South Alabama (1-1) at NC State (1-1) Sept. 15, 6:00, ESPN3
Here's The Deal: It was not a thing of beauty, but last Saturday's win at Connecticut might have saved NC State's 2012 season. The Wolfpack have not executed well through two games, especially on offense, but slipping past the Huskies, 10-7, was a huge step for a team that opened the year with a deflating loss to Tennessee in the Chick-fil-A Kickoff. South Alabama is two games into its transitional season as a member of the Sun Belt Conference, evening its record with last Saturday's 9-3 win over Nicholls State in Mobile.
Why South Alabama Might Win: After allowing just a field goal in Week 2, the Jaguars are aiming to keep NC State out of sync on offense. They'll pressure a leaky Wolfpack O-line that just got schooled for six sacks in East Hartford with a combination of DE Pat Moore and LB Jake Johnson.
Why NC State Might Win: After failing to reach the end zone against an FCS team, it's hard to like South Alabama's chances of outscoring an ACC team. For all of his early troubles, Mike Glennon remains a future NFL quarterback, and a deep ensemble of backs will have room to run. The D had three sacks, three picks and kept Connecticut off the scoreboard for the first 53 minutes.
What To Watch Out For: Glennon has to get on track. And he has to do it now. The senior has thrown just two touchdowns and four picks, in part because his protection has been awful. This week needs to be a turning for the Pack, which is hoping that LT Rob Crisp can return after missing last week's game with an injury.
What Will Happen: NC State has some pent-up frustration that it plans to release in the direction of South Alabama. The Pack isn't happy with the way it's played on either side of the ball this month. A visit from the Jaguars will allow the team to address its problems and improve its mood. With more time to throw, Glennon will break out of his slump to throw for three scores.
CFN Prediction: NC State 45 … South Alabama 7
ATS Consultants Line (Click for more lines and picks) NC State -32 O/U: 50.5
Must Watch Rating (5 – Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark in IMAX, 1 – Go On): 1.5
CFN's Take: NC State vs. South Alabama
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