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Joe Ovies

Talking points: Bernard breaks streak for Heels

Posted October 27, 2012
Updated October 28, 2012

Gio Bernard (26) scores a touchdown during the North Carolina Tar Heels vs. N.C. State Wolfpack NCAA football game, Saturday, October 27, 2012 in Chapel Hill, N.C.

1. Five straight years of futility against NC State? Gone thanks to Giovani Bernard, who etched his name into rivalry lore with a phenomenal game-winning 74-yard punt return for North Carolina.

Bernard stepped up to the moment after telling Roy Smith, who was initially in position to receive the punt, "let me try to see what I can do on this one." He fielded Will Baumann's punt, got some key blocks, found his final gear and never looked back.

2. Bernard was by far North Carolina's best player Saturday afternoon, finishing with 135 rushing yards on 23 carries and two rushing touchdowns. He also had eight catches for 95 yards. Bernard has racked up 1,498 all-purpose yards and 15 touchdowns in just seven games this season, which puts him in serious contention for ACC Player of the Year

3. Had Bernard not won the game with his punt return, NC State quarterback Mike Glennon would be getting showered with most of the post-game praise. The fifth-year senior put up Tecmo Bowl-like numbers against the Tar Heels, completing 30 of 52 passes for 469 yards and a school record-tying 5 touchdowns. 

Glennon was ultimately undone by his wide receivers, who dropped anywhere between 8 to 10 balls throughout the game. Many of those potential catches could have at least extended drives or broken for possible red zone opportunities. Darien Rankin's interception in the 2nd quarter was a direct result of Rashard Smith not being able to hold on to the ball.

4. Because Glennon was cooking for most of the game, NC State coach Tom O'Brien will be second guessed for going conservative on the Wolfpack's final drive. 

Tied at 35 with 1:24 left in the game, Glennon was sacked by Kevin Reddick and NC State faced a 2nd-and-17 on their own 18 yard line. Rather than continue their 2-minute offense to set up a potential game-winning field goal, NC State ran Tony Creecy twice in an effort to burn some clock. The Wolfpack punted with 30 seconds to go and then that whole Bernard thing happened. 

Cue the meltdown. 

The decision to play for overtime will be viewed as a classic case of playing not to lose, but there was some logic in the choice if one were inclined to defend it. NC State lacked the offensive rhythm from previous quarters. Much of that had to do with North Carolina adjusting defensively. The Tar Heels finally put pressure on Glennon, sacking him earlier in the quarter and hurrying a few throws. So the last thing O'Brien wanted was a punt out of the end zone or worse -- another turnover. 

But look at the stark contrast to go conservative at the end when the coaching staff  felt the need to keep it aggressive in the previous drive. NC State had notched a first down after three straight rushing attempts by Shadrach Thorton, but got away from the run on subsequent plays. Glennon threw three straight incompletions before Baumann punted the ball back to North Carolina with 4:44 left in the game. 

Then there was the punt itself. O'Brien said after the game the intent was to boot it high and force a fair catch, but arm-chair coaches with the benefit of hindsight are screaming Baumann should have been instructed to kick the ball out of bounds. 

5. Ultimately it was a game of runs in Chapel HIll. North Carolina ran out to a 15-0 lead in the opening 4 minutes. NC State took a 35-25 lead towards the end of the 3rd quarter after scoring 4 straight touchdowns. The Tar Heels closed out the 4th quarter by outscoring the Wolfpack 18-0.

6. NC State lost control of their ACC destiny with the loss. The Wolfpack will likely have to win out the rest of the season and get some help in the form of a Florida State loss to get back in the division mix. 

7. North Carolina unveiled a chrome helmet with light blue tint and a giant Tar Heel emblem on the side to go along with an all navy uniform. Whatever your thoughts on the alternate colors and helmets, keep in mind the modern look was not designed for typical fans. They're meant to grab the attention of recruits. 

16 Comments

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  • StunGunn Oct 29, 2012

    Both teams made great plays and plays that disappointed. Carolina made the last great play. Make that a spectacular play - that won the game. Football may be a "game of inches", but Bernard turned those inches into feet and into yards as he streaked down the field into the EZ. Bernard for ACC POY.

  • dookiepukie Oct 28, 2012

    Did anyone else notice that UNC scored all their points when driving towards the student section end of the field, but couldn't score when driving towards Butch's mecca? Just a coincidence, I'm sure.

  • sportznut628 Oct 28, 2012

    View quoted thread



    he also failed to mention one Int the endzone and another at the 10 that killed UNC drives - UNC shot itself in the foot too -

  • jrt0856 Oct 28, 2012

    Joe will back track tomorrow at 3pm and give Carolina more credit. Ovies doesnt mention the adjustment that Carolina's defense made at half to hold State to only 7 pts and put more pressure on Glenda.

    Face it guys, with Gold and Ovies there is Duke, NC State and then Carolina. Carolina will always bring the rear in their view. Gold had a thrill run up his leg when Duke got its 6th win.

  • VT1994Hokie Oct 28, 2012

    Gio has definitely put up some huge numbers. One of the best that I've seen in a long time.

  • jr Oct 28, 2012

    That-a was-a full-a dose-a Goivanni...and "somebody" folded like a lawn chair.

  • ER Tar Heel Oct 28, 2012

    I'm really getting tired of hearing about the dropped passes. How about the 17 points Carolina left on the field with the missed field goal and 2 red zone turnovers? What about the TD pass that Ebron dropped that would have given the Heels a 39-35 lead instead of a 35-35 tie? Guess those aren't part of the equation. Apparently all that matters are the dropped passes by NC State.

  • redwolfone Oct 28, 2012

    I ill take five wins out of six. See you in basketball !Hope all the grade fixing is overwith at UNC.

  • 1969inyourface Oct 28, 2012

    Ole Joe Overies! Wants to blame the loss on Packs recievers but has to also acknolwledge Glennon threw for 469 yards. HMMMMM

    Just face it, Carolina was the better team yesterday. PERIOD

  • ACC22 Oct 28, 2012

    Ovaries would rather have his appendix rupture.

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Local
Final
ROC 8
DUR 2
 
2:30pm Friday
STONYBROOK
NCSTATE
 
7:05pm Friday
SYR
DUR
 
6:35pm Saturday
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DUR
 
5:05pm Sunday
SYR
DUR
 
Final
TEX 3
CLE 12
Final
COL 6
CIN 4
Final
MIA 2
PIT 5
Final
CWS 5
TOR 3
Final
KAN 2
NYY 4
Final
BOS 4
MIN 6
Final
PHI 0
NYM 7
Final
SEA 3
TAM 0
Final
SFG 3
MIL 1
Final
DET 3
OAK 2
Final
HOU 4
BAL 5
Final
WAS 3
CHC 0
Final
ARI 3
STL 4
Final
SDP 5
ANA 4
Final
ATL 3
LOS 2
1:05pm Today
CWS
BAL
 
4:35pm Today
CWS
BAL
 
8:05pm Tonight
BOS
TEX
 
10:05pm Tonight
DET
ANA
 
10:05pm Tonight
NYY
OAK
 
10:10pm Tonight
CLE
SEA
 
10:10pm Tonight
PIT
SDP
 
10:15pm Tonight
ATL
SFG
 
4:05pm Friday
KAN
CHC
 
7:05pm Friday
COL
PHI
 
7:05pm Friday
TAM
BAL
 
7:10pm Friday
MIA
NYM
 
7:10pm Friday
WAS
CIN
 
8:05pm Friday
BOS
TEX
 
8:10pm Friday
ARI
MIL
 
8:10pm Friday
CWS
HOU
 
8:10pm Friday
TOR
MIN
 
8:15pm Friday
LOS
STL
 
10:05pm Friday
DET
ANA
 
10:05pm Friday
NYY
OAK
 
10:10pm Friday
CLE
SEA
 
10:10pm Friday
PIT
SDP
 
10:15pm Friday
ATL
SFG
 
2:10pm Saturday
TOR
MIN
 
3:05pm Saturday
COL
PHI
 
4:05pm Saturday
TAM
BAL
 
4:10pm Saturday
ARI
MIL
 
4:10pm Saturday
CWS
HOU
 
4:10pm Saturday
MIA
NYM
 
4:10pm Saturday
WAS
CIN
 
7:15pm Saturday
BOS
TEX
 
7:15pm Saturday
KAN
CHC
 
7:15pm Saturday
LOS
STL
 
10:05pm Saturday
ATL
SFG
 
10:05pm Saturday
DET
ANA
 
10:05pm Saturday
NYY
OAK
 
10:10pm Saturday
CLE
SEA
 
10:10pm Saturday
PIT
SDP
 
1:10pm Sunday
MIA
NYM
 
1:10pm Sunday
WAS
CIN
 
1:35pm Sunday
COL
PHI
 
1:35pm Sunday
TAM
BAL
 
2:10pm Sunday
ARI
MIL
 
2:10pm Sunday
CWS
HOU
 
2:10pm Sunday
TOR
MIN
 
2:15pm Sunday
LOS
STL
 
2:20pm Sunday
KAN
CHC
 
3:05pm Sunday
BOS
TEX
 
4:05pm Sunday
ATL
SFG
 
4:05pm Sunday
NYY
OAK
 
4:10pm Sunday
CLE
SEA
 
8:05pm Sunday
DET
ANA
 
9:10pm Sunday
PIT
SDP
 
7:05pm Monday
TOR
WAS
 
7:10pm Monday
CHC
MIA
 
7:10pm Monday
MIN
BOS
 
8:10pm Monday
BAL
HOU
 
8:10pm Monday
MIL
STL
 
8:40pm Monday
LOS
COL
 
9:40pm Monday
ATL
ARI
 
10:05pm Monday
TAM
ANA
 
10:10pm Monday
NYM
SDP
 
10:10pm Monday
NYY
SEA
 
10:15pm Monday
PIT
SFG
 
Final
HOU 90
GSW 104
Final
ANA 2
CHI 5
8:00pm Friday
TAM
NYR
 
8:00pm Saturday
CHI
ANA
 
12:00pm Friday
AUBURN
CHARLESTON
 
1:00pm Friday
CALIFORNIA
CCAROLINA
 
1:00pm Friday
COLUMBIA
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1:00pm Friday
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1:00pm Friday
OREGON
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1:00pm Friday
SFLORIDA
FAU
 
1:00pm Friday
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2:00pm Friday
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2:30pm Friday
STONYBROOK
NCSTATE
 
2:30pm Friday
TEXAS
OREGONST
 
3:00pm Friday
INDIANA
RADFORD
 
3:30pm Friday
ULLAFAYETE
RICE
 
4:00pm Friday
LEHIGH
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6:00pm Friday
CANISIUS
SWMISSOURI
 
6:00pm Friday
CLEMSON
ARIZONAST
 
6:00pm Friday
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LOUISVILLE
 
6:00pm Friday
VIRGINIA
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7:00pm Friday
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10:00pm Friday
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10:00pm Friday
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11:00pm Friday
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Final
ROC 8
DUR 2
 
7:05pm Friday
SYR
DUR
 
6:35pm Saturday
SYR
DUR
 
5:05pm Sunday
SYR
DUR