NC State looks to buck years of struggle at Wake Forest in Saturday's trip
Thu, Nov 9, 2023
NCAAF News (AP)
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (AP) -
North Carolina State (6-3, 3-2 Atlantic Coast Conference) at Wake Forest (4-5, 1-5), Saturday at 2 p.m. ET (The CW)
Line: N.C. State by 2 1-2, according to FanDuel Sportsbook.
Series record: N.C. State leads 68-42-6.
WHAT'S AT STAKE?
N.C. State has corrected its trajectory coming out of an open date and pushed to bowl eligibility with two straight wins. Wake Forest is trying to get to that six-win mark in what has been a frustrating season for a team that played for the ACC title two years ago.
N.C. State's defense against Wake Forest's offense. The Wolfpack's defense has been a multi-year strength and has been vital to the past two wins against Clemson and Miami. The effort against the Tigers included a pick-6 while the unit forced turnovers and turned away every push by the Hurricanes. That group faces a Wake Forest offense that has struggled all year while averaging just 22.1 points to rank 13th in the 14-team ACC.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
N.C. State: LB Payton Wilson. Wilson is coming off two huge performances, starting with the 15-yard interception return for a touchdown against Clemson and a season-high 16 tackles against Miami.
Wake Forest: QB Mitch Griffis. Griffis is coming off his most accurate passing day (16 of 19, 84.2%) against Duke, though his late interception proved costly.
FACTS & FIGURES
This has been a troublesome spot for the Wolfpack with just one win in Winston-Salem in the past two decades. The last came in 2015, while the team lost in 2021 in a shootout that largely swung the division title to the Demon Deacons. ... The teams have met every season since 1910 for the longest continuous series in the ACC and second-longest nationally, trailing Minnesota-Wisconsin meeting every year since 1906. ... Wilson is fifth nationally by averaging 11.7 tackles per game. ... Another league loss would give Wake Forest its highest total in ACC play since losing seven in 2015. ... N.C. State has gotten fast development from receiver Kevin "KC" Concepcion, who is the first true freshman in school history to have two 100-yard games in a season and have six TD catches in a season. ... N.C. State hasn't allowed a touchdown in nearly five full quarters going back to the 14:57 mark of the Clemson win. ... The Demon Deacons have lost four of five since a 3-1 start, with the lone winning coming in a comeback win against Pittsburgh behind third-string quarterback Santino Marucci on Oct. 21.
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