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It’s an Atlantic Division matchup from the ACC in the Bluegrass State. The NC State Wolfpack is on the road as they travel to face the Louisville Cardinals Saturday afternoon. NC State was knocked off 27-23 by Wake Forest at home last Thursday in their previous contest. Louisville was trounced 54-23 on the road by Syracuse last Friday in their last contest. The Cardinals lead the all-time series between the teams 5-2 but it was the Wolfpack taking a 39-25 win at home in the last matchup on October 5, 2017.
NC State Wolfpack Seeking to Get Back on Track
NC State battled but suffered their third loss in four games as they were knocked off by Wake Forest. The Wolfpack now tries to regroup and get back in the win column here after falling to 3-3 in conference play. NC State led 6-0 after one quarter, 13-3 at the half and took a 23-13 advantage with 14:53 to play in the game. The Wolfpack gave up two touchdowns in the final 6:07, including the game-winning score with 30 seconds to play. NC State was outgained 435-421 in the game despite holding a narrow 23-22 edge in first downs and a slim 31:48 to 28:12 margin in time of possession. Both teams committed one turnover in the game. The Wolfpack is 4-5 ATS this season with the under going 5-4 in their contests.
THIS ONE-HANDED SNAG IS 🔥 pic.twitter.com/nkKj64FwG7
— ESPN CollegeFootball (@ESPNCFB) November 9, 2018
The Wolfpack is 6th in the FBS in passing offense with an average of 328.6 yards per game while ranking 113th in rushing by putting up 124.4 yards per contest. NC State is 46th in the nation in scoring offense with 31.4 points per game and stand 57th in scoring defense as they allow 25.7 points per contest. Ryan Finley is 233 of 334 passing for 2,864 yards with 17 touchdowns against seven interceptions. Thayer Thomas hit his lone pass for 56 yards. In the run game, Reggie Gallaspy II leads the team with 152 carries for 590 yards and nine scores. Ricky Person Jr. (72 carries, 314 yards, two TD) is the next back in line for the Wolfpack. When NC State goes to the air, Kelvin Harmon leads the team with 65 grabs for 965 yards and five scores. Emeka Ekezie (33 receptions, 444 yards, four TD), Jakobi Meyers (62 catches, 658 yards, two TD) and Thomas (24 grabs, 288 yards, two TD) are big threats as well. Christopher Dunn has hit all 32 extra points and 17 of 20 field goals with a long of 44 this season.
Louisville Cardinals Turn the Page on the Petrino Era
Louisville was trounced by Syracuse on the road last week to suffer their seventh straight defeat. The Cardinals had seen enough and the university dismissed Bobby Petrino after the loss. In his place as the interim coach for the final two games is Lorenzo Ward. He inherits a team that has sputtered mightily down the stretch. Louisville was down 7-0 after the opening quarter but was outscored 30-7 in the second quarter to turn the game into a rout. The Cardinals were outgained 518-413 in the contest, gave up 23 first downs while picking up 18 and owned a 30:31 to 29:29 advantage in time of possession. Louisville turned the ball over four times while forcing three takeaways: they set Syracuse up on six scoring drives that started inside the Cardinals 45 yard line. Louisville is 1-9 ATS on the year and the over is 7-3 in those contests.
"The spirit will be up."
— LouisvilleFootball (@UofLFootball) November 14, 2018
The Cardinals are 72nd in the FBS with 229.7 yards per game through the air this and 115th by putting up 121.8 yards a contest on the ground. Louisville is a lousy 117th in the FBS in scoring offense by averaging 21.7 points per game on the year last season. The defense is dismal this season, ranking 126th by giving up 42.2 points a contest. Jawon Pass (157 of 289, 1893 yards, eight TD, 11 INT, 90 rushing yards, two TD) has been the starter most of the year but his inconsistency got him the hook earlier this season. Malik Cunningham (27 of 45, 319 yards, TD, INT, team-high 308 rushing yards, three TD) has seen action but is dealing with a head injury that has him questionable here. The running back by committee approach is centered around Dae Williams (22 carries, 71 yards, two TD), Trey Smith (50 carries, 263 yards, four TD) and Colin Wilson (30 carries, 130 yards, TD) this season. Jaylen Smith (31 receptions, team-high 463 yards, TD) is back as the #1 target. He’ll get support from Dez Fitzpatrick (29 catches, 407 yards, three TD) and Seth Dawkins (21 grabs, 271 yards, TD) in the passing game. Blanton Creque (25 of 28 extra points, eight of nine field goals with a long of 46) is a reliable weapon in the kicking game.
- Cardinals are 0-5 ATS in their last 5 conference games
- Cardinals are 0-4 ATS in their last 4 games after allowing more than 40 points in their previous game
- Cardinals are 0-5 ATS in their last 5 games following a straight up loss of more than 20 points
- Wolfpack are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games after accumulating less than 100 yards rushing in their previous game
- Wolfpack are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games after accumulating more than 280 yards passing in their previous game
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
As much as NC State has struggled with three losses in their last four games, Louisville has been atrocious of late. Seven straight losses has buried the Cardinals in irrelevance and led to Petrino being dismissed. Louisville has been shredded repeatedly and there’s little reason to think that things will turn around here. NC State has a dynamic offense with a dangerous passing game to work with. Finley to Harmon is more than enough for the Wolfpack in this contest. Look for NC State to cruise to the victory here and send Louisville to an eighth straight defeat.
Prediction: NC State Wolfpack -16.5
Full-Game Total Pick
Louisville has been shredded defensively all season long. The Cardinals have given up at least 401 yards of offense in eight of their 10 games this season and their low water mark in the last five games is 430 yards allowed. In each of the other four games in that stretch, they’ve allowed at least 536 yards of offense. The Cardinals have given up 291 points in their last five games, which is absolutely atrocious. NC State has to be salivating as they try to get back in the win column. Can the Wolfpack be the latest team to decimate the Cardinals defense?
The over is 6-0 in Louisville’s last six overall, 5-0 in their last 5 games on fieldturf, 6-0 in their last 6 games following a straight up loss, 5-0 in their last 5 games following an ATS loss and 5-0 in their last 5 games after allowing more than 200 yards rushing in their previous game. Given the way the Cardinals have hanged out points like party favors lately, the Wolfpack should easily push this one over the total.
Prediction: Over 63.5