NC State Preview

by - Radio Host -

NC State Preview

We are in the last week of October, and I still know very little about NC State. The reason is NC State's schedule has been an absolute joke. State's schedule is ranked 108th of the 128 FBS schools. I know the Wolfpack are 5-2, but they are 1-2 in the ACC, and their best win is against Wake Forest.

State opened the season with wins over Troy, Eastern Kentucky, Old Dominion and South Alabama. I have no idea why a BCS conference school would schedule four totally inferior opponents for the out of conference schedule. Even more baffling are their road trips to Old Dominion and South Alabama. Why would you play in those venues?

I throw out the first four games and only look at the last three games. The Wolfpack lost at home to Louisville and at Virginia Tech and won at Wake Forest.

Part of me says Saturday is State's season. Dave Doeren is only in his third season, but he is in need of a huge win. Doeren is 16-16 at NC State. His 16 wins have come against Louisiana Tech, Richmond, Central Michigan, Georgia Southern, Old Dominion (Twice), South Florida, Presbyterian, Syracuse, Wake Forest (Twice), North Carolina, Central Florida, Troy, Eastern Kentucky, and South Alabama. He is only 4-15 in the ACC. He is 0-3 against ranked teams. He needs to put his mark on this program, and this game gives him his shot.

State is treating this game like the Super Bowl. They are having a blackout and are inviting all of their major recruiting prospects in for this game. I have been to Carter-Finley many times and it can be a difficult place to play. Clemson has had some bad losses here. On the other hand, the Tigers have won four of their last five in Raleigh.

State has 18 returning starters from last year including quarterback Jacoby Brissett (6-4, 235, Sr) who has completed 122 of 182 passes this season for 1,332 yards with ten touchdowns and only one pick.

An interesting note about the Pack passing game is their top two receivers this season are their fullback Jaylen Samuels (5-11,236, So) and tailback Matthew Dayes (5-9, 203, Jr). Samuels has 34 receptions for 355 yards and four scores. Dayes has 22 receptions for 174 yards. Dayes is the leading rusher and second in the ACC with 125 carries for 793 yards and 12 rushing touchdowns. He rushed for 205 yards last week against Wake Forest.

Statistically, State ranks very high in several categories on defense. It is third in the nation in total defense allowing just 251 yards per game and third in passing defense giving up just 144 yards per game. The Wolfpack are 16th in the country in scoring defense.

However, when looking at State, you have to consider the schedule. Many of these stats are skewed due to the low level of competition in the first four games. Their stats in the ACC look like a mid-level conference opponent.

My guess is that State will have some success Saturday due to the intensity of the crowd and the complexity of their scheme. I wouldn't be surprised if this game were close for a half or maybe three quarters. However, Clemson is better at every position. There is a reason Clemson has won 10 of the last 11 in this series and its called talent. The only way Clemson gets beat in Raleigh Saturday is if it beats itself, and that has happened there before. If this game doesn't include key injuries and turnovers, Clemson is a ten point favorite for a reason.

The Brad Hughes All-State Insurance Agency

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