Wake Forest vs. NC State, 10/1/16 - Preview & Prediction

Game Snapshot

#189 Wake Forest University Demon Deacons
vs.
#190 North Carolina State University Wolfpack

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Image licensed from USA Today Sports

Wake Forest Demon Deacons (4-0; 2-2 ATS; 2-2 O/U) vs. NC State Wolfpack (2-1; 2-1 ATS; 2-0 O/U)

NCAAF: Saturday, October 1, 2016 at 3:30pm EST

Line: NC State -9

Total: 49

The undefeated Wake Forest Demon Deacons will take on the NC State Wolfpack in a conference battle Saturday afternoon from Carter-Finley Stadium in Raleigh. Wake Forest came away with an impressive 33-28 win on the road over Indiana last week, while NC State was off last week, and defeated Old Dominion by a 49-22 score in week three. NC State defeated Wake Forest by a 35-17 score last season.

Demon Deacons Defense Shines in Big Road Win

The Wake Forest Demon Deacons capitalized on their five interceptions en route to a 33-28 road victory over Indians last weekend. The Demon Deacons secondary was all over the fielder making five interceptions, one of which was returned for a touchdown. Quarterback John Wolford was solid connecting on 16 of 29 passes for 172 yards and one touchdown, and also rushed for 61 yards with two touchdowns. There was some questions if Wake Forest had a clear-cut starting quarterback, and Wolford’s play has answered those questions. The junior quarterback has thrown for two touchdowns with just one interception in the air, and has rushed for three touchdowns this season. Matt Colburn led the way on the ground, rushing for 103 yards, and has now rushed for over 100 yards in two straight games, after not seeing many carries in the first two weeks.

Nobody would have expected Wake Forest to start 4-0 and some credit has to be given to head coach Dave Clawson, who said he expects his team to play in a bowl game this year.  Wake Forest is averaging 25.5 points per game, ranking them 91st overall. The Wake Forest defense has been very impressive and has made huge strides from last year, currently conceding an average of 16.5 points per game, ranking them 20th in the Nation.

Wolfpack Flex Offensive Muscle in Home Win

The NC State Wolfpack enjoyed a bye week, and will look to pick up where they left off in their 49-22 home win over Dominion two weeks ago.  Ryan Finley was outstanding, throw just four incompletions, as he connected on 24 of 28 passes for 281 yards with three touchdowns. The sophomore quarterback is off to a great start to the season, throwing for over 700 yards with a dazzling 7:0 TD to INT ratio. Stephen Louis led all receivers with five catches for 80 yards, and the sophomore now leads his team with a total of 226 receiving yards. Senior running back Matthew Dayes led the way on the ground, rushing for 71 yards off 14 carries, good for an average of 5.1 yards per carry. The 5-foot-9 running back is off to a good start after rushing for 865 yards last season, rushing for 312 yards in three games, and he should surpass the 1000 yard mark this season. Through three games, NC State is averaging 42.3 points per game, ranking them 22nd overall.

The NC State defense was much better in the win over Old Dominion than it was in week two, limiting the Monarchs to 204 yards in the air and 117 yards on the ground. This is a defense that was 43rd in the country last season, but they are dealing with a few key losses, but overall their defense should be strong all year. The Wolfpack defense is conceding an average of 23 points per game, good for 50 overall.

Trends:

The Wake Forest Demon Deacons are:

  • 4-0 ATS last 4 road games.
  • 8-3 ATS last 11 following a bye week.

The NC State Wolfpack are:

  • 0-5 ATS last 5 following a SU win.
  • 2-8 ATS last 10 on grass.

I am taking the points with Wake Forest in this one. Wake Forest has been very impressive going 4-0 to start the season behind tremendous defensive play. Wake Forest was able to defeat Duke and Indiana on the road so I think they can keep this one very close. NC State does feature a solid offense but they have had an easy schedule so far, and I think these are two evenly matched teams and I will gladly take the nine points with Wake Forest.

Prediction: Wake Forest +9

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Adam Rauzino

Adam has been a sports fanatic his entire life, closely following hockey, baseball, basketball and football. Adam enjoys analyzing various stats, as well as studying Sabermetrics and analytics to take his picks to a whole new level. Adam has a passion for writing about about various sports as well as personal finance. He graduated with a diploma in business marketing and business finance.