Syracuse vs. NC State prediction and game preview. Projecting who wins between the Orange and Wolfpack on Saturday in Syracuse, NY.
Syracuse vs. NC State Game Preview
When: Saturday, Nov. 12 – 12:30 p.m. ET
Where: Carrier Dome, Syracuse, NY
TV Broadcast: ACC Extra
The Orange (4-5, 2-3 ACC) were overwhelmed by Clemson last week, as the Tigers earned a 54-0 home shutout over Dino Babers and Co. in a game that saw ‘Cuse quarterback Eric Dungey get knocked out in the first quarter following a hard hit by linebacker Dorian O’Daniel. The ACC leader in passing yards and completions per game returned from the locker room to watch backups Austin Wilson and Zack Mahoney finish the game. As of this post, it is unknown whether or not Dungey will be available for this one.
Meanwhile, Dave Doeren’s Wolfpack (4-5, 1-4) suffered a tough 24-20 setback at home to Florida State, as Deondre Francois threw a 19-yard touchdown pass to Travis Rudolph with 3:09 left to help the Seminoles rally despite trailing most of the night. NC State must win two of its final three games to become bowl eligible.
In last year’s meeting between these teams in Raleigh, the Wolfpack put in a complete offensive performance in a 42-29 victory behind Jacoby Brissett, who passed for 235 yards and two touchdowns. The Wolfpack improved to 8-1 all-time against the Orange.
What To Know About Syracuse
Dungey left last week’s game after absorbing a hard hit to his shoulder and head area on a quarterback run. The sophomore underwent testing on Sunday, but there has been no update on what the injury is or whether it will keep him out of this week’s game against the Wolfpack. Dungey is putting up 330.2 yards per game, second only to Louisville’s Lamar Jackson in the ACC. Syracuse was held to 277 yards of offense against the Tigers, so there was a serious dropoff without its star quarterback. Wilson was 17-of-27 through the air for just 116 yards with two interceptions, while Mahoney completed one pass in four attempts for eight yards. To beat the Wolfpack, the ‘Cuse is going to need a healthy Dungey.
What to Know About NC State
A week after suffering a bad loss to Boston College, which earned its first ACC victory since 2014, the Wolfpack dropped their fourth consecutive game. Now, Doeren needs to make sure his team digs down deep to become eligible for a bowl. Quarterback Ryan Finley broke his streak of three straight games with at least two interceptions last week against FSU, but he still threw one to the opposition. He needs to play clean football for this offense to be at its best. Defensively, it’s a unit that will be tested, especially if Dungey gets cleared to play.
Offense: NC State. The edge may go to Syracuse with a healthy Dungey, but I’m giving the advantage to the more balanced Wolfpack unit—especially because Dungey’s status is unknown.
Defense: NC State. The Orange are allowing over 100 yards more per game than the Wolfpack.
Special Teams: Syracuse. NC State kicker Kyle Bambard has missed five field goals and three extra points on the year.
Coaching: Syracuse. Babers has put his mark on this team in his first season, while Doeren needs to get his squad back on track.
Intangibles: Even. Dungey’s questionable status gives the edge to NC State, but where are the Wolfpack mentally during this four-game skid?
Matchup To Watch
NC State ground game vs. Syracuse defensive front
In last year’s meeting, the Wolfpack churned out 276 rushing yards on 47 carries, averaging nearly 6.0 yards per run. NC State was led by Reggie Gallaspy II and Dakwa Nichols, who combined for 25 rushes for 159 yards and two scores. Veteran Matthew Dayes is leading all Wolfpack rushers this year with 831 yards on the ground, as he’s averaging 5.0 yards per rush. He has six games with 100 yards or more this season, and he’ll be going up against a rush defense that ranks No. 93 in the nation at 198.8 yards per game.
Spread: NC State -5
Over/Under: No spread as of post
Syracuse vs. NC State Prediction
It’s tough to project how the Dungey situation plays out. Keep in mind that he suffered two concussions last year, so I’d expect him to miss this game. With a backup (or backups) running the ‘Cuse offense, the NC State defense catches a break. Meanwhile, a balanced Wolfpack offense will give the Orange defense fits, as Doeren’s squad gets closer to bowl eligibility.
Syracuse vs. NC State Score Prediction: NC State 34, Syracuse 24