NC State (3-6) at Boston College (5-4) Nov. 16, 12:30, ESPN3
Why You Should Give A Hoot: Boston College is thrilled to be back on the Heights after getting a scare from New Mexico State in Las Cruces last week. The Eagles were lackluster and lackadaisical, especially on defense, but wound up escaping with a 48-34 win that brought them within a victory of bowl eligibility in Steve Addazio's first year on the sidelines. NC State has yet to win an ACC game, joining Virginia as the only team with that distinction. After falling to Duke, the Wolfpack is now 0-for-3 against in-state rivals, making for a very rough debut in Dave Doeren's debut in Raleigh. The Pack has been close at times, but unable to break through and win in the fourth quarter of tight games.
Why NC State Might Win: The Pack has an underrated defense that's too often saddled with an offense that turns the ball over and can't convert on third down. State has plenty of potential in the front seven, led by veteran linemen Art Norman and Thomas Teal and LB Robert Caldwell. With a little more help from the other side of the ball, the Pack is capable of keeping Boston College in check.
Why Boston College Might Win: State's offensive problems, especially the passing game, run very deep. They'll run even deeper once Andre Williams starts plowing through the line. The senior has been a revelation this season, leading the country with 1,471 yards and 12 touchdowns on the ground. Williams is the kind of workhorse who'll wear down opposing defenses, and set up QB Chase Rettig to find Alex Amidon on play-action.
Who To Watch Out For: Part of the problem in Raleigh is an O-line that's gotten mauled all season long at the point of attack. The Pack can't keep opposing defenders out of the backfield, which will be a problem when attempting to stop DE Kasim Edebali and linebackers Kevin Pierre-Louis and Steele Divitto.
- Doeren is done rotating quarterbacks for now. For better or worse, this is Brandon Mitchell's game from behind center.
- Edebali continues to play his way into the minds of NFL scouts. The senior from Hamburg, Germany has used his quickness and improved technique to collect 8.5 sacks and three forced fumbles.
What Will Happen: Bowl eligibility is a very big deal for Boston College, which won just two games last year. The Eagles are not only the better team, but they've got the added motivation of playing their way into the postseason in front of the Alumni Stadium crowd. With Williams doing most of the heavy lifting, they'll barrel into a December bonus game.
Prediction: Boston College 31 … NC State 17
CFN's Take: NC State vs. Boston College
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