 27, 5:34 p.m.

    Of course, you never know when you'll turn the ball over. As for utilizing the passing game on... View More

    — Posted by jcinncar

    Playing for OT is totally acceptable when your defense shines and offense struggles. If playing for OT is your two minute drill, I have nothing else to say...

  • GunnyGoesArrrgh Oct 27, 5:31 p.m.

    LOL...waht game were you watchn..The HEELS brought defensive pressure in the 4th and TOOK IT... View More

    — Posted by ugottabkiddinme

    UNC did indeed dial up the pressure, but TOB and staff continued to play the same game. When we... View More

    — Posted by tayled

    When you have a QB like Glennon, who has a canon for an arm, I can see why the coach would call... View More

    — Posted by GunnyGoesArrrgh

    JGunn, WRAL is lonely over there on the Duke chat. I told him I'd be back after the half. Join... View More

    — Posted by plansguy

    I'll be right there, Plans. I meant to go there straight from our game, but I got carried away with the post game blogs:) Thanks!

  • GunnyGoesArrrgh Oct 27, 5:30 p.m.

    Of course, you never know when you'll turn the ball over. As for utilizing the passing game on... View More

    — Posted by jcinncar

    I'm not getting what you people are talking about playing for overtime. I'm saying State could... View More

    — Posted by jam3

    If State didn't know who #26 is, Carolina sure as heck didn't know who that tall guy with "Glennon" on the back of his shirt was! GLennon had ALL DAY to make his passes, and made them he did!

  • GunnyGoesArrrgh Oct 27, 5:27 p.m.

    Personally, I would have felt better about the game had UNC blown us off the field rather than... View More

    — Posted by tayled

    I totally agree! Our loss to Duke killed me. Why? Because after stinking it up for most of the game, Carolina made a very improbably comeback and had the LEAD in the last minute of the game! All the D had to do was make a stop. But NOOOO. Duke made a catch in the EZ right between two Carolina defenders. The close games lost in the last minute(s) of the game are the toughest to take.

More...

 

 

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