The #22 NC State Wolfpack head on the road to battle the Boston College Eagles in ACC action on Saturday night. The Wolfpack extended their winning streak in a 24-17 home win over L.A. Tech in their latest action. The Eagles opened the conference portion of their schedule with a competitive loss against Clemson. These foes last met in 2019 in a game Boston College won 45-24.
NC State Targets Fourth Consecutive Victory
The NC State Wolfpack has only played one conference game so far and it was a good one. They earned the upset overtime home win against Clemson in late September. NC State followed with a 34-27 home win against L.A. Tech in a bout that had Wolfpack labeled as 17.5 point favorites. Their lone defeat of the season came in week two against Mississippi State.
Wolfpack QB Devin Leary is having a terrific season. The sophomore QB features a 9:0 TD to INT ratio in his last three games and has accrued 1283 passing yards accompanied by a 12:2 TD to INT ratio on the season. The Wolfpack’ has a few threats on the ground led by Zonovan Knight. The sophomore RB has surpassed the 100-yard mark in two games and has 462 yards on the year. Emeka Emezie has a good connection with QB Leary and has registered a team-best 369 receiving yards. The NC State offense can exploit opponents in the air and on the ground which is why they rank in the top 50 in most categories.
The Wolfpack defense has been their top strength in the 5-1 start. They held Clemson to 21 points, seven of which occurred in OT. The pass defense is tabbed 40th while the stellar rush defense is at 13th. Boston College will attempt to run plenty against that unit. NC State is scoring an average of 32.2 points, placing them 46th in the FBS. They are limiting foes to only 15.8 points, landing them 11th overall.
Boston College Falls to Clemson in First Defeat of Season
The Boston College Eagles are hungry for a win after their bye week. They went a perfect 4-0 in the non-conference portion of the schedule, however, they were 14.5 point dogs in a 19-13 road loss to #25 Clemson in their ACC opener two weeks ago. The Eagles have covered the points in four of their five games including a 45-28 road win against UMass.
The Eagles' #1 QB Phil Jurkovec is out for the season with a wrist injury and Dennis Grosel has posted mixed results in his place. The senior QB did manage to record over 300 passing yards against Clemson but tossed two interceptions. Grosel has tallied 788 passing yards with a 4:4 TD to INT ratio on the season.
Boston College will run plenty. Pat Garwo III has eclipsed 100 yards in two of his five games on the season and leads the team with 469 rushing yards. Zay Flowers is the Eagles' #1 WR. The junior has made a remarkable 15 catches in his last two games and is up to 345 receiving yards. The Boston College offense will likely need success in the air considering the Wolfpack outstanding rush defense.
The Eagles' defense has been terrific. They limited Clemson to only 207 passing yards and rank 30th against the pass and 45th against the run. Overall they haven’t been challenged by a whole lot by their opposition which includes wins against UMass and Temple. Boston College is averaging 35.6 points, good for 27th in the FBS. They are conceding an average of 16.8 points, landing then 17th overall.
Best Bets for this Game
Full-Game Side Bet
NC State has won three consecutive games including a win against Clemson. Boston College lost their ACC opener to Clemson two weeks ago before last week’s bye. Unfortunately for the Eagles, they are playing the remainder of the season without their #1 QB Phil Jurkovec which is a huge loss considering he is one of the better QBs in the ACC. Dennis Grosel has been mediocre in his spot but has a daunting task against a terrific Wolfpack defense. NC State is limiting foes to only 203 passing yards per game.
Furthermore, the Wolfpack offense is tough for opponents to contain thanks to their depth. QB Leary is sporting a dazzling 9:0 TD to INT ratio in his last three games, plus this team can run with success, averaging over 170 rushing yards per game. The absence of Jurkovec will be too much for this Boston College squad to overcome.
Full-Game Total Pick
I expect scoring to be at a premium in this matchup. The Boston College defense has no real flaws. Boston College will be forced to run frequently with no Jurkovec under center and the Wolfpack feature a stifling rush defense that stands 13th in the FBS.
In addition, the Eagles have a solid defense similar to the Wolfpack. They held Clemson to 19 points and are well above average against the pass and run. Boston College is only opting for the pass on 39% of their total plays which is one of the lowest percentages in the FBS, meaning running will take more time off the clock. The under is 5-1 in the last six meetings between these ACC rivals.
Full-Game Prop Bet
The under on the Boston College team total is a solid prop bet. Boston College QB Denis Grosel isn’t nearly as threatening as the injured Phil Jurkovec. He has tossed at least one INT in three straight games and was sacked four times in his latest game. The Wolfpack have allowed 24 or fewer points in four of their five games.
Half-Time Side Pick
I am going with Boston College on the halftime line. This is only the Wolfpack's second road game of the season and the first conference road game. NC State hasn’t been productive in the opening half where they are only averaging 11.8 points. The Eagles are holding foes to only 7.5 points in the first half this season.