As the N&O said, it’s crunch time for the ‘underperforming’ Wolfpack (Link)
N.C. State (5-3) has been very good after a loss, 10-1 since 2010, and the Cavaliers (2-6), losers of six straight, have been bad in just about every scenario since September
Virginia hasn’t won an ACC game this year. NC State has only lost one game in the last three years at home. Please tell me that it isn’t time for “NC State Shit” to make an appearance!
Why NC State Might Win: The Pack has more depth and talent, but especially on passing downs.
Mike Glennon brings stability and downfield potential to the NC State passing game, something Virginia has lacked all year. Glennon is a next-level quarterback, with a cadre of gifted receivers, such as Bryan Underwood, Quintin Payton and Tobais Palmer. That trio could have its way with a Cavaliers secondary that’s allowed 14 touchdown passes and picked off just one. The Cavs will also be on high alert whenever their own quarterback drops back to throw. The Pack ranks No. 12 nationally in sacks, producing pressure from myriad different angles.
What To Watch Out For: There are plenty of reasons why Virginia has struggled in 2012. Shaky special teams. Turnovers. The Cavaliers rank 120th in the nation in turnover margin, collecting just four takeaways in eight games. On the other side of the field, this could be a banner game for that Wolfpack secondary, which will be closely watching the eyes of Sims. CB David Amerson may not have blown up the way he did in 2011, but he remains an elite pass defender, who’s liable to increase his ACC lead in interceptions.
What Will Happen: State will need to have a short memory after last week’s gut-wrenching loss. Glennon and head coach Tom O’Brien will make sure of it.
The Pack is a veteran team that’s grown accustomed to the ebbs and flows of a campaign. They’ll rebound in a hurry against a Virginia squad that lacks the talent and the motivation to pull a road upset. Glennon will throw a pair of scoring strikes, while the defense harasses Sims into repeated mistakes. State will easily win the turnover margin, coasting in the second half of a comfortable victory.
NC State 31