Can NC State Stop Louisville’s Run Attack?

Oct 3, 2015; Raleigh, NC, USA; Louisville Cardinals quarterback Lamar Jackson (8) outruns North Carolina State Wolfpack safety Hakim Jones (1) and safety Josh Jones (2) during the second half at Carter Finley Stadium. Louisville won 20 - 13. Mandatory Credit: Evan Pike-USA TODAY Sports

NC State heads into their matchup at Noon as one of the best defenses in the nation on paper. They are giving up 315.7 yards of total offense per game, which ranks 16th in the NCAA. The Wolfpack’s specialty has been stopping the run, giving up a measly 95.3 yards per game on the ground, which is tops in the ACC and 5th in the nation.

Opponents Rushing Yards Against NC State (Season Avg)

William & Mary – 62 (195.2)
ECU – 148 (137.3)
ODU – 117 (200.7)
Wake Forest – 69 (161)
Notre Dame – 59 (150)
Clemson – 117 (169.4)

The Wolfpack defense has yet to face a rushing attack like the Louisville Cardinals, who average 305.7 yards on the ground per game, which ranks 3rd nationally. Lamar Jackson is churning out 138.7 rushing yards per game, accompanied by 15 rushing touchdowns.

The Wolfpack defense will have to be patient and not leave huge lanes for Jackson to run through by being too aggressive in pursuit. If it were up to me, I would play a lot of contain and dare Jackson to throw it. He only completes 50% of his passes against Duke last Friday night.

The NC State has actually been stronger against the run as their schedule has gotten tougher. The schedule won’t get any tougher than this, and the Wolfpack will have to play their best game yet to stop the Cardinals attack.

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