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Bernard, Tapley Win ACC Weekly Awards

Andy Lyons - Getty Images

Giovani Bernard receiving offensive back of the week honors was a no-brainer. Sean Tapley had some legitimate competition for specialist of the week(from a player on the other sideline) but getting the win tipped the scales in his favor. Via the ACC.

OFFENSIVE BACK – Giovani Bernard, North Carolina, Sophomore, TB, 5-10, 205, Davie, Fla.

Bernard rushed for a career-high 262 yards on 23 carries and scored a touchdown in North Carolina’s 48-34 victory over Virginia Tech. The 262-yard performance is the fifth-highest single-game rushing total in North Carolina history and the most ever gained against Virginia Tech in any game. Bernard became the first Tar Heel to rush for 200 yards in a game since Ronnie McGill totaled 244 against Wake Forest in 2003. In one stretch from the second to third quarter, Bernard had eight carries for 186 yards, an average of 23.3 yards per rush. Bernard scored on a 62-yard run on 4th-and-inches on the first play of the second quarter and later added a 51-yard run. His 11.4 yards per carry is a single-game school record.

SPECIALIST – Sean Tapley, North Carolina, Sophomore, WR, 6-1, 185, Jacksonville, Fla.

Tapley returned a kickoff 94 yards for a touchdown in the first quarter in North Carolina’s 48-34 win over Virginia Tech. He finished with four kickoff returns for 152 yards. The touchdown was the first allowed by Virginia Tech on a kickoff since 1993, spanning an FBS-record 237 consecutive games. It was the first of Tapley’s career and the first for North Carolina since T.J. Thorpe had a 100-yard return last year at Clemson. Tapley also caught two passes for 43 yards and a touchdown in the win.

Bernard's effort was so ridiculous he could have been given the award twice. At halftime, the Tar Heel sophomore was already over 100 yards on nine carries which included this.

That was on 4th and 1 at the UNC 38 which was a gutsy calle by Larry Fedora. The gamble paid huge dividends as the Hokies were caught unprepared for the play. By halftime Bernard had already put in a nice day of work but followed it up with 161 additional yards for a total of 262 yards and a school record 11.4 yards per carry.

Tapley's effort is just another in a long line of nice special teams play(the Hokie TD return not withstanding) this season after watching the Heels flounder in this arena in prior years. Tapley's TD return came after Virginia Tech waltzed down the field on their opening drive to take a 7-0 lead. The quick response touchdown righted the ship and killed any momentum the Hokies had built from stopping UNC's first drive then scoring on their own possession.

When Larry Fedora came to Chapel Hill he promised offensive fireworks. The Tar Heels have not disappointed.