Bernard, Cooper Receive Weekly ACC Awards

Grant Halverson

Not a shock to anyone who was paying attention to the game on Saturday. Giovani Bernard was named ACC Specialist of the Week for his game winning punt return which slew the beast that was UNC's losing streak against NC State. Jonathan Cooper was named ACC Offensive Lineman of the Week. Both players toughed out injuries during the game and both will likely being playing in the NFL next season.

SPECIALIST - Giovani Bernard, So., North Carolina, 5-10, 205, Davie, Fla.

Bernard had 304 all-purpose yards to lead North Carolina to a 43-25 victory over rival NC State. Bernard scored on a 74-yard punt return with 13 seconds to play to give the Tar Heels the victory and snap the Wolfpack's five-game winning streak in the series. The punt return was Carolina's first for a score against NC State since 1986. It was Bernard's second punt return touchdown of the season, tying the school record. Bernard finished with a game-high 135 rushing yards on 23 carries and two rushing touchdowns. He also had eight catches for a career-high 95 yards and led the Tar Heels in both rushing and receiving. He scored three touchdowns and has 15 for the season in seven games and has 29 touchdowns in 20 collegiate games. In the fourth quarter, Bernard had 89 yards rushing, a 19-yard reception and a 74-yard punt return for a total of 182 all-purpose yards in the final 15 minutes. Bernard has now rushed for 930 yards and 10 touchdowns, an ACC-leading average of 132.9 per game.

OFFENSIVE LINEMAN - Jonathan Cooper, North Carolina, Sr., OG, 6-3, 295, Wilmington, N.C.

Cooper played 85 snaps, posted 18 knockdown blocks and graded out at 90 percent as the Tar Heels recorded 570 yards of offense in a 43-35 victory over NC State. Carolina rushed for 212 yards, averaging 5.4 yards per carry. Cooper has not allowed a sack all season.

Bernard's stats continue to be ridiculous. He is at 132.8 ypg which is 3rd nationally and first in the ACC by 38 yards. He is first in all-purpose yards at 214 yards per game and has 15 total touchdowns on the season(10 rushing, 3 receiving, two on punt returns.)

At the risk of wearing it out, here is the punt return again for your enjoyment via GoHeels.com. This video is from multiple angles with commentary from Bernard himself. It should be noted this play(as far as I know) was Jones Angell's first "big" call since he took over play-by-play duties for Woody Durham. The phrase "no he's not, yes he is" is now embedded in UNC history.

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