Why You Need To Care
NC State and Wake Forest are meeting for the 109th time, the most common opponent for both programs. And both will be angling for postseason eligibility now that the second half of the season is about to begin. The Pack stumbled into its only bye week of 2015, losing consecutive games to Louisville and Virginia Tech to erase a 4-0 start. The up-and-down Deacons remain in rebuilding mode for second-year head coach, losing badly to North Carolina last Saturday, 50-14.
Why NC State Will Win
The Deacons are having all kinds of problems reaching the end zone, scoring more than 17 points in just one of the last six games. And while, yes, the Wolfpack has had its own problems since league play began, it still has a better backfield than Wake. State has the edge at quarterback and running back with Jacoby Brissett and Matt Dayes, respectively, and the Deacons are reeling after allowing 538 yards to Carolina a week ago.
Why Wake Forest Will Win
NC State hasn’t won in Winston-Salem since 2001, so it’ll battling recent history as well as the Deacons this weekend. And despite the poor showing in Chapel Hill a week ago, Wake Forest still ranks in the top 15 nationally in pass defense and top 30 overall. Linebackers Marquel Lee, Brandon Chubb and Hunter Williams will give fits to a shaky Wolfpack offensive line.
Player Who Matters
Lost in the two-game losing skid is the fact that the Wolfpack defense isn’t playing too poorly. The line, in particular, is standing out and will enjoy an edge against the Wake Forest front. Mike Rose, B.J. Hill and Justin Jones were solid against Louisville and Va Tech, a trend that ought to continue this week at BB&T Field.
What’s Going To Happen?
While Wake Forest has held serve at home this century, NC State did enough tweaking and resting over the past two weeks to turn things around. Both teams have issues, no doubt, but the Pack’s superior offensive backfield and defensive line will result in a close—and much-needed—road victory.
Prediction: NC State 27, Wake Forest 19