Wolfpack Football has had a tough go of it for the past four weeks. A beatdown at the hands of Louisville and a WTF home loss to BC, were bookended by close heartbreaking losses to Clemson and Florida State. Instead of being 6-3 right now (or even 7-2…up yours BC), they find themselves beaten and battered at 4-5, and hoping for a miracle in order to become bowl eligible with only three games remaining.
Well, not a miracle exactly. But certainly the odds are not in their favor.
But if it IS going to happen, it all has to begin today in the Carrier Dome against a Syracuse team which comes in with an identical 4-5 slate. The Orange is coming off a loss at Clemson in which they got shut out 54-0. But prior to that they topped BC in Chestnut Hill, and upset then #17 Virginia Tech.
Both of these teams are about as Jeckyll and Hyde as they come. I have no idea what to expect in this one. But I won’t lie…with it being a road game I’m keeping my expectations tempered.
That being said, the last time the Pack visited ‘Cuse, this happened….
So, who knows?
‘Cuse has looked good at times, but is beatable. NC State has looked good at times, but is beatable.
Like I already said above, I have no clue what to expect from either team at this point.
Wolfpack Travels to Syracuse for Saturday Tilt (GoPack.com)
RALEIGH, N.C. – When the NC State football team visits Syracuse on Saturday, the Wolfpack will no doubt call on some fond memories from its last visit to the Carrier Dome.
A 24-17 victory over the Orange (4-5, 2-3 ACC) in 2014 was ignited by an 82-yard interception return for a touchdown by Pharoah McKever in the third quarter, a play that provided a colossal momentum shift that would ultimately carry the Wolfpack to the ACC road victory.
“My ankle was hurting, so I was looking down at my foot to make sure it was ok, and I looked up and saw Pharoah running down the sideline,” said junior defensive end Bradley Chubb. “Our whole bench was going crazy. It was definitely a fun moment and hopefully, a big play like that happens again.”
Competing at a high level has rarely been a problem for the Pack. For eight quarters against both Clemson and Florida State, the Wolfpack proved that it could play on equal footing with two of the nation’s elite programs. But until it can finally finish the job and celebrate a victory, NC State won’t rid itself of the bitter taste left by so many near misses.
“Our players are going to keep fighting, our coaches and players are tough and resilient, and we will continue to battle,” head coach Dave Doeren said. “We’re going to do everything we can to get it where we make that final play.”
Must-win time for N.C. State, Syracuse (JournalNow.com)
It’s must-win time for N.C. State and Syracuse.
Time is running out on their postseason hopes.
Each team has to win two of three to become bowl-eligible, and one will be very disappointed on Saturday after they play in the Carrier Dome.
“That’s a major goal we’re fighting for,” N.C. State defensive end Bradley Chubb said. “Just got to stick together, stay as a team and, hopefully, everything will pan out the way we want it to.”
Both teams are 4-5, with the Orange at 2-3 in the ACC and N.C. State at 1-4.
CLOSE BUT NO CIGAR: Four of N.C. State’s losses have been by seven points or fewer, and Clemson went into overtime. The Wolfpack failed to convert three field goals (one was blocked) against the Tigers, including a 33-yarder on the final play of regulation that would have won the game.
“We’ve made a lot of progress in a lot of ways, but we still haven’t put away teams when we had them on the ropes,” Doeren said. “When you get there and don’t get it done against two of them, there’s no moral victory there. There’s progress, there just isn’t pleasure.”
NC State vs. Syracuse Prediction, Preview, Spread (TheSpun.com)
According to ESPN’s matchup predictor, which is based on its Football Power Index, NC State wins the matchup between the two teams 63.3% of the time. The spread also favors the Wolfpack.
This will be a close contest, with both teams needing two more wins if they want to become bowl eligible. Both teams enter on losing streaks of varying degrees.
NC State and Syracuse feature competent offenses, but this one will come down to the defensive side of the ball, and that edge belongs to the Wolfpack.
NC State 27, Syracuse 20
Time: 12:30pm Kickoff
TV: ACC Network, Locally on WRAL5
Vegas currently has the Pack as road favs at -7.5
Non-Football News of Note
Wolfpack Basketball kicked off the regular season for realsies last night. After looking pretty darned good and fluid in the first ten minutes vs Georgia Southern, the bottom kinda fell out for the Pack. I won’t harp on it, but it wasn’t pretty. Fortunately, after falling behind the Eagles by as many as six in the 2nd half, the Pack did just enough to pull out an 81-79 win. At home. Vs Georgia Southern. At home. Vs Georgia Southern. AT HOME. VS GEORGIA FREAKING SOUTHERN.
Look, Georgia Southern is not a bad team at all. They really aren’t. But they are not a team which should have given us that much trouble. As was talked about on the game thread last night, hopefully getting pushed by them as we did will make us that much better as the season progresses. But not gonna lie, still don’t feel too good about this one. But yes, I feel better than I would have had we lost (h/t to Rick…smartass…for point that out, lol) 😉
More Basketball News: Ted Kapita has been ruled eligible immediately.
Alrighty folks, that’s all I got. Almost game time. My recommendation is to drink heavily. Win or lose, it will help. 😉