Miami vs. NC State prediction and game preview. Projecting who wins between the Hurricanes and Wolfpack on Saturday in Raleigh, NC.
Miami vs. NC State Game Preview
When: Saturday, Nov. 19 – 12:30 p.m. ET
Where: Carter-Finley Stadium, Raleigh, NC
TV Broadcast: ACC Extra
The Hurricanes (6-4, 3-3 ACC) went into Charlottesville last week and took home a 34-14 win over Virginia, as Brad Kaaya threw two touchdown passes and Mark Walton ran for 111 yards and another score to help the Hurricanes become eligible for a bowl. Mark Richt’s squad had a balanced offensive attack against the Cavaliers, rushing for 222 yards and passing for 228.
Meanwhile, the Wolfpack (5-5, 2-4) went on the road last Saturday and held Syracuse to 218 total yards in a 35-20 win. Running back Matt Dayes logged 108 yards and three touchdowns on the ground in a victory that was much-needed after Dave Doeren’s squad had suffered several tough losses, including an overtime heartbreaker against Clemson.
Miami is making its first trip to Raleigh since 2008. In that game, Russell Wilson threw for two touchdowns and ran for a score in a 38-28 Wolfpack victory. Wilson threw for 220 yards and ran for 58 more, and Andre Brown scored twice and ran for 93 of the Wolfpack’s 219 rushing yards.
What To Know About Miami
One week after the Hurricanes took care of business against Pitt at home to snap a four-game losing streak, Kaaya became just the second quarterback to throw for more than 9,000 yards in his career at Miami. Only Ken Dorsey has more (9,565). Kaaya has been beaten up all season long, so the ‘Canes need to do their best to protect him. The offensive line is playing much better after struggling to keep him upright, especially during the losing skid (the ‘Canes gave up eight sacks against Virginia Tech). If Kaaya has time to throw and the rushing combination of Walton, Joe Yearby and Gus Edwards is on point, the ‘Pack will struggle to contain this offensive attack.
What to Know About NC State
The Wolfpack have had their share of close games this year. They lost 24-17 in overtime to Clemson, suffered a 21-14 loss to Boston College and a 24-20 setback to Florida State. It’s a very dangerous team, and one that could give the Hurricanes plenty of problems. The ‘Pack play solid run defense and have talented pieces that make the offense effective and balanced. Ryan Finley, who was 20-of-29 for 340 yards and one touchdown last week, distributes the ball fairly evenly to his receivers and tight end Jaylen Samuels, while Dayes paces the ground game. Doeren needs to make sure his team continues to dig down deep to become eligible for a bowl.
Offense: Miami. While both units are putting up around 420 yards per game, the ‘Canes are more explosive and have more big-play potential.
Defense: Even. The ‘Canes are better against the pass, while the ‘Pack are more effective containing the run.
Special Teams: Miami. The Wolfpack have dealt with kicking woes all season long.
Coaching: Miami. Doeren is looking to close strong after suffering so many tough losses, while Richt has changed the culture in Coral Gables.
Intangibles: NC State. Both teams are coming off of wins, but this game is in Raleigh. And it’s a winnable one for the ‘Pack.
Matchup To Watch
Finley vs. Miami pass rush
The Hurricanes sacked Virginia quarterback Kurt Benkert five times last week, including a strip sack by Corn Elder that Joe Jackson recovered. Finley had not thrown an interception until the Clemson game, and that’s when the wheels came off for both him and the team. He threw seven picks during a four-game losing streak, and it will be a challenge this week against Manny Diaz’s aggressive ‘Canes defensive front.
Spread: Miami -2.5
Over/Under: No Line (as of post)
Miami vs. NC State Prediction
This should be one of the better under-the-radar games on Saturday. Expect strong performances on both sides of the ball for both teams, but the Wolfpack will rally late for game-winning field goal with a few minutes left. A final defensive stand for the ‘Pack will seal a victory.
Miami vs. NC State Score Prediction: NC State 33, Miami 31