NC State vs. East Carolina fearless prediction and game preview.
NC State vs. East Carolina Broadcast
Date: Saturday, August 31
Game Time: 12:00 ET
Venue: Carter-Finley Stadium, Raleigh, NC
Network: ACC Network
NC State (0-0) vs. East Carolina (0-0) Game Preview
It’s a new era of East Carolina football with Mike Houston – the former James Madison coach whose team lost to NC State 24-13 last year – taking over a program that should be a whole lot better and stronger. There’s just enough firepower in place to make this interesting.
At least, it should be more interesting than last season’s 58-3 NC State win.
This is the only game against a Power Five team for the Pirates, while NC State gets a week off against Western Carolina before a showdown at West Virginia.
Why NC State Will Win
This isn’t the game to get too funky. NC State is getting the pieces in place, and this week, it’ll use the lines to control things on both sides of the ball.
The Wolfpack has to replace a whole slew of key parts from last year’s team, but the defensive front will still be a killer. It’ll get into the backfield on a regular basis, and there’s enough talent for a good rotation to dominate against a mediocre ECU offensive front.
The Pirates have to somehow find a running game early on this season, and while four starters might be back on the offensive line, it has to prove it can shove someone around. That’s not happening against this Pack D.
Why East Carolina Will Win
NC State is going through a bit of a personnel overhaul on the offensive side. The receiving corps is promising, and the passing game will be fine in time, but the experience isn’t there with QB Ryan Finley gone. The ECU D isn’t catching a break, but it’s not facing a finely-tuned machine.
As good as the State lines are going to be, the offensive front is all but starting over with three key starters gone. The new coaching staff knows how to bring the heat on a defense, and it’s going to take some chances from the start.
Seven starters return on the ECU O. The running game might be a big question mark, but the pass protection will be fine. There are just enough offensive weapons to make this interesting.
What’s Going To Happen
It’s not going to be anything pretty, but NC State will be effective. It’ll be a balanced offensive gameplan that shows off more of a running game, but the defensive side will be the star as it takes over in the second half.
ECU will have a few moments looking the part, but not enough of them. It’ll hit on a few big plays, but not enough of them.
NC State vs. East Carolina Prediction, Line
NC State 37, East Carolina 13
Line: NC State -17.5, o/u: 58
ATS Confidence out of 5: 3.5
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