Wake Forest vs NC State : The Wolfpack have been hit hard over the last three games once the teams that could throw kicked in. Clemson throwing for 380 yards? Okay, fine. And Syracuse got into a firefight with the Wolfpack, throwing for 480 yards and three scores. But …
Florida State? NC State won, but Seminole QB James Blackman stepped in and chucked for 421 yards and four scores.
Date: Thursday, November 8
Game Time: 7:30 ET
Venue: Carter-Finley Stadium, Raleigh, NC
For all of the problems Wake Forest has, it’s been able to move the chains in a variety of ways, with the running game taking over at times.
The offense rumbled over Louisville for 368 yards and five scores a few weeks ago, and it’s been able to crank out big yards against Boston College and Notre Dame, too, when it’s been able to commit to the ground game.
NC State has a good run defense, but that’s partly because everyone has spent so much time throwing. The Demon Deacons will first try to get the air show going against the Pack secondary, but …
Wake Forest starting quarterback Sam Hartman is out for the year with a leg injury.
In a rough year for a team blasted by injuries, Hartman turned into a find. A baller, the freshman was able to keep the balanced offense going, but he’s done, and now it’ll be up to Jamie Newman to try keeping up the pace. He’s a big bomber – especially compared to Hartman – but he has only completed 7-of-15 passes for 75 yards an a pick so far. He can run, a little but, but he’s going to have to match up with what Ryan Finley and the State offense are doing.
On fire, Finley followed up his 473-yard day in the loss to Syracuse with a razor-sharp three touchdown performance against Florida State. Now he gets to bomb away against Wake Forest pass defense that’s been a disaster so far.
Unlike the NC State defense that gives up big passing yards but nothing on the ground, the Demon Deacons get hammered by decent running games, too.
The Wolfpack can score and move the ball any way they want to.
Newman and the Wake Forest offense will be fine, but it won’t be able to keep up after Finley and the Pack get rolling.
At home in the national spotlight, the big plays will come from the start. The NFL types know all about Finley, but this is a chance for the rest of the country to see what he can do, along with WR Kelvin Harmon.
It’ll be tight for a while as both offenses move up and down the field, and then the NC State pass rush will take over and overwhelm the Wake Forest backfield to pull away.
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