SPECIALIST—Bruce Carter, North Carolina, OLB, 6-3, 230, So., Havelock, N.C.
Sophomore linebacker Bruce Carter set an ACC single-game record by blocking three punts – all in the second quarter - in the win over No. 24 Connecticut. His third block was recovered in the end zone for a touchdown by Matt Merletti. Carter also recorded seven tackles, including two tackles for losses and a pass deflection. Carter also tied a school record for blocked punts in a season with four to match Bracey Walker’s 1993 total. Carter may have done something no other player in NCAA history has accomplished - blocking four consecutive punts, including the last one at Miami and UConn’s first three. The NCAA does not keep records on consecutive blocked kicks.
Remember at the start of the season when we had question marks the size of polar bears concerning the linebackers? Yeah, not anymore. Mark Paschal, Quan Sturdivant and Bruce Carter have it going on. The three linebackers are 1st, 2nd and 4th on the team in tackles respectively, have 10.5 tackles for a loss and three sacks between them. The trio also have four INTs combined. Add to that four blocked punts for Carter and what you have is a corps of linebackers playing as well as any three have played behind the defensive line since Mack Brown was in Chapel Hill.
Nice. Very nice.