Hokies seek bowl eligibility against N.C. State, which looks for fourth straight victory
Thu, Nov 16, 2023
NCAAF News (AP)
North Carolina State (7-3, 4-2 Atlantic Coast Conference) at Virginia Tech (5-5, 4-2), Saturday at 3:30 p.m. (ACC Network)
Line: Virginia Tech by 3, according to FanDuel Sportsbook.
Series record: Virginia Tech leads 28-19-4.
WHAT'S AT STAKE?
The Hokies need to win one of their last two games to reach bowl eligibility in Brent Pry's second year as coach after a 3-8 record in his first. The Wolfpack are already bowl-eligible and 2-0 in November for the first time since 2008 when redshirt freshman QB Russell Wilson led them to four straight victories.
N.C. State QB Brennan Armstrong against the Hokies' front seven. Armstrong is familiar with Virginia Tech, having faced them twice at Virginia, but the Wolfpack offense this year is not as efficient. Armstrong can jump-start an offense by fearlessly running, and that may be necessary against a powerful pass rush that is second in the ACC and tied for 10th nationally with 31 sacks.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
N.C. State: LB Payton Wilson. Wilson ranks fifth in the Bowl Subdivision by averaging an ACC-best 11.2 tackles per game. He has had big performances in recent wins, including a pick-six against Clemson and 16 tackles against Miami.
Virginia Tech: QB Kyron Drones. He passed for 219 yards and ran for 135 more in last week's win against Boston College, becoming the first Virginia Tech QB to have a 200-100 game since Hendon Hooker against Liberty in 2020.
FACTS & FIGURES
N.C. State and Virginia Tech have only played seven times since the Hokies joined the ACC in 2004 due to the former cross-divisional scheduling model. Virginia Tech has won five of those meetings. ... Wolfpack receiver Kevin "KC" Concepcion has six touchdown catches to lead all true freshmen in FBS. ... N.C. State held Wake Forest to 163 total yards last week, including seven on the ground. That came a week after keeping Miami out of the end zone. ... The Hokies have scored in 367 consecutive games, fourth all-time. ... Virginia Tech has used 15 first-year freshmen this season. ... The Hokies' 48 points in the win against Boston College marks their second-highest total in an ACC road game. The 600 yards of offense was their most against a Power Five team on the road since 1993 against Pitt (675 yards).
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