NC State vs. Virginia Game Preview

After surviving last weekend in Durham against the Duke Blue Devils, NC State welcomes the Virginia Cavaliers to Raleigh. In a game critical for both teams, here's a preview from StateFans.

The Game: NC State (6-3, 3-2 ACC) vs. Virginia (5-3, 3-2 ACC) November 1st @ 3:30 PM

Location: Raleigh, North Carolina -- Carter-Finley Stadium (51,500)

Saturday's Forecast: Should be a nice day in Raleigh with partly cloudy skies and a high of 80 degrees. 0% chance of precipitation with virtually no winds.

TV/Radio Coverage: The Game is regionally televised on ABC Sports. Dr. Jerry Punch calls the play-by-play, while Mike Mayock provides the color commentary. It's being broadcast locally via the radio on the Wolfpack Radio Sports Network.

Vegas Line: NC State PK O/U: 52.5

Game Coverage

- Wetsell: I Once Was a UVA Fan
- ACC Game Previews
- Cavs, Pack Ready for Shootout in Raleigh
- 10/28/03: Coaches Corner Recap with Dick Portee
- Press Conference: UVA Coach Al Groh Discusses NC State
- Wahoo Weekly

Injury Updates

NC State

OG Ricky Fowler - Subluxed Kneecap, ACL Sprain (Arthroscopic Surgery on 10/12)
DB Lamont Reid - Shoulder TB Josh Brown - Hip Flexor/Lower Abdominal Strain
DB Greg Golden – Turf Toe

RB T.A. McLendon - Knee

OT Chris Colmer - Parsonage Turner Syndrome
WR Sterling Hicks - Torn ACL (surgery, 10/9)
DE Renaldo Moses - Torn ACL, MCL; surgery in three weeks
WR Richard Washington – Cracked Ribs
OG Ashley Wingate – Broken Leg


TE Patrick Estes – No Report

Team Leaders

NC State

Passing – Philip Rivers (2908 yards 71% 21 TD 6 Int)
Rushing – T.A. McLendon (308 yards 4.9 avg 4 TD)
Receiving – Jerricho Cotchery (50 rec 850 yards 6 TD) Tramain Hall (49 rec 532 yards 5 TD)
Defense – Andre Maddox (99 tackles 6 TFL 2 sacks) Pat Thomas (83 tackles 9.5 TFL 4 sacks) Mario Williams (35 tackles 9 TFL 3 sacks)
Kicking – Austin Herbert (9-11 FG 36-37 XP)


Passing – Matt Schaub (1532 yards 71% 9 TD 7 Int)
Rushing – Wali Lundy (563 yards 4.3 avg 6 TD) Alvin Pearman (477 yards 4.8 avg 4 TD)
Receiving – Heath Miller (42 rec 435 yards 4 TD) Alvin Pearman(32 rec 283 yards 2 TD)
Defense – Jermaine Hardy (69 tackles 3 TFL 2 INTs) Darryl Blackstock(54 tackles 10 TFL 3 sacks)
Kicking – Connor Hughes (11-12 FG 25-25 XP)

Notable Team Statistics

NC State – First in Scoring Offense in the ACC, averaging 34.9 PPG.
Virginia – Fourth in Scoring Defense in the ACC, allowing only 16.6 PPG.

Virginia - First in the ACC in Sacks Allowed, yielding a mere 6 sacks on the season.
NC State - Fourth in the ACC in Sacks By, generating 19 sacks on the season as a defensive unit.

Two Key Match-ups To Watch

When NC State has the ball…
OTsJohn McKeon/Derek Morris vs. OLB Darryl Blackstock

Protecting a Quarterback's blindside is always an important task, especially when that QB is NC State's Philip Rivers. Rivers, the heart and soul of the Wolfpack's vaunted offensive attack, faces a stiff challenge this week against the base 3-4 defense utilized by Virginia. OLB Darryl Blackstock is Virginia's top playmaker, a pass-rushing specialist who UVA Head Coach Al Groh compared to NFL Hall-of-Famer Lawrence Taylor. Virginia does a great job of rotating #56 along the edges to keep the offense guessing where he will be on each play. NC State freshman Offensive Tackles John McKeon and Derek Morris will have to keep Blackstock out of the offensive backfield, or it could be a long day for Rivers and the Wolfpack.

When Virginia has the ball…
TE Heath Miller vs. S Andre Maddox/OLB Manny Lawson

Depending on the scheme, both Maddox and Lawson will be matched up on Miller Saturday afternoon. The talented UVA Tight End is their best offensive player (outside of QB Matt Schaub) and the key to stopping Virginia is to utilize their short-passing game. If Maddox and "The Freak" can shut-down Heath Miller, NC State will more than likely pick up their fourth conference win of the season.

Keep Your Eye On

NC State RB T.A. McLendon – McLendon didn't play last week against Duke and the word is that he should be ready to go for Virginia. How many snaps can he give NC State? Who knows, but it's safe to say that the Wolfpack are a better team when #44 is on the football field.

Virginia QB Matt Schaub – The reigning ACC Player of the Year is having an average year compared to last season, passing for only 9 touchdowns with 7 interceptions. He's going to need a breakout game against NC State and the UVA senior is certainly capable of doing so. If Schaub can control the clock and sustain drives then he will put up solid numbers in his final trip to Raleigh.

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