UConn will be trying to play a more competitive game when it travels to No. 12 NC State on Saturday night. The Huskies are coming off consecutive blowout losses to Syracuse and No. 4 Michigan, which is why they are 39-point underdogs in this game. NC State has looked excellent through the first three weeks of the season, including a 27-14 win over Texas Tech last week.
Huskies lose starting running back following blowout lossUConn put together a promising performance in its first game of the season, easily covering the 24-point spread in a 31-20 loss at Utah State. The Huskies added a 28-3 win over Central Connecticut in their second game, but they have looked terrible since then. They were blown out by Syracuse, 48-14, two weeks ago, and they failed to score a point in a 59-0 loss to Michigan last week. UConn took an additional hit in that game, as running back Nate Carter sprained his shoulder and is going to miss this contest. Head coach Jim Mora moved freshman defensive back Cam Edwards to running back to give his team some additional depth at that position.
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Full Episode: https://t.co/GPOIHTVd4N#HuskyRevolution pic.twitter.com/8FnFHoKObQ
The Huskies certainly need their running game to produce, as they had just 24 passing yards against Michigan, marking the fewest for the team since 2018. Their offense now ranks No. 124 out of 131 FBS teams in yards per game this season. Carter has 405 rushing yards on the season, with the next-best running back at 80 yards (Brian Brewton), so his absence is a key factor in this game. Freshman quarterback Zion Turner completed 4 of 16 passes for 17 yards last week, and he has now completed just over 50% of his passes on the season. He is facing an NC State defense that is off to a strong start, ranked No. 30 in total defense.
NC State coming off another easy winNC State is off to an extremely promising start this season, which is why the Wolfpack have climbed to No. 12 in the polls. They opened the year with a gutsy road win at East Carolina before taking care of business in a 55-3 win over FCS Charleston Southern at home. Their best performance of the young season came last week in a 27-14 victory over Texas Tech. This will be the team’s final game until it faces No. 5 Clemson in a huge showdown on the road next week. NC State has relied primarily on its defense this season, as it ranks No. 86 in team offense.
Junior quarterback Devin Leary has completed 59.3% of his passes for 570 yards, five touchdowns and one interception. His top targets have been senior wide receiver Thayer Thomas sophomore running back Demie Sumo-Karngbaye, who have each tallied 102 receiving yards. Sumo-Karngbaye has arguably been the most impactful player on offense, as he has rushed for 203 yards and two touchdowns as well. He will be facing a UConn defense that is No. 108, allowing 428.5 yards per game. The Wolfpack have found a defensive star in the form of cornerback Aydan White, who had two interceptions against Texas Tech, returning one of them for a touchdown. He became the first NC State cornerback with two picks in a game since 2014, earning Walter Camp National Defensive Player of the Week honors.
Best Bets for this Game
Full-Game Side Bet
This spread looks massive—because it is—but I no longer have interest in backing UConn as I did in Week 0. The Huskies are starting to look like the worst team in the country again, getting blown out by Syracuse and Michigan in back-to-back weeks. They are now hurting as well, with their starting running back set to miss this game. That was the last thing they could afford, as there is a huge drop-off to their second-string back, and their passing game has been non-existent of late. NC State has a ton of momentum entering this game, so this is shaping up to be another ugly loss for the Huskies.
Full-Game Total Pick
I rarely want to parlay the under with a huge favorite that I like to cover, but that is going to be the case in this spot. UConn might end up having the worst offense in college football this season (hello, Iowa), especially with Carter sidelined. He had been the only player producing for UConn on that side of the ball, so I do not have high hopes for an offense that threw for 24 yards last week. NC State is not an explosive offense either, although the Wolfpack will look like one at times in this game. The total is accounting for 10 UConn points, but I don’t see the Huskies scoring more than a fluky field goal on Saturday.