On Saturday, November 1, the NC State Wolfpack will head up north to take on the Syracuse Orange in the Carrier Dome at 3 pm. Both teams will be looking to gain some sort of momentum heading into the latter part of the season, and both will look to use this game as a way to harness this momentum. Syracuse has opened up ACC play at 1-3 en route to sub-.500 record of 3-5 overall. Coming off a fairly well played game against Clemson, Syracuse has four games left on their schedule, and if they want any chance at advancing to a Bowl Game, this should be considered a must win game. With a loss, the Orange would have to win out to play in a Bowl, which would be no easy task with their remaining schedule. That makes a win on Saturday necessary. The Orange should look to exploit an NC State defense struggling to stop anybody right now, as they are allowing upwards of 187 yards per game on the ground over the course of the season. The Orange rushing attack, led by Prince-Tyson Gulley, should be able to do some damage against this weak Wolfpack defense. Syracuse will continue to face difficulties without Senior QB Terrel Hunt, who has missed the last 3 games due to injury. He is the team’s leading passer and was the leading rusher for Syracuse up until his injury. Syracuse will continue to have problems without Hunt’s abilities and leadership on the field, but the offense should perform well against NC State on Saturday.
Meanwhile, North Carolina State is coming off a much needed bye week before this matchup. After starting the season 4-0, the Wolfpack have started ACC play in the worst way possible, as they have yet to pick up a win against any ACC opponents. They started very well against Florida State in the ACC opener, but since the first quarter of that game, NC State has been outscored a whopping 120-31. The team just overall has been disappointing since jumping out to a 24 to 7 lead in that game, as they followed that loss with a humiliating loss at Clemson, then losses to Boston College and at Louisville. While the schedule has not been easy for NC State, the Wolfpack have performed extremely poorly, and have looked slow and sloppy throughout ACC play. Coming off the bye week, however, NC State should be reenergized to face an easier schedule to round out the year. For head coach Dave Doeren, who has yet to win a single ACC game in his short tenure at State, has to somehow inspire this team to win some games down the stretch. It starts on Saturday with Syracuse. Needing two wins to get into a bowl, this is a huge game for the young Wolfpack team. They will look to Jacoby Brissett to ignite a fire in this team and lead them to victory. NC State’s offense starts with the three-headed rushing attack of Shadrach Thornton, Matt Dayes, and and Tony Creecy, who each average around 6 yards per carry. However, even if Brissett and these guys can get the offense going, the Pack will only win if their defense can manage to get some stops on 3rd down and get the ball to the offense. This is something that State has struggled with in ACC play, and if it continues, NC State could be in for another disappointing game.
Overall, in what could be called a must win game for both teams playing on Saturday, The Wolfpack and the Orange should provide a close and evenly matched game. Look for both teams to come out aggressive and try to get the upper hand early, but neither team to take complete control. NC State should be well prepared coming off a bye week, but playing on the road against a Syracuse team that has played solid defense to this point, there will be a little too much for NC State to overcome.
PREDICTION: Syracuse 31, NC State 28
TV- Regional Coverage
Start Time- 3 PM Eastern
Date- November 1st
Location- Syracuse, NY