NC State football schedule predictions and early game-by-game preview for 2016. Projecting how the Wolfpack will do this year.
It’s a huge season for the future of the program and head coach Dave Doeren. Is the Wolfpack schedule decent enough for State to come up with a good campaign? Check out the NC State football schedule predictions for every game.
Sept. 1 vs. William & Mary
It’s not just a normal warm-up game for the Wolfpack. The Tribe gave Virginia all it could handle last season in a 35-29 loss, and they were strong enough to get into the second round of the FCS playoffs. State’s ground game should be just solid enough to not blow the season’s potential right out of the gate.
Preseason Prediction: NC State 37, William & Mary 20
Sept. 10 at East Carolina
The power game has to kick in for the Pack. The Pirates should be better offensively, but the Wolfpack’s running attack will come through for the second straight game in a good fight and test.
Preseason Prediction: NC State 37, East Carolina 23
Sept. 17 vs. Old Dominion
It’s a veteran Monarch team, but this is where the Wolfpack attack should open it up a bit. After two struggles to kick things off, finally the team gets a nice breather before a way-too-early bye week to prepare for the ACC season.
Preseason Prediction: NC State 44, Old Dominion 17
Oct. 1 vs. Wake Forest
The Demon Deacon defense should keep the game from getting out of hand, but the rested Wolfpack will look terrific at home. It might take a little while to get the offense going, but there won’t be too much of a battle in the fourth quarter after grinding the way to a decent second half lead.
Preseason Prediction: NC State 30, Wake Forest 17
Oct. 8 vs. Notre Dame
With a slew of upsets being a part of the mix, all of a sudden NC State will be the only unbeaten team remaining in the ACC Atlantic. That’ll end here. The Pack’s run defense will do just enough to keep the Irish from roaring, but the offense will make too many key mistakes in a late rally.
Preseason Prediction: Notre Dame 26, NC State 20
Oct. 15 at Clemson
The great performance by last year’s Pack attack will seem like a distant memory. Clemson has owned the series over the years – winning 11 of the last 12 – and should have few problems at home getting an extra day to prepare after facing Boston College on a Friday the week before. The Tigers will look the part.
Preseason Prediction: Clemson 38, NC State 14
Oct. 22 at Louisville
For the second straight game, NC State will face a team with an extra day off to prepare. For a Louisville squad trying to get through the focus part of the schedule – Clemson and FSU will already be done – it’ll take about a half before taking over at home. A late State touchdown won’t be enough.
Preseason Prediction: Louisville 27, NC State 21
Oct. 29 vs Boston College
This will be yet another close, tough game for the Wolfpack with the defenses taking over. It’ll be a game for the State front lines with a grinding ground game controlling the game and the clock throughout. BC will hang around, but won’t be able to take the lead.
Preseason Prediction: NC State 28, Boston College 20
Nov. 5 vs. Florida State
Can State finally get its season going with a key win over the Noles to start out November? Nope. The game won’t get out of hand, but FSU will outclass the Pack from the start on both sides of the ball. The Seminole defense will give up field goals early – NC State’s TD won’t come until the second half.
Preseason Prediction: Florida State 35, NC State 16
Nov. 12 at Syracuse
Losing to Florida State will sting, and dropping games to Clemson and Louisville on the road won’t be a shocker, but this one will hurt. Syracuse will come up with an inspired effort at home a week after losing at Clemson, getting the offense rolling in the fourth quarter to break things open late and get into a position to get bowl eligible.
Preseason Prediction: Syracuse 37, NC State 31
Nov. 19 vs. Miami
Enough is enough. Miami will be the class of the Coastal, and it’ll end up playing for the ACC title, but NC State will be very, very grouchy after losing at Syracuse. Needing a win to get bowl eligible, the Pack will get it thanks to a huge day from the defense that’ll force several key takeaways.
Preseason Prediction: NC State 24, Miami 13
Nov. 26 at North Carolina
NC State will come up with several great drives that go nowhere. The Tar Heel attack will sputter a few times, but a big play from the special teams, and one huge pass play in the third quarter, will be just enough to take control and win the rivalry game at home.
Preseason Prediction: North Carolina 30, NC State 17
2016 Prediction: 6-6
2016 ACC Prediction: 3-5