NC State Wolfpack vs. Florida State Seminoles
Time: 4:00 PM
Line: Wolfpack -2.5
After a big win in Raleigh for Homecoming, the Wolfpack head back to Florida, hoping for a better result this time around. Let’s dig into the Saturday afternoon matchup.
Florida State Preview
A month into the season, the Seminoles were the laughing stock of not only the ACC, but the nation. An opening weekend loss to Notre Dame before losing to sub-division Jacksonville State made headlines everywhere. Currently they stand at 3-5, with those three wins coming in the last four weeks (Syracuse, UNC, UMass).
Of note, the Seminoles have been dealing with a nasty flu bug, leaving practice numbers fairly light this week. Name a player and there were some worries about whether they’d be ready to go today.
Here is how you stop the Seminoles: Don’t let them run the ball. Despite their record, FSU has a fantastic running game. In their eight games, they’ve gone over 200 rushing yards six times. Their average yards per rush is tenth in the nation. Running backs Jashaun Corbin (714 yards, 7.5 avg) and Treshaun Ward (440 yards, 7.1 avg) are workhorses that get their yards just about every time. Even quarterback Jordan Travis gets involved in the running game with 340 yards on the year. Throwing the ball, Travis is “fine”, sporting a 63% completion percentage but tends to extend plays too long and gets himself in trouble. Travis was hit hardest this week with the flu bug, with some rumors he might actually miss the game.
Florida State defense is stable, ranked 68th nationally in total defense. If you want to zero in on the problem area, it’s defensive end transfer, Jermaine Johnson. He’s averaging one sack per game, with 11 total tackles for loss. This defensive front will put pressure on Leary, allowing for their secondary to attempt to make some plays. While State’s running game struggled last week, they’ll have a chance to get back on track with a FSU defense giving up an average of 162 rushing yards per game.
Keys to Winning for the Wolfpack
To be honest, FSU is the football child of Miami and Louisville. From Miami they; have been playing much better of late, have home field advantage, steady pass rush, iffy secondary. From Louisville; mobile quarterback, will scramble and run, has receivers that can hurt you if you let them.
- Can the running defense hold up and contain again? Louisville’s Cunningham is much more athletic and poised than Travis, and State contained Cunningham just about as well as they could. This Seminole backfield, however, is a beast. While we don’t want to make this Durden versus FSU, he’ll need a heck of a game. Keep that center of the line push going with Joseph and these LBs controlling the edge. We NEED to keep the FSU running game in check.
- Can Leary finally go vertical in the first half? If you put up points early, you help bullet point one dramatically. Leary and the offense look much different in the second half in just about every game this season. Quick routes to get the ball off before this pass rush attacks, but the deep ball WILL be open. Can Beck dial up this backfield to go…I don’t know…right? Would also love to see a heavy dose of RPO’s and getting everybody in the WR and RB with the some pass plays.
- Can State start fast? Seminoles are coming off a disappointing game against Clemson (probably should have won) and then were nailed by the flu bug. If you ever needed to start fast, this is the game. A weird 4:00pm start time will help temper the crowd. State controls their path to the ACCC. It’s time to show up from the opening kickoff.
This Florida State team is built to just stick around. Playing conservative on offense and not taking advantage of opportunities on defense, only helps FSU. Another week, another chance to get a win you absolutely need. O/U is 55.5 and not sure they’ll get there. Slow starts by all, but the Pack SQUEEK one out.
PACK REWIND: Check out NC State’s Hype Highlight Reel from Their Victory Over UNC
NC State Football Players Can Earn a Minimum of $25k Through Pack of Wolves NIL Collective in 2023
On Monday, news broke that the Pack of Wolves NIL Collective is guaranteeing that NC State scholarship Football players will have the opportunity to make a minimum of $25k in 2023.
Pack of Wolves NIL Collective today announced a strategic move to ensure that N.C. State football student–athletes can remain competitive in the NIL landscape. The program, called “Leading the Pack,“ creates opportunities for these student–athletes to engage in NIL activities in the community this next calendar year, where they could earn a minimum of $25,000 based upon an individual analysis of the NIL value that each student–athlete brings.
“We sought to create an enhanced NIL organization with a high standard of trust and accountability that honors N.C. State’s excellence,“ said Charlie Stallings, chairman of the board for Pack of Wolves collective. “We have worked hard to pair businesses, brands, and local charities with N.C. State football student–athletes. This behind–the–scenes work has brought us to the point where we can make this significant commitment today. Football student–athletes will go out into the community monthly with the opportunity to earn $25,000 or more annually. These engagements can be charitable appearances working with youth in the community, partnering with the businesses or brands who have contributed, and more.“
“We are excited about the continued expansion of Name, Image, and Likeness opportunities available to N.C. State student–athletes,“ said Dave Doeren, N.C. State football coach. “We are particularly proud that they can use their platform to impact the greater North Carolina community and its philanthropic organizations.“
Several local charities have already signed on to participate, including Gigi’s Playhouse of Raleigh, N.C., the Boys & Girls Clubs of Wake County, Dress for Success Triangle N.C., The Harrelson Center of Wilmington, N.C., SAFEchild, and the Food Bank of Central & Eastern North Carolina. (Link)
The ‘Leading the Pack’ program is similar to one at Texas Tech, where 100 team members were guaranteed $25k annually.
It is timely for this announcement to come out when it did, because on December 5th, the Transfer Portal officially opens.
NC State Ranked 25th in Week 14 College Football Playoff Top-25 Rankings
After defeating rival UNC 30-27 in double-overtime last Friday, NC State is back in the College Football Playoff Top-25 Rankings that were just released, landing at #25.
Week 14 CFP Top 25
5 Ohio St
8 Penn St
10 Kansas St
13 Florida St
15 Oregon St
19 S Carolina
24 Miss State
25 NC State
NC State Place Kicker Chris Dunn is a Finalist for the Lou Groza Award
NC State Place Kicker Chris Dunn is a Finalist for the Lou Groza Award, given out annually to the best place kicker in college football. The other two finalists are Joshua Karty of Stanford (first place kicker to not miss a field goal (18-18) in a season since 2013) and Jake Moody of Michigan (reigning Lou Groza Award winner).
Dunn, a graduate student from Lexington, North Carolina, capped a record-setting career with his finest single season, going 24-for-25 on field goals. Both the total field goals and the 96.0% rate rank second in FBS this season, while his accuracy was the best by kickers with at least 20 attempts. 17 of those kicks came from at least 30 yards out, also the second-most in the country. Already the NC State program leader in both field goals and scoring, this season he set the ACC career records in those categories. (LouGroza)
If Dunn were to win, he would become the 2nd player in NC State history to win the Lou Groza Award, joining Marc Primanti, who won it in 1996.
Earlier this week, Dunn was named 1st Team All-ACC.