CHAPEL HILL, N.C. — Gio Bernard scored two touchdowns in his return from a knee injury and North Carolina took over after halftime to beat East Carolina 27-6 on Saturday.
Bernard had missed two straight games since hurting his left knee in the season-opening win against Elon, but he returned with a 14-yard scoring catch from Bryn Renner in the first quarter and added a 4-yard TD run in the third.
Bernard didn't have a big rushing day for the Tar Heels (2-2), finishing with 50 yards on 18 carries. But Renner had little trouble through the air, completing 27 of 43 passes for 321 yards and two touchdowns, including a 62-yard scoring pass to sophomore receiver Sean Tapley early in the third.
The Pirates (2-2) struggled to sustain drives all afternoon, twice settling for first-half field goals after stalling inside the 10-yard line and finishing with 233 total yards.