May said the EagleBank “would love” to have N.C. State, in part because the bowl would be only a five-hour drive from Raleigh and would be accessible for Wolfpack fans. He said the bowl expects Navy to bring a strong crowd. Of course, Tom O’Brien’s status as an alumnus of Navy certainly doesn’t hurt the story line.
ESPN”s Heather Dinich has gone so far as to predict that the Wolfpack will represent the ACC in the EagleBank Bowl (link).
Why they’ll make it: Quarterback Russell Wilson. He has been the difference in the Pack’s three-game winning streak. The defense, though, has also been better as NC State has not allowed 20 or more points during the streak. Also, because it’s playing for bowl eligibility, which Miami already has, and again, home-field advantage.
Why they won’t: The defense will struggle to stop Miami’s numerous playmakers, and the Hurricanes will be able to execute a balanced offense against the Pack. Miami is also looking to redeem itself from an embarrassing loss to Georgia Tech.
NC State will represent the ACC in the Eagle Bank Bowl, and for the first time in conference history, the league will have nine bowl-eligible teams.