Wake Forest has already cleared one hurdle with a 17-14 win over Boston College last Saturday at Groves Stadium. The victory was the third straight for the Deacons, their first three-game winning streak since 1992.
NC State is also riding high after a big 17-16 road victory at Virginia Tech.
A win for the Deacons on Saturday would give Wake Forest a 4-1 record and its best start since 1987 (5-0).
Saturday's game will be a rematch of last year's meeting at Groves Stadium when the Deacons prevailed 38-24 over 14th-ranked NC State.
NC State holds a 59-32-6 lead in the series including a nine-game winning streak in Raleigh since 1984.
Long Time Rivals Meet For 98th Time
The third-longest rivalry in the history of the ACC is renewed on Saturday when the Deacons and Wolfpack get together. The rivalry is the longest for NC State and the second-oldest for the Deacons. Wake Forest and North Carolina have played 100 times. The oldest rivalry in the ACC is North Carolina-Virginia who have played 108 times.
Of the previous 97 meetings, only 33 have been played on Wake Forest's home turf. From the first ever meeting in 1895 (a 4-4 tie) until 1956 when Wake Forest moved to Winston-Salem, the Deacons and Wolfpack only met in Old Wake Forest twice. The teams played in Raleigh 43 times during that era. In fact, from 1913-1945, 31 of the 33 games took place in Raleigh. The site has alternated every year since the advent of the ACC, except for 1979-80 when both games were played in Raleigh.
Getting back to present times, the Wolfpack have been successful at home against the Deacons, winning nine straight against Wake Forest since 1984. NC State is 38-21-5 all-time against Wake Forest at home.
Wake Forest has won three of the last four meetings at Groves Stadium, including last year's 38-24 victory when NC State was ranked 14th by the Associated Press.
Deacons Face Nasty Stretch Of The Schedule As the calendar turns to October, the schedule for Wake Forest grows increasingly difficult. The Deacons are in the middle of a four-game string of opponents that participated in bowl games in 2003. Last week, Wake Forest got past Boston College (2003 winners of the California Bowl). This week, of course, the Deacons get NC State (2003 winners of the Tangerine Bowl) followed by Virginia Tech (lost Insight Bowl to Cal) and Florida State (lost Orange Bowl to Miami).
Wake Forest opened its season against Clemson (winners of the Peach Bowl) and will later play Miami (winners of the Orange Bowl) and Maryland (winners of the Gator Bowl).
Only Miami and North Carolina (eight) will play more bowl teams than Wake Forest (seven) this season.
Threes Are Wild
Just four games into the season, Wake Forest has already had three different players rush for 100 yards in a game and three different players post 100-yard receiving days in a game. That has happened only once in school history.
This year, Chris Barclay (at Clemson), Cory Randolph (at ECU) and Micah Andrews (vs. NC A&T) have all recorded 100-yard rushing efforts. Jason Anderson (at Clemson), Nate Morton (at ECU) and Chris Davis (vs. Boston College) have had 100-yard receiving games.
In 1989, Anthony Williams, Tony Rogers and Corey Donald all had 100-yard rushing games while Ricky Proehl, Steve Brown and Bobby Jones recorded 100-yard receiving days.
In fact, the Deacon offense has so many weapons that three different players have thrown for touchdowns including quarterbacks Randolph and Ben Mauk and a receiver, Morton.
From The Training Room
The injury report for the NC State game:
Out: LB James Adams (ACL, LCL surgery; season), LB Brandon Drumgoole (broken fibula; season), FB Damon McWhite (knee sprain; 4-6 weeks), OG Brodie Overstreet (eye; indefinitely); C Kreg Rotthoff (chronic knee irritation; week-to-week).
Questionable: DT Jeromy Jones (sprained ankle), CB Marcus McGruder (hamstring). Probable: WR Jason Anderson (ankle sprain), MLB Pierre Easley (abdominal strain), TE Zac Selmon (groin strain).