For those that follow North Carolina football one of the biggest concern this season is when will tail back Giovani Bernard be back on the field? I even wrote a piece about it called “Where in the world is Gio Bernard” a few days back, detailing my thoughts about what was going on with the red shirt sophomore, and more importantly why the cloak and dagger attitude about it. Well, on Monday head coach Larry Fedora had his weekly press conference and of course he was asked about the starting tail back. This is what he said…
Did Gio Bernard suffer a setback this week?
“Not that I know of.”
This answer should have been followed up by why was he working out with the team and all was looking fine and then did not even make the trip to Louisville. Cause as I said in my post a couple of days ago this has gone from Bernard could have come back in the second half of the Elon game to being out of service for the last two games.
Is it just a continuing thing where he does not feel right?
I am not even going to try decipher this. And by all means if anyone does understand this leave a comment below.
Are you realistically hopeful that changes at some point?
“I’m always hopeful. Always hopeful… I don’t know if I’m ever realistic. I think it could be anytime.”
Again, I am not sure what this is trying to say besides the fact that Bernard’s return is unsure to one and all, and when he is back on the field we will all know about it cause we will see him on the gridiron.
In the end when it comes to the starting tail back it sounds like he is on the way to full recovery but might not be ready just yet. All of this resembles what has been going on with him for a couple of weeks now, only difference being that this time around head coach Larry Fedora has decided to say more by saying less. And like it or not, I can live with this a lot more than I could with the way things had been done in the past weeks. With East Carolina coming to Kenan Stadium on Saturday his presence on the field is anyone’s guess. However, another running back will be on the field for the Tar Heels, Romar Morris, who was this week’s ACC’s Wide Receiver of the Week.
Romar Morris, North Carolina, R-Fr., TB, 5-10, 180, Salisbury, N.C. Morris posted a career-high 202 all-purpose yards in Carolina’s 39-34 loss at No. 19 Louisville. He had 149 yards receiving, 23 yards rushing and 30 yards on kick returns. He also blocked a punt in the fourth quarter, which led to a Carolina touchdown on the next play. Morris is the first Tar Heel to block a punt since Bruce Carter blocked one at Rutgers in 2010. Morris became the first Tar Heel running back with a 100-yard receiving game since Anthony Elzy had 178 in 2010 vs. NC State. Morris caught five passes for 149 yards and scored on a 44-yard wheel route down the sideline and a 50-yard catch-and-run that pulled the Tar Heels to within five with 4:23 remaining.
The reality is that while Bernard has been missed, between A.J. Blue and Morris the gap left by last year’s star back might not have been completely filled, but they have done a good enough job. Which then leads one to think about this… could Bernard’s absence be because his replacements have proven to be up to par in stepping in for Bernard? Meaning had they not been as good as they were against Wake Forest that we would have seen Bernard play versus LouisVille? And if that was the case, after the pretty bad outing by most of the team against the Top 25 opponent will we be seeing Bernard back on the field against East Carolina?
So many questions, and so few answers. With a new regime in place, a new system and plenty of injuries have made this campaign a lot harder for the coaching staff, the players and the fan base a lot to swallow then it would have been with all the players on the field. But there is still nine games left in 2012 and if Bernard can come back soon and the wide outs can make due with what they have the Heels can still find a way to have a decent season. Maybe not the 9 wins type like I had predicted, but definitely 7, which would be over .500 and not a bad way for coach Fedora to begin his tenure as the head man of the North Carolina football program.
For more information about North Carolina football and/or basketball, teams or players, present and past, make sure to come back often to isportsweb!