NC State Wolfpack vs. LA Tech Bulldogs
Time: 6:00 PM
Location: Carter-Finley Stadium
Line: State -18.5
LA Tech Preview
The Bulldogs enter Carter-Finley Saturday afternoon, knowing they should be undefeated. Instead they arrive 2-2 with injury concerns.
LA Tech beat SE Louisiana and North Texas, but lost by a combined 3 points to Miss State (35-34) and SMU (39-37). In both losses, Bulldogs lead in the fourth before Miss State scored 21 unanswered in the last 12 minutes and SMU a TD as time expired. This is all to say, LA Tech cannot be looked over.
There were concerns that quarterback Austin Kendall wouldn’t be available for the game, but it looks like he’ll suit up. In three games, he’s thrown for 837 yards (plus another 100 on the ground) with 7 touchdowns and 3 interceptions. Running back Marcus Williams Jr. and the Harris’ receivers (Tre and Smoke – no relation, but what a damn name duo), are quality players that can burn State defense if given the chance. As a team, they’ll take their fair share of deep shots.
The defense for the Bulldogs, is where they have trouble. Out of 130 DI teams, LA Tech is 125th in yards given up (1944) at AN AVERAGE OF SIX YARDS PER PLAY. That’s worse than UCONN, Vanderbilt and UNLV, to name a few. They’ll find ways to get sacks, but they lack the ability to get off the field.
Keys to Winning for the Wolfpack
- Feast Offense, Feast – We constantly talk about State playing meat and potatoes offense, that 10000% needs to be the case this week. There is no reason why Leary should be forcing a single pass. Bam and Person should have quality workloads. This offensive line needs to set the tone and be blocking next level every, single, rush. This can be a game, similar to USF, where everybody is included and there is a consistent offensive rhythm. No dumb penalties or turnovers, PLEASE.
- No Letdowns – This is something that’s been brought up before, and it’s valid to some extent. There has been hundreds of times where coming out of a solid upset, a team falls flat. Good news, albeit small sample size :(, Doeren’s State teams are 4-0 after beating ranked teams. We’ve been more than happy with how State has looked, prep-wise, heading into home games. Full belief that this week will be no different, with offense clicking and defense coming out ready to destroy.
- Defensive Depth Shows Up Again – Seems like every week we lose another player, but the train needs to keep rolling. Hoping Durden shows last week wasn’t a fluke and is in the LA Tech backfield a steady amount. The linebacker core has an opportunity for serious additions to the highlight reels, cleaning up the run game, while being active in coverage. Secondary needs to stay fast and keep up with a Bulldogs’ receiving group that likes to stretch the field and attempt deep shots. The stat sheet should be full tonight, hopefully with multiple turnovers, sacks and minimal yards by LA Tech.
Would expect numbers to be similar to USF for the offense; solid day for Leary and the rushing game is literally running wild. Defense will be tested at points, they’ll give up double digits but will be able to take advantage in multiple areas. Have to think State, especially with how they’ve played at home, will cover the 18.5 spread.
State wins 38-16
WATCH: PackInsider’s Davin Vann 2023 Highlight Reel
Davin Vann deciding to return to NC State for his final year of eligibility was some of the best news the Wolfpack football program received this offseason.
Prior to the 2023 season, Wolfpack head coach Dave Doeren honored Vann with the #1 jersey, which is given to the player that leads the team in work ethic, training and leadership. Vann was also named a captain this year.
This past season, Vann’s PFF grade of 76.5 was the third highest on the team behind Payton Wilson and Robert Kennedy III. He recorded 42 tackles, 7 tackles for loss and 5.5 sacks as a Junior.
Check out PackInsider’s 2023 Highlight Reel of Davin Vann ABOVE.
NC State Players Can Opt to Be in EA Sports’ College Football 2025 Today
As someone who grew up playing EA Sports’ NCAA Football video game, call me ecstatic that it will be returning this summer as EA Sports College Football 25.
The reason the game is making a comeback is because of the new landscape of NIL.
As of today, NC State football players, as well as players from all 134 FBS schools, will have the opportunity to opt in to being in the game.
Every player that opts in will be paid $600 and will receive a free copy of the game. Players will remain in the game for the entirety of their collegiate career, and will be paid annually, unless they choose to opt out.
Players will also have the chance to make additional NIL money. According to ESPN, there will be:
There will also be more than 100 additional NIL opportunities for athletes to work with EA Sports. These could include social media posts, on-campus promotions, advertisements or even being the game’s cover athlete. (ESPN)
Who do you think will be the highest graded players on NC State’s roster?
WATCH: PackInsider’s Kevin Concepcion Freshman Highlight Reel
Kevin Concepcion had one of the best seasons by a Freshman in the history of the NC State football program. He was named the ACC Rookie of the Year and earned Freshman All-American honors. Concepcion finished his first collegiate season with 71 receptions for 839 yards and 10 touchdowns. He also rushed the ball for 320 yards, averaging 7.8 yards per carry. Concepcion broke NC State’s Freshman records for receptions and touchdown receptions.
Check out PackInsider’s Highlight Reel of Kevin Concepcion’s Freshman season ABOVE.
Vegas is Higher on NC State Heading Into 2024 Than They Were Heading Into Last Year
The bookmakers in Las Vegas have released their odds for total regular season wins for the 2024 College Football season, and NC State is sitting at 8.5. For perspective, entering the 2023 season, the number was 6.5, and the Wolfpack went on to win 9.
Here’s a look at Vegas’ opinion of the rest of the ACC heading into 2024:
FSU – 9.5
Clemson – 9.5
Miami – 9.5
NC State – 8.5
Louisville – 8.5
UNC – 8.5
SMU – 7.5
Virginia Tech – 7.5
Duke – 6.5
California – 6.5
Syracuse – 6.5
Pitt – 5.5
Georgia Tech – 5.5
Boston College – 4.5
Virginia – 4.5
Wake Forest – 4.5
Stanford – 3.5
What are your thoughts? Are you taking the Over or the Under on NC State? Or what are your thoughts on any of the other teams?