Giovani Bernard has to be the most exciting player in college football.The North Carolina running back leads the ACC in rushing and today in Chapel Hill, NC returned a punt that Tar Heel fans will talk about for years to come.
Bernard fielded a NC State punt and took it the distance 74 yards with 13 seconds left to lift North Carolina past their arch rivals 43-35 ending the Tar Heels five game losing streak to the Wolfpack.Check it out, Bernard’s game winning punt return for six happens at 10:29 with the call from the voice of the Tar Heels and FSOG Jones Angell. (Thanks GoHeels.com)
Earlier in the game Bernard rolled his ankle and it bothered him. Even with that nagging injury Bernard had something left in the tank after all, 2006 was the last time the Tar Heels had defeated the Wolfpack.”“I told my backup punt returner, 'Let me try to see what I can do on this one.'” Bernard said. “It was something that I had to dig deep in myself. My ankle was bothering me a little bit.”
And with a hurting ankle Bernard was still elusive enough to avoid the NC State special teams.“He's a guy that when a play needs to be made, he wants to be out there.” North Carolina head coach Larry Fedora said.
"As a team, we're just very blessed to have him. Very humble kid. The play he made was unbelievable." North Carolina quarterback Bryn Renner said.Bernard’s punt return for a touchdown was the capper for another outstanding performance rushing for 135 yards and two touchdowns. He also caught eight balls for 95 yards.
So when you add it all up Bernard had 230 yards from scrimmage and a career-best 304 all-purpose yards today and three touchdowns.No doubt Gio Bernard earned the game ball.