North Carolina State football travels to play South Alabama (2-1) Saturday to conclude the non-conference portion of their schedule. The Wolfpack (3-0) come into the game riding a three-game winning streak, and winners of their last six games, dating back to last season.
NC State ranks second nationally in total defense, with just 188.3 yards allowed per game. They were especially stingy last week, giving up only 148 yards of total offense and -3 rushing yards against Old Dominion en route to a 38-14 victory. The Wolfpack offense has been equally good, making their money establishing an almost perfect balance on offense.
September 26 • Mobile, Alabama. • Ladd-Peebles Stadium (40,000) • ESPNews • 8 p.m. (EST)
Tale of the tape
NC State South Alabama
3-0 …… Record…………2-1
Atlantic Coast…Conference ……..Sun Belt
4-2-5 ………Defense ………..4-2-5
442.7 …..Total Off/Gm……..417.0
235.3 ..Rushing Yds/Gm….161.3
207.3 ..Passing Yds/Gm….255.7
188.3 ……Total Off/Gm……..391.7
51.0 ….Rush Yds./Gm……191.7
137.3 ..Passing Yds/Gm….200.0
(Stats provided by the NC State Athletic Department)
Senior quarterback Jacoby Brissett has been very efficient in the first three games. The redshirt senior has a .778 completion percentage, ranking him third in the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS). Expect to see his accuracy on display again Saturday.
The rushing attack got a key element back last week when Shadrach Thornton returned to action, the running back broke out last week with 18 carries for 92 yards and a touchdown. Running backs Matt Dayes and fullback Jaylen Samuels will continue the ground dominance for the Wolfpack.
Three-and-out is the name of the game for the Wolfpack defense. The defense has made a living getting teams off the field on the “money down.” NC State is second in the nation in defensive three-and-outs (22). The defensive unit should be able to keep South Alabama behind the chains to get off the field and let the offense go to work.
Bold and not so bold predictions
First, the not so bold – NC State will defeat South Alabama 49-14.
The Wolfpack will amass over 450 yards of total offense, which is on par with what they’ve been doing all year.
Don’t expect to see South Alabama to rack up on total yards. The NC State defense will be stingy as they have been all year, holding the Jaguars to under 225 yards of total offense.
Moving to the bold predictions, the Wolfpack defense will not allow more than 50 rushing yards.
Brissett will have only one incompletion the entire first half on at least 18 attempts, and will have four touchdown passes for the game.
Bra’Lon Cherry will have over 200 yards of total offense. Cherry will score on a punt return, and will amass over 100 yards in the punt return phase. Cherry will also have a breakout game with 100 receiving yards and a touchdown.