USFNation Game Preview: USF at N.C. State

The Bulls travel to Raleigh for it's the final non-conference game against N.C. State. USF looks to go 5-0, and avenge their '05 Meineke Car Care Bowl loss to the Pack. Read on for the lowdown when USF & N.C. State meet at Carter Finley Stadium this Saturday. Only on

Well let's hope last week was a wake up call because this week is an old college football favorite:

"The Trap Game"

This is about the perfect time for a trap game too. It's the final non-conference game against a program that has talent but it hasn't translated into a lot of wins yet. It's a program that has a good coach with a strong overall record. Said program has also found some identity after crushing the BCS hopes of rival in-state school.

So yeah, I'm a little worried about N.C. State and you should be too. My worries are eased a little bit as NCSU's starting quarterback Russell Wilson will miss the game and their less talented QB Harrison Beck will be playing. However, in a weird potential karma situation, Beck is a Clearwater native who originally committed to Nebraska after showing interest in USF.

Anyway, numbers!

9 -- points N.C. State scored in its two losses.
64 -- points N.C. State scored in its two victories.
17 -- points USF scored in Saturday's victory over FIU (season low)
320 -- yards gained in USF's victory over FIU (season low)
0 -- points USF scored last time it faced N.C. State in Car Care Bowl (program low)

The numbers don't really say much. One of N.C. State's victories were over William & Mary and the losses were against Clemson and South Carolina. USf's only other meeting with N.C. State was its first-ever bowl appearance.

When USF Has The Ball: N.C. State's defense is an interesting case study. They appear to be decent and their pass rush is solid, but they haven't given up less than 300 yards in a game this season (that's including William & Mary). Because of N.C. State's pass rush, expect a lot of short passing, especially screens, slants and quick outs. From the running game expect to see more Jamar Taylor and less of everyone else. Until Mike Ford and Benjamin Williams get completely healthy this is Taylor's show with a lot of support from Matt Grothe.

When N.C. State Has The Ball: They are going to want to get physical with their offensive line leading the way for Andre Brown and Jamelle Eugene. Without the more mobile Wilson, any passing game from the Wolfpack will have to come from play action. If the Bulls pass rush can get to Harrison Beck he will make a lot of mistakes. That being said expect NCSU to break a few runs and try to keep the 3rd downs short. Anything over 3rd and 7 is a bad thing for the Wolfpack.

HE SAID WHAT?!?!: ""Did you watch them against Oregon? Go look at that game. That was the spread that they were defending. I'm not saying anything about South Florida's defense, but if they're the gurus, we'd better go somewhere else." -- Tom O'Brien on the USF defensive coaching staff. Real professional...douchebag

AND THE REPLY?!?!: "Here's the way I feel about it. He's right. We're not gurus. On the other hand, we try to handle things professionally and… not say anything about anyone else's coaching staff. He can say what he wants to. The other thing, I forget what bowl game they were in. That's all I've got to say." -- Wally Burnham. Oooo BURN!

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