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3 NC State Players Make PFF’s All-ACC Week 2 Team

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ProFootballFocus released their Week 2 All-ACC teams today, and three NC State players were represented for their performances against Georgia State this past Saturday in Week 2. The Wolfpack has had 3 players represent them two weeks in a row.

Week 1

(ProFootballFocus is the best in the business, giving each player a grade on every single play, culminating in a grade for the game.)

Redshirt Freshman Thayer Thomas earned the official ACC Rookie of the Week honors for his performance against Georgia State, snagging 9 receptions for 114 yards and a touchdown. He had the third highest grade among ACC Wide Receivers in Week 2. It’s worth noting that Junior Wide Receiver Kelvin Harmon had the 4th best grade, and was nearly on the team with Thomas.

Redshirt Senior Offensive Guard Terronne Prescod is now 2 for 2 in 2018, making the PFF All-ACC Weekly Team in back-to-back weeks. Prescod had the highest grade of any of the offensive linemen on the Team of the Week.

Redshirt Graduate Senior Center Garrett Bradbury was the 2nd NC State offensive lineman on the Week 2 team.

No Wolfpack defenders made the team in Week 2.

NC State Football

NC State Picks Up 1st Win at Louisville, Stomping the Cardinals 52-10

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NC State was a 16-point favorite against Louisville today, and unlike last week, they were more than able to cover such a large spread, stomping the Cardinals 52-10 on their own turf.

The Wolfpack picked up their 1st victory ever at Louisville, and improved to 7-3 on the year.

After going 3-and-out on the opening drive, and allowing Louisville to march down and kick a field goal, NC State managed to score 45 unanswered points thereafter.

For the 5th time in 2018, the Wolfpack put up 500+ yards of total offense, putting 518 on the Cardinals. Redshirt Graduate Senior Quarterback Ryan Finley passed for 316 yards, completing 72.2% of his passes, for a career high 4 touchdowns (0 interceptions). After today’s efforts, he moved into 2nd all-time in school history in career passing yards.

Three Wolfpack receivers had 7 receptions, and each one of them snagged a touchdown. Junior Kelvin Harmon had 7 receptions for 100 yards and a touchdown. Harmon became only the third receiver in school history to have two seasons of over 1,000 yards receiving. Redshirt Junior Jakobi Meyers had 7 receptions for 96 yards and a touchdown, and Sophomore Emeka Emezie had 7 receptions for 72 yards and a touchdown.

Senior Running Back Reggie Gallaspy gave NC State the boost in the rushing game they’ve been needing, carrying the ball 11 times for 73 yards and 2 touchdowns, and also had 2 receptions for 11 yards and a touchdown.

NC State has been wanting to score more touchdowns in the red zone, and today they got it across the goal line 6 out of their 7 trips into the red zone. Freshman Place Kicker Chris Dunn kicked a field goal on the other trip, making the Wolfpack a perfect 7 of 7 on the day.

Redshirt Graduate Senior Linebacker Germaine Pratt and Freshman Nickelback Tanner Ingle led the Pack in tackles, with 7. The Wolfpack had 7 tackles for loss and 3 sacks. While they may have given up 411 yards of total offense, much of it came when the Wolfpack offense was filled with reserves.

NC State finished the day +2 in turnover margin.

The Wolfpack are now 7-3, and will head to Chapel Hill next Saturday, for a 12:20pm kickoff.

 

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Ryan Finley Moves Into 2nd Place In NC State History in Passing Yards

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Redshirt Graduate Senior Quarterback Ryan Finley passed Jamie Barnette today, moving into 2nd place all-time in career passing yards.

NC State Career Passing Yard Leaders
1) Philip Rivers – 13,484
2) Ryan Finley – 9,757
3) Jamie Barnette – 9,461
4) Russell Wilson – 8,545
5) Mike Glennon – 7,411

Finley currently ranks 8th all-time in career passing yards in ACC history.

If Finley plays in the bowl game, he is on pace to finish his career with 10,711 passing yards, which would rank 3rd in ACC history. Keep in mind, the two guys ahead of him played 4 seasons, instead of his three.

 

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Kelvin Harmon Becomes 3rd NC State Receiver With Two 1,000 Yards Seasons

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Junior Wide Receiver Kelvin joined an elite club today, becoming only the third receiver in NC State history to have two seasons of 1,000 receiving yards.

The other 2 receivers to pull off the feat:

Torry Holt – 1997 (1,099) & 1998 (1,604)
Jerricho Cotchery  – 2002 (1,192) & 2003 (1,369)
Kelvin Harmon – 2017 (1,017) & 2018 (Currently – 1,065 yards)

Harmon is on pace to finish the season with 1,361 receiving yards (if he plays in the bowl game), which would be the third most by a receiver in a single season in NC State history, and tied for the 7th most in ACC history.

Most Receiving Yards in a Single Season in NC State History

  1. Torry Holt 1,604 – 1008
  2. Jerricho Cotchery – 1,369
  3. Kelvin Harmon – on pace for 1,361

Most Receiving Yards in a Single Season in ACC History

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Previewing NC State’s Opponent: Louisville

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Louisville has not been NC State’s friend over the years, beating the Wolfpack 6 times in 8 opportunities (3-1 as ACC foes).

Louisville, Kentucky, has not been kind to NC State. The Wolfpack have never won a game on the road against the Cardinals (0-4).

Last year’s 39-25 victory on a Thursday night marked NC State’s 1st victory over Louisville as ACC opponents, snapping a 3-game losing streak. The Wolfpack will look to start a streak of their own today.

This Louisville team is a far cry from the teams led by Lamar Jackson.

The Cardinals have been in a life-without-Lamar hangover all year, entering today’s game on a 7-game losing streak, and a 2-8 overall record.

During the 7-game losing streak, Louisville’s opponents are averaging 48.7 points, 322.2 rushing yards, 501.2 total yards per game, and their turnover margin has been -8.

Louisville practically ranks in the 100’s in every statistical category on the year.

Despite the horrific stats, especially on defense, the Louisville offense has proven capable sporadically in 2018, producing over 400 yards of total offense in 4 of their ACC games:

Florida State – 421 yards
Georgia Tech – 483 yards
Wake Forest – 532 yards
Syracuse – 413 yards

The Cardinals deploy 2 quarterbacks on a weekly basis: Sophomore Jawon Pass and Freshman Malik Cunningham. Pass serves as Louisville’s primary passer (no pun intended), and Cunningham primarily comes in to run the ball. In fact, Cunningham leads the Cardinals in carries (60), rushing yards (308), and is averaging 5.1 yards per carry. Pass has only completed 54.3% of his attempts for 1,893 yards and 8 touchdowns (11 interceptions).

Senior Jaylen Smith, Lamar Jackson’s favorite target, is still around, but he’s missing his former quarterback tremendously. After earning 1st Team All-ACC honors in 2017, Smith only has 31 receptions (team lead) for 463 yards and (team lead) a touchdown.

Junior Trey Smith is the starter at Running Back, and has been successful when given the chance, averaging 5.3 yards per carry, but his touches have been limited with the Cardinals having to chase points nearly every game.

Pretty much the only respectable aspect of Louisville football right now is their pass defense, which ranks 22nd nationally. I would be remiss not to mention the fact that Sophomore Rodjay Burns is an extremely dangerous punt returner, averaging 16.4 yards per return. He ranks 2nd in the ACC and 10th nationally.

Life without Lamar Jackson has been bleak, but what will life without former head coach Bobby Petrino be like? Can interim head coach Lorenzo Ward wake up this Cardinals squad to protect their house, and finish the year strong?

On paper, NC State should make easy work of Louisville, but as we learned last week, there’s a reason you play the game. Wake Forest took that paper, balled it up, and chucked it in the trash.

If Louisville is going to treat this like their bowl game, then so should NC State. If they do, they will win.

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