NC State will play it’s first ever ACC game against Syracuse this Saturday and will be in search of their first ACC victory. So what can Doeren and his guys expect?
Well, the Orange probably still have a bad taste in their mouth after their ACC opener with Clemson. They were slammed 49-14, but it’s not like they weren’t expecting the added competition.
“It’s what we signed up for,” Syracuse head coach Scott Shafer said Tuesday. “We played a really good football team. Everybody knows that. There are always positives, even in a tough loss against a good team like Clemson.”
Now they set their sights on a game that is a lot more winnable in their minds, a matchup with the Pack. State is coming off a bad loss to Wake Forest and needs this win to right the ship, however it’s not going to be an easy task by any means. The Orange ground game we pretty impressive against the Tigers as they reeled off 323 yards and 2 touchdowns. The good news for NC State however, is that they’ll be facing off against a QB who is still wet behind the ears. Terrel Hunt will be making his 3rd career start in Raleigh this Saturday. So far, he’s been good, but not great. In his first game against Tulane he put up 4 TDs and 181 yards, but took a huge step back against Clemson’s defense when he put up only 52 yards and threw 3 INTs.
State will be able to disrupt Syracuse with a little pressure, but they’ll need to really lock down their ground game if they want to put the clamps on them. On defense, Syracuse has been apt to give up the big play. Against Clemson there were plenty. This is a defense that does not look used to the type of athleticism that the ACC can bring to the table. NC State needs to take advantage of this. They need to take shots down the field and capitalize when Syracuse falls asleep at the wheel.
Players To Watch:
Terrel Hunt –
We mentioned him earlier as a potential weakness, but he’s young and with kids like this you never know. He had a great game against Tulane then stunk it up against Clemson. In my opinion, if State doesn’t really ratchet up the pressure, he could have a big game.
Jerome Smith- The junior RB has been great for Syracuse. 342 yards and 7 TDs in only 5 games. He’s scored in every one so far and 125 and a TD against Clemson last week. He’s a game changer and if the Wolfpack don’t look out he could bite them.