October 29, 2009
Junior linebacker Matt Berning talks BC game
This season the CMU defense has made great strides and improved significantly and while all aspects of the defense have become better, the strength of the defense lies in the linebacking crew. Along side All-MAC nominee Nick Bellore, junior Matt Berning has been a huge part of the success of the defense which is only allowing 15.1 points per game. Berning is the second leading tackler on the team with 66 and also chipping in with 5.5 tackles for loss and two sacks. Bellore is leading the Chippewas with 79 tackles and there has been some friendly competition between the two this season.
"Nick and I have a healthy competition with tackles and while stats are fun to look at, the main goal is that we perform as a whole defense. I look up to Nick and he's accomplished a lot so far in his time here but I would be lying if I said I didn't peek at the stats after games, as long as were winning" said Berning.
Upcoming this week for CMU is an out of conference match-up with the Boston College Eagles for an 8-1 record and probable spot in the top 25, but Berning doesn't see this game as being any different from the first eight games of the year.
"We have to come out and play our football, pick up the level of play and raise the intensity. The environment will be loud and tough but it's nothing that guys haven't seen on this team, we have played at Clemson, Georgia, and MSU so we just have to do what we do" said Berning.
When asked about what factors come to mind when analyzing the improvement of the defense, Berning had a lot to say.
"We are very family oriented, that's a motto of this team and at all positions. The experience level has risen, and more leaders have emerged from that experience. We are constantly watching film and doing whatever it takes to take the next step."
After a couple weeks of high flying passing attacks, Berning is looking forward to the run first mentality that Boston College brings.
"As a linebacker that's what you always hope for is a run first team. It will be a big challenge this weekend but its something were looking forward to and the toughest team will win."
Berning who is from Duisburg, Germany has been known as the character of the team and one to engage in some friendly trash talking.
"Nah, I'm not much of a trash talker, maybe speak a little German when I'm mad but that's it" said a smiling Berning.
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