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UNC vs. NC State Prediction, Game Preview

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UNC vs. NC State prediction and game preview. Projecting who wins between the Tar Heels and Wolfpack on Friday in Chapel Hill, NC.


UNC vs. NC State Game Preview

When: Friday, Nov. 25 – Noon ET
Where: Kenan Stadium, Chapel Hill, NC
TV Broadcast: ESPN

The Tar Heels (8-3, 5-2 ACC) are coming off of an easy 41-7 home win over The Citadel, as Mitch Trubisky passed for 184 yards and three touchdowns, and T.J. Logan had a touchdown catch and a 100-yard kickoff return for a score. UNC forced a season-high four turnovers against an FCS team that had been undefeated.

Meanwhile, the Wolfpack (5-6, 2-5) are still trying to become eligible for a bowl after dropping a 27-13 contest to Miami at home. The strong run defense faltered as the game went on against Mark Walton, who ran for three second-half touchdowns.

In last year’s contest between these teams in Raleigh, the Tar Heels put up a 35-point first quarter en route to a 45-34 victory, which was their 11th straight win. Elijah Hood finished with a career-high 220 yards and two touchdowns on the ground in that contest.

What To Know About UNC

One week after the Tar Heels suffered a tough road loss to Duke, which really hurt UNC’s ACC Coastal division cause, Larry Fedora’s squad shut down one of the best offenses in all of FCS. The Tar Heels offense didn’t have its “A” game, but it didn’t have to against the Bulldogs. UNC converted just one third down and was out-gained in yardage 371-356, but the Heels did actually have an interception. Dominique Green picked off a pass and returned it 58 yards for a touchdown, which was the first interception of the year for UNC. It had been the only FBS team to not intercept a pass this season.

What to Know About NC State

One week after the Wolfpack went on the road and held Syracuse to 218 total yards in a 35-20 win, Dave Doeren’s squad received 76 yards and a score on the ground from Matt Dayes, who became NC State’s first 1,000-yard rusher since 2002. But mistakes doomed the Wolfpack, including an end-zone interception by quarterback Ryan Finley, a penalty that took back a fourth-quarter scoring run by Dayes and Bra’Lon Cherry’s second-half fumble on a punt return. The game was seemingly a microcosm of the Wolfpack’s entire season. To get to the postseason for a third straight year, NC State must be able to capitalize on its golden opportunities when they are presented. Do Doeren and Co. have a clean game left in them for the regular season finale?

Advantages

Offense: UNC. The Tar Heels are averaging 445.1 yards per game and will be looking to put a sluggish effort against The Citadel behind them.

Defense: NC State. The Wolfpack are allowing just 350.8 yards per contest.

Special Teams: UNC. T.J. Logan took a kickoff to the house last week against The Citadel.

Coaching: UNC. Will Fedora emerge as a leading candidate for one of the big openings when the coaching carousel spins into overdrive?

Intangibles: UNC. The game is at home, and NC State has stubbed its toes all season.

Matchup To Watch

Hood vs. Wolfpack rush defense

The UNC running back had a huge game against the Wolfpack last season, setting a career-high in yards on the ground (220) and reaching the end zone twice. NC State is allowing a mere 102.1 rushing yards per game, but Hood is healthy and has looked like his old self in recent weeks. The UNC offense is best when it is multi-dimensional.

Betting Odds

Spread: UNC -10
Over/Under: No Line (as of post)

UNC vs. NC State Prediction

The Wolfpack will put forth their best effort of the season, but the UNC offense will get back into sync, as Trubisky hits Switzer for a fourth-quarter score that is the difference in the game. Trubisky outplays Finley, dropping the ‘Pack to 5-7.

UNC vs. NC State Score Prediction: UNC 30, NC State 23

MORE: 1-128 College Football Rankings – Week 13

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