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Game Preview: NC State vs. FSU



NC State Wolfpack (3-3) vs. Florida State (6-0)

Game Time: 3:30pm
Location: Tallahassee, FL

The storyline: An up and down (and winless in the ACC) NC State team looks for their first conference win of the season against the nation’s #2 team, Florida State.

Why NC State will beat Florida State: After a fast start to the season, NC State has come back down to earth and while they’ve shown heart and fight, they simply lack big-time playmakers at the skill positions and are still seeking on-field leadership. The good news for the Pack is that hey are welcoming back their starting quarterback Brandon Mitchell. Mitchell played the first series of the season before being pulled with a broken foot and having to sit out up until today. He will look to take the leadership role back and instill a little confidence in a team that is in dire need of it. Here is what he had to say about today’s game against FSU.

“It fits what we’ve been preaching as a team – facing adversity,” he said. “We’re going in as a 28-point underdog, they have 300 former players coming back.  But we just want to go in there and ruin their plans.”

Aside from the infusion of Mitchell, State will also be facing a less than 100% FSU team. According to ESPN, RB James Wilder Jr. (FSU’s 3rd leading rusher) will sit with concussion symptoms.

The truth is, if NC State is going to pull off the massive upset, it’s not going to be because of a FSU injury, it’s going to be because the team finally comes together, steps up and makes big plays. The Wolfpack was an early whistle and a strange referee call away from taking down a top 10 ranked Clemson team, so you know they have it in them. However,  FSU isn’t Clemson. The Noles ripped the Tigers 51-14 on Oct 19th and are currently playing with all kinds of momentum.

The good news? None of this has ever stopped the Wolfpack before. Any State fan knows that if there is one team that the Pack likes to knock off their pedestal, it’s FSU. Just last year they took down the (then #3) Noles 17-16 in Raleigh.


Why Florida State will walk right over the Wolfpack: You didn’t think we were going to give you just one side of the coin, did you? Well, this is, so you may have thought that, however we just want to be real and fair here. Florida State is no joke. This is a team that very well could be the best team in college football right now. They have it all. A stout defense, a great Heisman candidate QB and big time playmakers. Now, take all of that and then add the fact that they’ll be playing at home and things just don’t look all that great for NC State.

First and foremost, State is going to need to stop freshman QB Jameis Winston. Here is a kid who has just risen to the occasion, walked right in and become a viable Heisman candidate. He can beat you with his arm, with his legs, basically he can do it all. State is going to need to keep pressure on him all day if they want a shot here.

They’re going to really need big plays from their defense and their special teams if they want to beat FSU, because man for man, few teams in the nation can stack up.

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NC State Football

NC State’s Kevin Concepcion Earns Freshman All-American Status from The Athletic



NC State Wide Receiver Kevin Concepcion has been named a Freshman All-American by The Athletic.

Here’s what they had to say about KC:

WR Kevin Concepcion, NC State: “KC” easily won ACC Rookie of the Year this season after catching 64 passes for 767 yards, rushing for 297 yards on 7.8 yards per carry and scoring 11 total touchdowns. The 5-foot-11, 187-pound slot receiver from Charlotte was a three-star signee who proved he should start right away as a true freshman. Over his last seven games, Concepcion has averaged 117 total yards per game. (The Athletic)

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NC State Football

Payton Wilson Earns 3 More 1st Team All-American Honors



NC State Linebacker Payton Wilson has added 3 more First Team All-American accolades to his list: Sports Illustrated, College Football Network and The Athletic. He already earned the same honors from USA Today, CBS & PFF.

Sports Illustrated

Quarterback: Jayden Daniels, LSU

Running back: Ollie Gordon II, Oklahoma State; Cody Schrader, Missouri

Wide receiver: Marvin Harrison Jr., Ohio State; Rome Odunze, Washington; Malik Nabers, LSU

Tight end: Brock Bowers, Georgia

Offensive line: Olu Fashanu, Penn State; Zak Zinter, Michigan; Sedrick Van Pran, Georgia; Cooper Beebe, Kansas State; Joe Alt, Notre Dame

Edge: Laiatu Latu, UCLA; Jalen Green, James Madison

Defensive tackle: T’Vondre Sweat, Texas; Jer’Zhan Newton, Illinois

Linebacker: Jay Higgins, Iowa; Payton Wilson, North Carolina State; Jeremiah Trotter Jr., Clemson

Cornerback: Will Johnson, Michigan; Kool-Aid McKinstry, Alabama

Safety: Malaki Starks, Georgia; Xavier Watts, Notre Dame

Punter: Tory Taylor, Iowa

Kicker: Graham Nicholson, Miami (Ohio)

Kick returner: Cooper DeJean, Iowa

All-purpose: Travis Hunter, Colorado

College Football Network

2023 First-Team All-American Offense

QB: Bo Nix, Oregon
RB: Ollie Gordon II, Oklahoma State
RB: Ashton Jeanty, Boise State
WR: Malik Washington, Virginia
WR: Malik Nabers, LSU
WR: Rome Odunze, Washington
TE: Dallin Holker, Colorado State
FLEX: Troy Franklin, Oregon
OT: Darius Washington, Florida State
OG: Cole Potts, JMU
OC: Jackson Powers-Johnson, Oregon
OG: Clay Webb, Jacksonville State
OT: Taliese Fuaga, Oregon State

2023 First-Team All-American Defense

EDGE: Laiatu Latu, UCLA
DT: Patrick Jenkins, Tulane
DT: Braden Fiske, Florida State
EDGE: Jalen Green, JMU
LB: Payton Wilson, NC State
LB: Jason Henderson, ODU
LB: Edgerrin Cooper, Texas A&M
CB: Beanie Bishop Jr., West Virginia
CB: Terrion Arnold, Alabama
CB: Ricardo Hallman, Wisconsin
S: Billy Bowman Jr., Oklahoma
S: Tykee Smith, Georgia
FLEX: Jarrian Jones, Florida State

The Athletic

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NC State DB Cecil Powell Enters the Transfer Portal



NC State Redshirt Junior Defensive Back Cecil Powell just announced he is entering the Transfer Portal.

Powell played in 12 games this season, but in 7 of those games, he strictly played on Special Teams. In the 5 games he played on defense, he logged 5 tackles in 43 snaps.

He missed the past two seasons due to injury after playing a significant role in 2020, when he started 5 games and played 497 snaps. In that year, he had 47 tackles, and 4 pass breakups.

In 2019, his first season at NC State, Powell played Cornerback…then Wide Receiver…then Cornerback again, logging 95 snaps in 4 games from the line of scrimmage (he did play in 7 other games on Special Teams).

Powell was listed as Robert Kennedy III’s backup at Nickelback this season. He has 2 more years of eligibility.

NC State has had 19 players enter the Transfer Portal

WR Christopher Scott
OL Jaleel Davis
WR Josh Crabtree
OL Lyndon Cooper
WR Terrell Timmons
LB Torren Wright
NT C.J. Clark
QB MJ Morris
S Jakeen Harris
TE Cedd Seabrough
WR Porter Rooks
DB Nate Evans
LB Daejuan Thompson
RB Jordan Houston
RB Michael Allen
DB Darius Edmundson
WR Anthony Smith
TE Christopher Toudle

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NC State’s Payton Wilson Earns USA Today All-American 1st Team Honors



The honors keep rolling in, and I don’t expect them to stop. NC State Linebacker was named to the USA Today All-American 1st Team yesterday.

First team

QB: Jayden Daniels, LSU
RB: Ollie Gordon II, Oklahoma State
RB: Cody Schrader, Missouri
WR: Marvin Harrison Jr., Ohio State
WR: Malik Nabers, LSU
TE: Brock Bowers, Georgia
OL: Olumuyiwa Fashanu, Penn State
OL: Zak Zinter, Michigan
OL: Jackson Powers-Johnson, Oregon
OL: Cooper Beebe, Kansas State
OL: Joe Alt, Notre Dame

DL: Laiatu Latu, UCLA
DL: Jer’Zhan Newton, Illinois
DL: T’Vondre Sweat, Texas
DL: Jalen Green, James Madison
LB: Payton Wilson, North Carolina State
LB: Dallas Turner, Alabama
LB: Jay Higgins, Iowa
CB: Cooper DeJean, Iowa
CB: Kool-Aid McKinstry, Alabama
S: Malaki Starks, Georgia
S: Xavier Watts, Notre Dame

K: Graham Nicholson, Miami (Ohio)
P: Tory Taylor, Iowa
RET: Zachariah Branch, Southern California
ALL-PURPOSE: Ashton Jeanty, Boise State


Wilson was also named to PFF and CBS’ All-American 1st Teams. Also, last night he won the Butkus Award, given annually to the best Linebacker in college football.

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