Louisville Cardinals (4-1 SU, 1-4-0 PS, 3-2-0 O/U) vs NC State Wolfpack (4-1 SU, 1-4-0 PS, 3-2-0 O/U)
When: 8:00 PM EDT, Thursday, October 5, 2017
Where: Carter-Finley Stadium in Raleigh, North Carolina
Lines: Louisville -2.5
Thursday evening college football action and a pair of teams from the ACC will square off as the Louisville Cardinals rumble with the NC State Wolfpack at Carter-Finley Stadium in Raleigh, North Carolina. The Cardinals enter off a 55-10 win over Murray State, while the Wolfpack are off a 33-25 home win over Syracuse. These teams met last year in Louisville and the Cardinals won that game by a score of 54-13. Can the Wolfpack get some revenge?
Jackson Leads Cardinals To Rout Of Murray State
A couple of weeks ago, Lamar Jackson had a bit of a rough outing in a loss to the Clemson Tigers, but he then bounced back in their 42-3 rout of Kent State and then last week he had an even bigger game in their 55-10 rout of Murray State. In the win over Murray State, he hit 18 of 26 passes for 249 yards and three TDs, while also rushing for 100 yards and a TD on just seven carries. Jackson has hit 64% of his passes for 1636 yards with 13 TDs and just three INTs on the year, while also rushing for 437 yards and five TDs as well. The Last two weeks he has faced very weak defenses and now will be facing an NC State squad that has one of the best defensive lines in the nation, but he did throw for 355 yards and three TDs, while also rushing for 76 yards and a TD against the Wolfpack last year. This should be fun to watch. The defense really struggled in their loss to Clemson as they allowed 613 yards and 47 points in that game, but the last two weeks they have now allowed 13 total points and 230 yards of total offense. Last week they allowed just 80 total yards to Murray State, but they will be facing a much better offensive team this week so that defense will be tested in this one.
The Cardinals have been very strong on offense so far this year as they come in ranked 5th in the nation in total offense (575.4 ypg), 7th in passing (365.2 ypg), 37th in rushing (210.2 ypg) and 23rd in scoring at 20.0 ppg. On defense, they have been solid so far as they come in ranked 32nd in total yards allowed (318.0 ypg), 56th against the pass (213.0 ypg) and 23rd vs the run (105.0 ypg), while allowing 24.6 ppg, which is 63rd in the nation.
NC State Holds Off A Game Orange Squad
The NC State Wolfpack were in a dangerous spot when they took on the Syracuse Orange this past week as they were just coming off a huge road win over NC State. That was a clear letdown spot for them, but they came out fired up and built a 26-7 at the half. The 2nd half was a different story as the Orange outscored them 18-7 in 2nd half to make the final 33-25. NC State escaped as a much-improved Syracuse squad just fought till the end. The Wolfpack only outgained them by 18 yards in the contest, but they did finally get their ground game going as they rumbled for 256 yards in the game. Nyheim Hines led the attack with 115 yards rushing and one TD in the contest, while Jaylen Samuels had 74 yards and a TD. Ryan Finley had a decent, but not spectacular game as he his 20 of 33 passes for 186 yards and a TD. They will need balance on their offense if they hope to keep pace with the high-scoring Cardinals in this one. The strength of the Wolfpack is their defense and it will be tested in this one as the Cardinals are the best offense they have faced so far. Their defensive line is very strong and they held Syracuse to just 59 yards rushing last week, but they also allowed 385 yards passing and Jackson has some very impressive Passing numbers this year. Last year, Jackson threw for 355 yards on them and that will have to change this year if the Wolfpack hope for the win.
North Carolina State enters this contest ranked 32nd in the nation in total offense (462.0 ypg), 24th in passing (293.0 ypg), 62nd in rushing (169.0 ypg) and 43rd in scoring at 34.8 ppg. On defense, they have been decent as they come in ranked 62nd in total yards allowed (370.4 ypg), 115th against the pass (284.8 ypg) and 6th vs the run (85.6 ypg), while allowing just 23.4 ppg, which is 55th in the nation.
- 21-7 ATS in their last 28 road games vs. a team with a winning home record
- 4-1 ATS in their last five games on grass.
NC State is:
- 2-5 ATS in their last seven home games vs. a team with a winning road record
- 1-4 ATS in their last five games on grass
Last year, Louisville crushed NC State, but this is a much better team, especially on the defensive side of the ball and the Cardinals did struggle with a very good Clemson defense. Still, the offense is back to rolling and I look for Jackson to have a nice game in this one against a tough NC State defense, which did struggle against the pass last week in their win over Syracuse. They allowed 385 yards in that game and Jackson threw for 355 yards on them last year. The NC State offense has been very good so far, but I just don’t see them scoring enough to win this game. Jackson nets the advantage over Finley and I still feel that the Cardinals have an edge on defense. Look for at least a six-point win by Louisville in this one.
The Louisville Cardinals have an explosive offense, with one of the best QBs in the nation, while the Wolfpack has been very solid on offense so far. The Wolfpack have averaged 34.8 ppg, while Louisville has put up 40.0 ppg, but this will not be a game built solely on offense as the defenses are capable of shutting down the offenses. Louisville comes in allowing just 281.7 ypg and 20 ppg in their last three games, while NC State has allowed just 385 ypg and 20.7 ppg in their last three games. I just can’t see the offenses going too crazy in this one and we are helped by the fact that the Under has gone 16-1-1 in NC State’s last 18 games on Thursday and that is a very tough trend to buck. Take the Under in this one.