CFN's Take: NC State vs. William & Mary

College Football News takes a look at Saturday's game between NC State (0-1) and William & Mary (0-0). The contest is the home opener for the Wolfpack.

William & Mary (0-0) at NC State (0-1), 6:00 EST

Why to watch: It may be a new season for Tom O’Brien and the Wolfpack, but the team needs a big-time turnaround to avoid a second straight underwhelming years. NC State had no delusions of grandeur this fall, but losing 34-0 to South Carolina was a cold reminder just how far the program has to go to become an ACC contender. Injuries and a lack of playmakers are on-going problems that plagues the Pack throughout last season. William & Mary returns 19 starters to a team that went 4-7 a year ago in the Colonial Athletic Association. As most the country kicked off a week ago, the Tribe was idle.

Why William & Mary might win: Not only was NC State blanked in the opener, but O’Brien’s choice at quarterback, Russell Wilson, suffered a concussion and is not expected to play this week. A long-time problem in Raleigh, the Pack passing game is miserable and won’t be much of a threat to a decent Tribe defensive backfield. Against the Gamecocks, three quarterbacks combined to go 5-of-20 for 49 yards and two interceptions.

Why NC State might win: Although the final score indicates otherwise, the Wolfpack defense played well last Thursday night, picking off four passes and getting to the quarterback five times. Led by LB Nate Irving and DE Shea McKeen, State constantly got upfield pressure. Against an uncertain William & Mary offensive line, the Pack D will deliver a second straight sound effort.

Who to watch: With Wilson injured, Daniel Evans has one final chance to show the staff that he can consistently move the chains. He’s had a history of problems as the starter, and was miserable off the bench last week. If he has trouble sparking the offense, he’ll get a quick hook in favor of backup Harrison Beck. Although it has to be tempting, O’Brien insists he wants to redshirt star recruit Mike Glennon.

What will happen: The Wolfpack defense will build on its effort in Columbia, shutting down an average Tribe offense. Even with all of the returners, the William & Mary defense is sketchy and will be easily solved by backs Andre Brown and Jamelle Eugene, provided he can return from an ankle injury.

CFN Prediction: NC State 27 ... William & Mary 13 ... Line: No Line

Must See Rating
: (5 Entourage premiere - 1 One Tree Hill premiere) … 1.5

Pack Pride Top Stories