NC State vs. North Carolina fearless prediction and game preview.
Date: Saturday, November 24
Game Time: 12:20 ET
Venue: Kenan Stadium, Chapel Hill, NC
Network: ACC Network
NC State (7-3) vs. North Carolina (2-8) Game Preview
One Reason Why NC State Will Win
There’s no North Carolina pass defense.
NC State’s ground game continues to be spotty – to be nice – with the O relying on Ryan Finley and a passing attack that’s hitting 350 yards without a problem over the last few weeks.
The Tar Heels are giving up 300 yards too easily, with Western Carolina hitting the mark last week, Duke’s Daniel Jones going off the week before, and Syracuse getting into a firefight in the overtime thriller.
The Wolfpack have to get Finley going right away and keep the pressure on all game long. The offense isn’t turning the ball over, the defensive front is great at getting behind the line, and the O dominates on third downs.
NC State leads the ACC in third down conversions, and the D is solid at coming up with stops. North Carolina doesn’t come up with clutch plays on either side of the ball.
One Reason Why North Carolina Will Win
And here comes the pass rush.
There are a whole lot of things UNC doesn’t do well, but it’s great at getting to the quarterback, with Jason Strowbridge leading the way for a group that’s good for a least three sacks per game lately.
Again, NC State doesn’t really run the ball, so it’s all about Finley trying to get things moving. The Tar Heels don’t have to sell out to get to him, but the line should be able to bother him just enough to make him worry.
The UNC offense is moving the ball. It’s struggling to score in key moments, and again, third downs are an issue, but the running game is okay and the dink-and-dunk passing eats up yards.
The team is overdue for a few good breaks against a decent team. In a rivalry game at home with nothing else to play for, the Tar Heels are dangerous.
What’s Going To Happen
North Carolina will once again push the boulder up the mountain, come close, and then see it fall down again.
The Tar Heels will hang around all game long. Finley will throw for his yards, but the Pack won’t be able to pull away as the UNC offense stays in range with a mild comeback after getting down early.
But then it’ll come time for one big play on one big drive, and NC State will come through, and in a microcosm of the season, North Carolina won’t.
More to the point, Finley will come through in the fourth quarter.
Fearless Prediction & Line
NC State 34, North Carolina 28
Line: NC State -7, o/u: 59.5
ATS Confidence out of 5: 2
Must See Rating: 3
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