CHAPEL HILL --- After enjoying a week off, Carolina returns to action when the Tar Heels welcome Georgia Tech to Kenan Stadium on Saturday, Nov. 10, at 12:30 p.m. The game will be televised on the ACC Network, Carolina's fourth appearance on the league's network this season.
In Carolina's most recent action, All-America candidate Giovani Bernard electrified the home crowd by scoring the game-winning points on a 74-yard punt return with 13 seconds remaining to knock off rival NC State, 43-35. Bernard finished with 304 all-purpose yards, including 135 rushing yards and three touchdowns. The Tar Heels led 25-7 in the first quarter, but fell behind 28-25 at halftime. Carolina outscored the Wolfpack 18-0 in the fourth quarter.
Georgia Tech enters the game 4-5 overall, 3-3 in the league and has won two consecutive ACC games. The Yellow Jackets rushed for 370 yards in a 33-13 win over Boston College last week.
Seven Things You Need To Know About the Georgia Tech Game
1. Saturday is Homecoming in Chapel Hill.
2. The Tar Heels will begin the Old Well Walk at 10 a.m.
3. Popular beach music band Chairmen of the Board performs in the Kenan Amphitheater at 10:15 a.m.
4. Giovani Bernard needs 70 rushing yards to become first Carolina player to rush for consecutive 1,000-yard seasons since Natrone Means in 1991-92.
5. Eric Ebron is one catch away from tying the Carolina single-season record for receptions by a tight end.
6. Casey Barth needs three consecutive extra points to tie single season record for most consecutive extra points made.
7. Turn It Blue in Kenan Stadium and help the Heels BEAT Georgia Tech.
• The Tar Heels have rushed for 200 or more yards in four of the last five games.
• Carolina ranks fourth in the country in tackles for losses with 7.89 per game. DE Kareem Martin (12.5) leads the team, followed by LB Kevin Reddick (12.0) and DT Sylvester Williams (9.5).
• TE Eric Ebron needs one catch to tie Ryan Taylor's single-season school record for receptions (36) by a tight end. Ebron already holds the school mark for yards (546) by a tight end.
• PK Casey Barth has made all 40 extra point attempts this season. He needs three to tie the single-season school record for most consecutive PATs made (43) set by Tripp Pignetti in 1993. Barth ranks eighth in the nation in field goals per game and is 22nd in the country in scoring per game.
• TB Giovani Bernard leads the nation in punt return average, is third in all-purpose yards per game, scoring per game and is fifth in rushing yards per game.
• Bernard has rushed for more than 100 yards in four consecutive games and 11 times in his career. Over the last four weeks against Virginia Tech (262), Miami (177), Duke (143) and NC State (135), Bernard is averaging 179.3 yards per game.
• Bernard has more 100-yard rushing games (11) than any other sophomore in the country.
• Despite missing two games, Giovani Bernard ranks second in the ACC with 15 touchdowns.
• WR Erik Highsmith ranks fifth all-time at UNC with 154 receptions. He needs two catches to pass Corey Holliday (155) and into fourth place.
• Carolina has won six games by a combined total of 175 points. The three losses were decided by just nine points. UNC's average margin of victory in its six wins is 29.2 and the average margin of defeat in three games is 3.0.
• Carolina is +7 in turnover margin this season, and ranks second in the ACC and 19th in the nation.
• In the second half, Carolina is outscoring its opponents 146-44, including an 89-23 mark in the third quarter.
• Carolina leads the ACC and is ninth in the nation in sacks allowed per game (0.78). The Tar Heels have allowed just seven sacks this season.
• Carolina is averaging more than 250 yards passing (280.8) and 200 yards rushing (207.0). UNC is one of only nine FBS schools and one of just two ACC schools (FSU is the other) averaging at least 250 passing and 200 rushing.
Carolina Undefeated At Home
• The Tar Heels are 5-0 at home with wins over Elon, East Carolina, Idaho, Virginia Tech and NC State. The Tar Heels have home games remaining with Georgia Tech (Nov. 10) and Maryland (Nov. 24). North Carolina has gone undefeated and untied at home just seven times since 1927 (86 years).
• Only once in school history - 1980 - have the Tar Heels gone 7-0 at home.
• The last time Carolina was undefeated at home was 1996 (5-0).
A Win Over Georgia Tech Would...
• Improve the Tar Heels to 7-3 overall, 4-2 in ACC action.
• Improve UNC to 6-0 at Kenan Stadium.
• Snap a three-game losing streak to Georgia Tech.
Carolina-Georgia Tech Series Notes
• North Carolina and Georgia Tech are meeting for the 48th time with the Yellow Jackets holding a 26-18-3 lead in the series.
• Georgia Tech has won 12 of the last 14 against Carolina, including a 35-28 win last year in Atlanta and a 30-24 victory in Chapel Hill in 2010.
• Georgia Tech head coach Paul Johnson is a native of Newland, N.C., and he earned his bachelor's degree from Western Carolina in 1979 and a master's degree from Appalachian State in 1982. He began his coaching career at Avery County (N.C.) High School and also coached Lees-McRae Junior College in Banner Elk, N.C.
Cooper Considered Nation's Top Offensive Guard
• Ranked by many analysts as the nation's top offensive guard, senior Jonathan Cooper has made four midseason All-America teams (Phil Steele, SI.com, ESPN.com and The Sporting News). Cooper also made NFL draft expert Mel Kiper's Big Board (top 30 players regardless of position) and is part of an offensive line that was recently ranked best in the country by Kiper and ESPN analyst Todd McShay.
• Twice this season Cooper has been named the ACC Offensive Lineman of the Week. He earned the award after a standout peformance in Carolina's 18-14 win over Miami and following the Tar Heels' 43-35 victory over NC State.
• Cooper played 85 snaps, posted 18 knockdown blocks and graded out at 90 percent as the Tar Heels recorded 570 yards of offense in a 43-35 victory over NC State. Carolina rushed for 212 yards, averaging 5.4 yards per carry. Cooper has not allowed a sack all season.
• Cooper played all 84 offensive snaps, graded out at a team-best 93 percent, posted 14 knockdown blocks and did not allow a sack in an 18-14 win at Miami. Cooper helped pave the way for Carolina's 272 rushing yards, which included 177 from Giovani Bernard, 77 from Romar Morris and 14 from A.J. Blue. Both of Carolina's touchdowns came on the ground. On the first scoring drive, Cooper had key blocks on three plays that went for 10-or-more yards, including the 10-yard touchdown run by Bernard.
• Cooper was the lead blocker on several of Giovani Bernard's long runs in the Tar Heels' 48-34 win over Virginia Tech. Cooper and the Tar Heels rushed for 339 yards, the first time the Tar Heels have gone over 300 yards rushing as a team since 2004. The 339 yards rushing are the third-most ever allowed by Virginia Tech.
• North Carolina is promoting Cooper for several postseason honors with a weekly video feature called "Hangin' with Mr. Cooper."
Notes Following The NC State Victory
• Carolina improved to 6-3 overall and 3-2 in the ACC with the 43-35 win over NC State. It is Carolina's first win over the Wolfpack since 2006. The Tar Heels now lead the series, 64-32-6. Carolina trailed 35-25 entering the fourth quarter. It marked the first time the Tar Heels rallied from a fourth-quarter deficit since trailing William & Mary 17-7 and winning 21-17 in 2010.
• The 43 points were the most UNC has scored against NC State since a 52-20 win over the Wolfpack in 1996. The 35 points are the most NC State has ever scored in a loss to the Tar Heels (previous was 34 in a 37-34 UNC win in overtime in Charlotte). The 78 points are the most combined points in the series since a 47-34 State win in 2003.
• Carolina scored the deciding points on a 74-yard punt return by Giovani Bernard with 13 seconds to play in the fourth quarter. The punt came with 30 seconds to play after UNC stopped the Wolfpack, which had begun its final drive with 1:24 to play following Casey Barth's 34-yard tying field goal.
• Carolina compiled 570 yards of total offense, the second-most this season and the fourth time this year with at least 500 yards. NC State had 534 yards, the most against the Tar Heels this year (previous week Duke had 510). The teams combined for 1,104 yards, the most in a UNC game since 2002 when the Tar Heels and Arizona State combined for 1,135 yards in a 38-35 Carolina victory.
• The teams combined for 59 pass completions (30 by UNC's Renner and 29 by State's Glennon), the most ever in a Carolina game. The previous was 55 in the 2003 game against NC State.
• The teams also combined for 99 pass attempts (52 by Glennon and 47 by Renner), the most ever in a Carolina game. The previous high was 93 against Wake Forest in 1997.
• Carolina led 15-0 and 25-7 in the first quarter. NC State scored 28 unanswered points as the Tar Heels did not score a point over a span of 36 minutes and one second. UNC then scored the game's final 18 points over the last 10:23 (on a touchdown pass from Renner to Sean Tapley, a field goal by Barth and the punt return by Bernard).