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.