Clemson vs. NC State Prediction, Game Preview

    Clemson vs. NC State prediction and game preview. The Tigers look to stay undefeated and in the College Football Playoff picture as they take on the Wolfpack.

    October 27, 2015

    After effectively ending Al Golden’s Miami career, the Clemson Tigers (7-0) take aim at the NC State Wolfpack (5-2). Check out the Clemson vs. NC State prediction and game preview.

    Clemson vs. NC State Game Preview


    Date: Saturday, October 31
    Game Time: 3:30 ET
    Venue: Carter-Finley Stadium, Raleigh, North Carolina
    Network: ABC/ESPN2

    Follow and/or Contact @Rich Cirminiello

    Why You Need To Care

    If there was any doubt about the ACC hierarchy in 2015, it ended last week at Sun Life Stadium. No. 3 Clemson rocked Miami, 58-0, a few hours before Florida State fell to Georgia Tech. The Tigers are the consensus class of the league and one of the hottest teams in the country. And they’ll likely earn a playoff berth if they can just keeping rolling along. A visit from a marquee program provides the Wolfpack with an opportunity for a much-needed statement win. While the Pack is 5-2, it’s yet to even face a ranked opponent … or beat a team that’ll be bowling in December.

    Why Clemson Will Win

    Where’s the weakness on this team? The defense has been sensational, climbing to No. 4 nationally overall, and the offense has tremendous playmakers in QB Deshaun Watson, RB Wayne Gallman and WR Artavis Scott. When facing the talent-rich defenses of Louisville and Virginia Tech earlier in the month, NC State managed to score only 13 points in consecutive losses. And a pedestrian O-line will wilt in the face of Tiger ends Shaq Lawson and Kevin Dodd.

    Why NC State Will Win

    No, the Pack hasn’t faced an explosive offense yet this season. But Dave Huxtable’s D has performed beyond expectations in 2015, giving up just 16 points per game. LB Bradley Chubb and linemen Mike Rose and Darian Roseboro spearhead an aggressive front seven that could cause problems for the Clemson offensive line. Remember, as dynamic as the Tigers were last week, this is a team that scored 20 on Louisville and 24 on Notre Dame, so the offense isn’t unstoppable.

    Player Who Matters

    Pack QB Jacoby Brissett is still inconsistent as a passer, which won’t change against Tiger DBs Jayron Kearse, Mackensie Alexander and Cordrea Tankersley. If State wants to be this week’s Georgia Tech, knocking off an ACC heavyweight, it’ll need a huge afternoon from versatile RB Matthew Dayes. Dayes has played well as the feature back, rushing for a career-high 205 yards last week, but he’ll need to be extra special to beat the athletic Clemson defense and keep his quarterback out of third-and-long situations.

    What’s Going To Happen?

    It’s never easy operating with a target on your back, so every game going forward will be tricky for Clemson. And NC State is not without veteran talent capable of putting a scare into the Tigers. But Clemson is playing too well at this stage of the season to stumble in Raleigh against an incomplete opponent. While it’ll be rocky for a while, and the Pack will keep the crowd in it, the Tigers will hold on behind Watson and their superiority up front when State has the ball.

    Clemson vs. NC State Prediction

    Final Score: Clemson 30, NC State 24, Line: No Line, o/u: 51.5
    Must See Rating: 5: Jimi Hendrix: Electric Church ; 1: The Peanuts Movie … 3

    MORE: College Football Bowl Projections After Week 8


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