FOOTBALL | NCAAF

North Carolina Tar Heels vs. NC State Wolfpack Pick & Prediction NOV 26TH 2021

Complete Carter Finley Stadium Raleigh
129Tar Heels North Carolina
130Wolfpack NC State
OP
62.5
-7
CU
63o -110
-5 -110
ML
ML: 175
ML: -210
Partials
1 3 4
0 10 14 6
14 0 7 13
Score
30
34
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Roles have been reversed for North Carolina and No. 20 North Carolina State as the teams prepare for their regular-season finale.

It's NC State in position to reach the Atlantic Coast Conference championship game.

The Wolfpack (8-3, 5-2 ACC) can land the Atlantic Division's spot in the league championship game by defeating visiting North Carolina on Friday night in Raleigh, N.C., and if Boston College knocks off Wake Forest the following day.

"We put ourselves in a position," NC State coach Dave Doeren said. "Now a chance to have a championship week. Senior Day and play our rival. A lot to play for."

The season began with North Carolina (6-5, 3-4) holding a top-10 ranking and a favorite in the ACC's Coastal Division.

It hasn't panned out for the Tar Heels, but they can play spoiler against their rivals.

North Carolina played Saturday without quarterback Sam Howell, who was out with an upper-body injury. That didn't stop the Tar Heels from thumping a one-win Wofford team in the home finale.

Howell, a junior who has been on a record-setting pace throughout his career, is expected to play against NC State.

"He feels like he'll be well and ready to go Friday," North Carolina coach Mack Brown said.

Reserves Jacolby Criswell and Drake Maye each played a half at quarterback in the Wofford game.

Either way, graduate transfer Ty Chandler gives North Carolina a rushing threat. The former Tennessee player eclipsed the 1,000-yard rushing mark last week (1,004 yards, 13 TDs).

"(That's) the goal we had for him when we took him as the only grad transfer," Brown said. "He's sure been worth it."

NC State lost a Nov. 13 showdown at Wake Forest, but the Wolfpack bounced back into contention last week when the Demon Deacons lost to Clemson (and State socked Syracuse).

An NC State victory and Wake Forest loss would mean a three-way tie with Clemson (8-3, 6-2), in which case, the Wolfpack would win the tiebreaker because one of its losses was to a Coastal Division foe.

"We do control what happens (with us) if we get a win here this week," Doeren said. "Obviously, we'll be Boston College fans here this week."

NC State has won nine consecutive home games.

"One of our goals was to be undefeated in 'The Carter,'" Doeren said, referring to Carter-Finley Stadium. "Right now, we're one game away from pulling that off. ... That means a ton to our team."

With everything at stake, Doeren said the Senior Day aspect might be as important as any factor.

"Seeing those guys in the locker room after the game, it's going to be painful for them either way," he said. "I want it to be where there's that smile on their face after a win."

North Carolina, which is 0-4 in road games, is bowl eligible for the third straight season under Brown, and consider that in his first go-round at UNC, his last six teams went bowling - so in a way, it's a nine-season streak for the veteran coach.

The Tar Heels will be without defensive back Ja'Qurious Conley, who's out with a lower-body injury suffered against Wofford. Conley is fourth on the team in tackles and has two interceptions.

NC State is the fourth nationally ranked opponent in a five-week stretch for North Carolina. The Tar Heels lost to Notre Dame and Pittsburgh and defeated Wake Forest.

North Carolina has won the past two meetings. The 41-10 decision in 2019 marked the largest victory ever for the Tar Heels in Raleigh. The road team has claimed six of the last eight matchups in the series.

--Field Level Media

North Carolina Tar Heels vs. NC State Wolfpack

Freshman quarterback Sam Howell threw for three touchdowns and a season-high 401 yards as the Tar Heels gained bowl eligibility with a huge second half while thumping North Carolina State 41-10 on Saturday night at Carter-Finley Stadium in Raleigh, N.C.

The visiting Tar Heels scored 28 third-quarter points to wipe out a halftime deficit.

North Carolina (6-6, 4-4 Atlantic Coast Conference) will head to a bowl for the first time since 2016.

NC State (4-8, 1-7) ends the season on a six-game losing streak, with half of those setbacks by at least 30-point margins.

North Carolina won against the Wolfpack for just the second time in the last six meetings.

Howell completed 23 of 33 passes. He was intercepted once. Running back Michael Carter added 97 rushing yards on 16 carries.

NC State quarterbacks Devin Leary and teammate Bailey Hochman combined to go 13-for-30 for 157 yards and three interceptions through the air.

North Carolina's six victories dwarf the total of five from the past two seasons combined. This is the first season for the Tar Heels since the return of Mack Brown as coach.

NC State led 10-6 at halftime courtesy of a 39-yard pass play from Leary to Tabari Hines with 1:25 remaining in the second quarter.

After a three-and-out to begin the third quarter, the Tar Heels took control. They benefited from three NC State turnovers during that stretch.

North Carolina went ahead when Javonte Williams ran 26 yards for a touchdown. Howell then completed an 11-play drive with an 11-yard pass play to Williams.

The Tar Heels stretched the lead on Williams' 6-yard run. Less than two minutes later, Howell's 52-yard pass to Dyami Brown helped create a 34-10 advantage.

Midway through the fourth quarter, Howell added a 13-yard touchdown strike to Dazz Newsome.

Both teams had an 80-yard drive that resulted in a field goal in the first half.

NC State finished with 289 yards of total offense.

--Field Level Media

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