No. 22 North Carolina State faces its most common historical opponent Thursday when it hosts Wake Forest in an ACC matchup. This is the 112th meeting between the Tar Heel state rivals, who are coming off opposite performances a week ago.
NC State trounced Florida State in its last contest, rolling to a 47-28 triumph after losing its previous two games and stands 14th in the College Football Playoff rankings. Wake Forest, meanwhile, was thumped by Syracuse, 41-24, to fall for the third time in its last four outings. The home team in 18-2 in the last 20 matchups between the Wolfpack and Demon Deacons, which bodes well for North Carolina State in its bid to move up the ACC Atlantic Division standings. "After we had a rough two weeks, maybe people lost faith, but we never lost faith," said defensive tackle Larrell Murchison, whose team will face a new Wake Forest quarterback this weekend. "We know what we can do, within ourselves and within our team."
TV: 7:30 p.m. ET, ESPN. LINE: NC State -17
ABOUT WAKE FOREST (4-5, 1-4 ACC): The Demon Deacons will start redshirt sophomore Jamie Newman at quarterback after Sam Hartman suffered a season-ending leg injury last week. Hartman had thrown multiple touchdown passes in seven of the team's nine games, creating some big shoes to fill for Newman, who has thrown 19 career passes (zero touchdowns, two interceptions). Matt Colburn posted career highs of 243 rushing yards and three TDs in a win over Louisville on Oct. 27 but was limited to 67 yards on 15 carries (and no scores) against Syracuse.
ABOUT NORTH CAROLINA STATE (6-2, 3-2): True freshmen accounted for 35 of the team's 47 points in the win over Florida State with Ricky Person scoring three touchdowns and Chris Dunn accounting for four field goals and five extra points. "Obviously we would like to finish some drives more in the end zone instead of finishing with field goals, but having Chris Dunn make all those field goals was huge. That was a big lift for us," offensive lineman Garrett Bradbury said. Senior Ryan Finley has thrown six touchdowns in the last two games and is two TD passes from matching his career high set in 2016.
1. NC State, which has not gone undefeated at home since 1986, is 5-0 at Carter-Finley Stadium this season.
2. The Demon Deacons rank 118th nationally (out of 129 teams) by allowing 37.2 points per game.
3. Wake Forest WR Greg Dortch has 17 catches for 230 yards and a score over the last two games.
PREDICTION: North Carolina State 44, Wake Forest 21 Bet Now
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