Scores

Final

Wake Forest 24

(5-3, 4-2 ACC)

North Carolina 49

(6-3, 2-3 ACC)

Coverage: ESPNU

3:30 PM ET, October 29, 2011

Kenan Stadium, Chapel Hill, NC

1 2 3 4 T
WAKE 0 10 7 724
UNC 14 7 7 2149

Top Performers

Passing: B. Renner (UNC) - 338 YDS, 3 TD

Rushing: G. Bernard (UNC) - 27 CAR, 154 YDS, 2 TD

Receiving: E. Highsmith (UNC) - 4 REC, 87 YDS, 2 TD

Giovani Bernard scores 3 touchdowns as North Carolina cruises

Associated Press

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. -- Redshirt freshman Giovani Bernard scored three touchdowns and had his sixth 100-yard rushing performance to help North Carolina beat Wake Forest 49-24 on Saturday, making the Tar Heels bowl eligible for the fourth straight season.

Bernard ran for a pair of touchdowns and had a 7-yard scoring catch in the first quarter, while North Carolina (6-3, 2-3 Atlantic Coast Conference) took advantage of an uncharacteristic line of mistakes from the normally sure-handed Demon Deacons (5-3, 4-2). Wake Forest had five turnovers -- three on interceptions thrown by Tanner Price -- after committing just five all season coming into Saturday, and the Tar Heels converted four of those into touchdowns.

It all led to a huge day for the UNC offense, which had a season-high 562 total yards and its best scoring output in seven years. It was also North Carolina's most points in an ACC game in a decade.

Bernard ran for 154 yards on 27 carries, while his short TD catch in the opening quarter was his first career scoring reception. He reached the 100-yard mark on a 4-yard carry early in the fourth, then broke off a 54-yard run late to finish 1 yard shy of matching his season-high. He also moved within 35 yards of becoming the first Tar Heel to run for 1,000 yards in a season since Jonathan Linton did it in Mack Brown's final season in 1997.

Bryn Renner completed 21 of 28 passes for a career-high 338 yards and three touchdowns, while top receiver Dwight Jones had six catches for 138 yards. Fellow wideout Erik Highsmith added his first two-TD performance, scoring on a 4-yard catch in the opening quarter and on a diving 38-yard grab early in the fourth that blew the game open.

UNC forced turnovers on Wake Forest's first two possessions and jumped to a 14-0 lead in the first quarter. The Tar Heels led 21-17 late in the third before turning it into a rout, getting a short touchdown run from Ryan Houston and Bernard's second 4-yard scoring run to push the lead to 35-17 less than a minute into the fourth.

It was definitely a good way for the Tar Heels to erase the memories from an ugly 59-38 loss at Clemson last weekend, which included the Tar Heels committing six turnovers and giving up 35 points in the third quarter. The 49 points against the Demon Deacons were the most by the Tar Heels since scoring 49 against William & Mary to open the 2004 season and the most by UNC in an ACC game since scoring 52 against Duke in 2001.

As for Wake Forest, Price threw for 146 yards before being pulled early in the fourth quarter. Chris Givens, ranked fourth nationally with 127 yards receiving per game, finished with six catches for 42 yards.

Brandon Pendergrass ran for 99 yards and two touchdowns on 13 carries to lead Wake Forest.

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Team Stat Comparison

 
WAKE
UNC
1st Downs1822
Total Yards331562
Passing210338
Rushing121224
Penalties4-304-46
3rd Down Conversions4-107-15
4th Down Conversions0-12-2
Turnovers51
Possession24:2435:36

Passing Leaders

Wake ForestC/ATTYDSAVGTDINT
Price17/291465.003
North CarolinaC/ATTYDSAVGTDINT
Renner21/2833812.130

Rushing Leaders

Wake ForestCARYDSAVGTDLG
Pendergrass13997.6230
Bohanon5173.417
North CarolinaCARYDSAVGTDLG
Bernard271545.7254
Tapley13838.0038

Receiving Leaders

Wake ForestRECYDSAVGTDLG
Campanaro68814.7041
Dembry55611.2024
North CarolinaRECYDSAVGTDLG
Jones613823.0048
Highsmith48721.8243

Scoring Summary

FIRST QUARTERWAKEUNC
TD09:02Giovani Bernard 7 Yd Pass From Bryn Renner (Thomas Moore Kick) 07
TD04:12Erik Highsmith 4 Yd Pass From Bryn Renner (Thomas Moore Kick) 014
SECOND QUARTERWAKEUNC
TD10:23Brandon Pendergrass 8 Yd Run (Jimmy Newman Kick) 714
FG07:03Jimmy Newman 22 Yd 1014
TD00:13Giovani Bernard 4 Yd Run (Thomas Moore Kick) 1021
THIRD QUARTERWAKEUNC
TD06:32Brandon Pendergrass 30 Yd Run (Jimmy Newman Kick) 1721
TD02:29Ryan Houston 1 Yd Run (Thomas Moore Kick) 1728
FOURTH QUARTERWAKEUNC
TD14:13Giovani Bernard 4 Yd Run (Thomas Moore Kick) 1735
TD11:57Erik Highsmith 38 Yd Pass From Bryn Renner (Thomas Moore Kick) 1742
TD04:38A.J. Blue 5 Yd Run (Thomas Moore Kick) 1749
TD02:23Tommy Bohanon 3 Yd Run (Jimmy Newman Kick) 2449