These two teams will play on a short week after suffering different fates on Saturday. The Demon Deacons lost to a ranked Syracuse team and lost their starting quarterback for the season in the process. Meanwhile, NC State bounced back from consecutive defeats by throttling Florida State at home to become bowl eligible once again this year.
Hartman out for the season for Demon Deacons
Wake Forest was dealt a major blow in their 42-24 defeat against No.19 Syracuse over the weekend. The Demon Deacons jumped out to an early 10-0 lead, but had no answer for Syracuse’s run game, as the Orange racked up 264 rushing yards and five touchdowns on the ground. Freshman quarterback Sam Hartman completed 21 of 37 passes for 275 yards, two touchdowns and one interception, but also lost two fumbles on the day in another double-digit home loss. Greg Dortch caught nine passes for 95 yards and a touchdown, giving him 846 yards and six touchdowns through nine games this year. Hartman finished the game, but appeared to be playing through some pain and the team announced after the game that he will be forced to miss the remainder of the season with a leg injury. Hartman had started all nine games for the Demon Deacons, but became the 12th Wake Forest player to suffer a season-ending injury this year. He was 161 of 291 passing for 1,984 yards and 16 touchdowns during his first collegiate season.
Moving forward, the best bet to start under center for Wake Forest might be junior Kendall Hinton, who opened the year as the starting quarterback before a suspension opened the door for Hartman to take the starting job. Hinton eventually moved to wide receiver, but has appeared at quarterback in three games this year. During that time, he has run for 138 yards and a touchdown, but has only completed two of his eight attempts.
Kendall Hinton checks into the game at QB and breaks loose for a 53 yard gain down to the nine yard line! pic.twitter.com/5pP9RX43GS
— Wake Forest Football (@WakeFB) October 6, 2018
The Demon Deacons enter the week scoring 32.3 points per game, while averaging 453.4 yards of total offense per game.
Finley improving NFL Draft stock
North Carolina State managed to snap a two-game skid on Saturday, knocking off Florida State 48-27 behind a career day from freshman Ricky Person Jr., who scored three touchdowns on the day to help the Wolf Pack improve to 6-2 on the year. Quarterback Ryan Finley turned in a masterful performance versus the Seminoles, completing 21 of 27 passes for 240 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions on the day, while Jakobi Myers caught nine balls for 125 yards and a score to anchor NC State’s offensive attack. All in all, it was a clean performance for the Wolf Pack, who avoided turnovers, committed just two penalties through the first three quarters and allow no sacks on the day. The win will make NC State bowl eligible for a fifth consecutive season.
4 @PackFootball QBs in the NFL.
Will Ryan Finley be next? pic.twitter.com/XsoLX4AKGl
— CBS Sports Network (@CBSSportsNet) September 22, 2018
Finley came into the season as one of the top quarterback prospects in the 2019 NFL Draft and he has done little to hurt his status as one of the nation’s top players. He’s thrown for 2,490 yards, 16 touchdowns and six interceptions as a senior, while taking a mere four sacks and completing a career-best 67.8 percent of his 292 pass attempts this season. After a lackluster performance against Clemson, Finley has rebounded to throw for 713 yards, six touchdowns and just one pick over his last two games.
NC State is scoring 32.5 points per game so far this season, while allowing just 25.5 points per game on the other side of the football. They are averaging 457 yards per game this season — 70 percent of which has come through the air.
- Wolfpack are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 Thursday games.
- Home team is 18-4 ATS in their last 22 meetings.
- Demon Deacons are 2-9 ATS in their last 11 games overall.
- Demon Deacons are 1-5 ATS in their last 6 conference games.
Updated on Nov 8 at 11:35am EST
Update prepared by our editoral staff
Public Money / Line Movements
71% of the tickets written have been on the Wolfpack and they have gone from -15 to -19.
Wake is missing starting QB Sam Hartman and backup QB Kendall Hinton is questionable. Both are affecting this line.
Injury / Weather Report
No Weather Issues Expected
Wake Forest’s Impact Injury Report:
Staring QB Sam Hartman is OFY and backup QB Kendall Hinton is questionable.
LB DJ Taylor (31 tackles, 1.5 sacks) is questionable.
NC State’s Impact Injury Report:
WR Stephen Louis (154 Yards) is OFY, while DB Nick McCloud (37 Tackles, 1 INT) is questionable.
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
The Demon Deacons have yet to show they can beat a good team this season. The three FBS teams they’ve defeated — Tulane, Rice and Louisville — entered the weekend with a combined record of 6-19. With the loss versus the Wolf Pack, Wake Forest fell to 0-3 against Top-25 opponents, losing all three at home by at least 17 points apiece. Whether Hinton or Newman end up under center, the Demon Deacons passing game is likely going to take a step back here. That is going to put more pressure on their run game to move the chains, which could be a difficult proposition against a defense that has allowed just 91.6 rush yards per game this season. NC State bounced back with a convincing win last week, so look for them to build on their momentum by covering the spread at home against a banged up Wake Forest team.
Prediction: Pick: NC State Wolf Pack -17
Full-Game Total Pick
The under is 17-1-1 in NC State’s last 19 Thursday games and with Wake Forest playing without its best passing quarterback, the Demon Deacons could struggle on offense in this game. Neither Newman or Hinton is a real threat to move the ball consistently through the air and NC State features on the of top run defenses in the nation, which is going to put a lot of pressure on the Demon Deacons quarterback(s) to perform well in this spot. I don’t see that happening here. Take the under in this ACC battle at Carter-Finley Stadium on Thursday night.