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NC State Football

Pack Falls to Orange 24-10

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The Wolfpack fell to the Orange 24-10 on Saturday.

NC State was hoping to go into their matchup with #5 FSU with a ton of confidence. Instead, they’ll be limping in after a allowing Syracuse to run rampant on them to the tune of 362 yards and 3 TDs.

Once again Pete Thomas labored through a performance, finishing with 151 yards and a touchdown. Before the game there was speculation that the Pack would run out Brandon Mitchell at QB.  Instead, they’ll likely have to wait until Florida State to see their starting QB back in action. Thomas just wasn’t on the mark all night, and with the Wolfpack defense having to spend a lot of time on the field, Syracuse took advantage. The Orange had two runners break the century mark and nearly 3. Jerome Smith, Terrel Hunt,  and Prince-Tyson Gulley went for a combined 364 yds and the Wolfpack had no answer for them.

This game didn’t initially seem as lopsided as it ended up. Midway through the 4th quarter the game was knotted up at 10. That’s when Syracuse broke it open. Smith reeled off a 57 yard run and on the next play Gulley took it 18 yards for the score. That was all the Orange needed as the Wolfpack offense never could get anything going. Cuse added another score and that left the Pack with a 24-10 loss.

State will have a week off to prepare for #5 Florida State in Tallahassee. They will enter that game 3-3 and 0-3 in the ACC.

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NC State Football

NC State Needs to be able To Pass Against Clemson

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When you look at where the Clemson defense is most vulnerable, it has been their inability to stop their opponents passing attack.

Surprisingly, the Tigers rank 48th nationally in Total Defense heading into Week 5, giving up an average of 347.2 yards per game. With a Rush Defense that ranks 8th nationally (78.5 yards per game), Clemson’s Pass Defense, which ranks 104th (267.8 yards per game), is what pushes the Tiger Defense up near 50th in Total Defense.

Opponents Passing Efficiency against Clemson has been 139.64, which ranks 92nd nationally.

Logically, looking at the data above, the game plan for Saturday night would be to unleash Devin Leary. The question is, how much will either team be able to effectively throw the ball with Hurricane Ian moving through the southeast region of the United States this weekend.

If the game is played in a downpour, it will likely come down to who can run the ball better, and both teams will be facing a defense that ranks in the Top-10 nationally in Rush Defense. As stated before, Clemson ranks 8th, and NC State ranks 10th, giving up 81.8 yards per game.

Thankfully for the Wolfpack, Junior Running Back Jordan Houston, who missed last weeks game against UCONN, will be back, as will Redshirt Freshman Demie Sumo-Karngbaye, who sat out the second half against the Huskies.

Last year, in the Wolfpack’s 27-21 2OT victory over the Tigers in Carter-Finley, Leary was 32/44 (72.7%) for 238 yards and 4 touchdowns, with 0 interceptions. That was against a Clemson Defense that finished 2021 ranked 34th in Pass Defense (208.8), 8th in Total Defense (306.3) and 2nd in Scoring Defense (14.8).

Leary hasn’t been as efficient through 4 games in 2022 as he was in 2021, but he’s a gamer. He’s not scared of Clemson. Hopefully weather will permit the Wolfpack quarterback to expose the weakness of the Tiger defense.

 

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NC State Football

5 out of 7 at N&O Pick NC State Over Clemson…OddShark is too

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Over at the News & Observer, 6 of their writers weekly take a stab at picking the winners of college football games for the upcoming week. Every week they also have a Guest Picker, and this week former sports anchor Mark Armstrong was the guest. Interestingly, Five of the Seven picked the 10th ranked NC State Wolfpack to beat the 5th ranked Clemson Tigers.

Also, over at OddShark, they put out a piece on the two best underdogs to bet on in Week 5, and NC State was one of the two, alongside Kansas.

Underdog Pick #2: NC State (+215) vs Clemson

We picked an upset against Clemson last week and nearly got it. Wake Forest had chances late in the game and in OT to snatch the underdog victory but couldn’t get it done. So, for the same reasons we bet on the Demon Deacons last week, we like NC State in Week 5.

Wolfpack QB Devin Leary has passed for four touchdowns in two of his last three games, and that offensive capability could be a problem for a beat-up Clemson secondary. Clemson’s top cornerback and strong safety were out last week against Wake, and the Deacons lit up the backup DBs for some huge plays in the air. If NC State can take advantage of some similar holes, they’ll have upset potential against the Tigers this week. (OddShark)

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NC State Football

NC State vs. Clemson Kickoff Date/Time Remains Set Despite Other Games Being Shifted Due to Hurricane Ian

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At this point, there is no denying that Hurricane Ian will impact the Top-10 matchup between #10 NC State and #5 Clemson. The question is what will the impact be.

We’ve already seen games in the path of Ian move their games. South Carolina vs. South Carolina State has been moved to Thursday night.

Florida’s game vs. Eastern Washington has been moved to Sunday at Noon.

At this point, the kickoff between the Wolfpack and the Tigers is still set for 7:30pm on Saturday.

Here’s the current forecast according to the Triangle’s own Mike Maze.

Also, 50mph winds might have a minor effect on throwing the football.

It will be interesting to see what other college football games get moved due to Hurricane Ian, and whether or not NC State vs. Clemson will be one of them.

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What Clemson’s Dabo Swinney had to say about NC State at his Weekly Press Conference

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Clemson Head Football Coach Dabo Swinney met with the media today for his weekly press conference. You can watch it above, or see what he had to say about the 10th ranked Wolfpack.

  • This is what a top-10 game should look like.
  • Very experienced team that we are getting to play in NC State.
  • Very well-coached. Dave Doeren has done an amazing job putting this group together.
  • Have a bunch of guys that have played a lot of ball, some of them seem like they’ve been there forever.
  • Got Linebacker Payton Wilson back on defense, he is one of the best players in the country. Think he’s outstanding.
  • Their offensive line has played a lot of football.
  • One of the best quarterbacks in the country. Devin Leary is special. He is a pro.
    • This league this year is unbelievable when it comes to quarterbacks and seems like we play every one of them.
    • Fans of the ACC need to enjoy watching these guys because a lot of them will be playing Sunday, and Leary is one of them. He really understands the game.
  • They have 2 hard-nosed backs that can flat-out tote the rock in
    • No. 0 (Demi Sumo-Karngbaye) and No. 3 (Jordan Houston).
    • No. 0 probably leads them explosive plays.
      • He made a couple plays against East Carolina where I think all 11 players hit him and somehow he kept going.
    • Physical in the run game. Will run a lot of counter, a lot of stretch, and then they’re going to take a million shots and will push the ball downfield.
  • Excellent receivers in Nos. 88 (Devin Carter), 5 (Thayer Thomas), 15 (Keyon Lesane), and 11 (Darryl Jones).
    • No. 5 is their guy as far as a guy they will script into all their touches, whether screens, handing it to him, and he’s even thrown it. He’s very savvy. Big RPO guy.
      • He’s tough. He is a true football player. Does a lot of things. Great returner. Great with the ball in his hands. Makes tough, competitive, contested catches over the middle. A lot of RPO stuff.
      • They’ll run him in behind the ‘backers, a lot of slants and things. Makes catches downfield. There’s really not anything he can’t do. He’s a reverse guy, a screen guy, he does it all.
      • One of the better players in this league.
  • Defensively, they’re complete. Very confident in their scheme. Very physical.
    • These three linebackers are outstanding…Nos. 32 (Drake Thomas ) and 1 (Isaiah Moore ) are all-conference guys, and now you throw No. 11 (Wilson ) back out there and unfortunately he couldn’t play in this game last year.
    • Very aggressive in how they fit the ‘backers in their scheme…always have 4 or 5 guys coming from somewhere.
    • Very disciplined in the back end.
    • Stingy group, just like last year. Not giving up many points.
    • A lot of zone. You have to be very patient (throwing the ball).
    • They will pressure you, and the biggest thing is identifying the pressure because with the way they play their front and their Nickel player in the middle, you have to be on the same page communication-wise and make sure you know where they’re coming from.
      • A lot of zone pressures where they’ve got guys dropping, drop ends, drop d-tackles, so understanding your throwing windows.
    • It’s not always as clean as when you play a bunch of man. This is a team that is a little bit more multiple in what they do coverage-wise.
      • They’ll give up some things underneath, but you have to be disciplined enough to put the drives together.
      • And first of all, you have be physical enough up front to hold up.
    • It’s a very physical group.

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