The Deacs (4-0, 1-0) travel to Raleigh Saturday to face a North Carolina State (2-1, 0-0) team that is probably the most balanced, explosive and talented offensive squad they’ve encountered this season.
The Wolfpack average 42 points and game on nearly 500 yards of offense. They’ve outscored the Deacs 77-30 combined in the first two years of the Clawson era.
Here’s five NC State Wolfpack to watch Saturday afternoon.
Matt Dayes - Senior Running Back - 5-foot-9, 203 pounds
Dayes was a one-man Deacon killer last year at BB&T Field, and the Wolfpack ran away with things in the first quarter en route to a 35-17 win. They scored four touchdowns in the first quarter and never looked back.
He’s rushed for 314 yards and two touchdowns for the Wolfpack so far this season and has 10 receptions for a total of 86 yards. He was on pace to break 1,000 yards last season when he went down with a foot injury late in the season.
Dayes and the NC State rushing attack will surely be a focal point of the Wake Forest defense Saturday.
Last year vs. Wake: 16 carries for 205 yards and two touchdowns. Had runs of 85 and 57 yards.
Bradley Chubb - Junior Defensive End - 6-foot-4, 275 pounds
Deac fans have loved a Chubb the last four years, Bradley’s older brother Brandon who graduated from Wake last season and is now under contract in the NFL with the L.A. Rams.
Bradley is pretty good too, finishing second in tackles last season for the Wolfpack with 69 stops along with 12 TFLs and 5.5 sacks.
Last year vs. Wake: Two tackles, one sack and a forced fumble, along with two quarterback hurries.
Ryan Finley - Redshirt Sophomore Quarterback - 6-foot-4, 200 pounds
Finley has proven to be efficient so far this season for the Wolfpack, completing more than 75 percent of his passes (61-for-80) for 718 yards and six scores.
He had more than 6,000 yards passing his final two years in high school in Arizona and began his college career at Boise State.
Finley was 46-for-70 for 485 yards with a touchdown and four interceptions through three games of his sophomore season at Boise State before going down with a season-ending ankle injury. He completed his degree at Boise State in three years and transferred to NC State in May, where he’s now been granted a sixth year of eligibility — meaning this is the first of three years he’ll be able to play for the Wolfpack.
Last year vs. Wake: NA
Airius Moore - Junior Linebacker - 6-foot-0, 237 pounds
Moore has played in every game since arriving on campus, which is more amazing because his very first day in Raleigh was the first day of fall camp 2014. He’s a disrupter defensively, leading the Wolfpack in tackles with 77 last season.
He’s already tallied 21 stops and 5.5 TFLs through just three games this season.
Last year vs. Wake: Five tackles and one TFL.
Jaylen Samuels - Junior Tight End/Fullback - 5-foot-11, 223 pounds
Mallard Creek High School (Charlotte, NC) product who had 65 receptions last year from the tight end position, earning his All-ACC honors. Samuels was the Wolfpack’s third-leading rusher and leading pass catcher. He already has six scores this season, three on receptions and three on the ground.
Last year vs. Wake: Seven receptions for 26 yards and four rushes for seven yards.