NC State vs. Florida State NCAA Football Preview
Where: Doak Campbell Stadium – Tallahassee, FL
When: Saturday, September 23, 2017, 12:00 PM ET
TV Broadcast: ABC
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Betting on the NC State Wolfpack (2-1)
NC State has bounced back from its opening day loss to South Carolina with back-to-back wins over Marshall (37-20) and Furman (49-16). However, they were unable to cover the spread in either of those two games.
Quarterback Ryan Finley has already had a couple of big passing games this season. He went off for 415 yards and two touchdowns in a losing effort against South Carolina, and followed that up with 341 yards and three TDs against Marshall. Finley is completing an impressive 75 percent of his passes, which is inside the top 10 in the nation.
Finley went for 304 yards in last year’s meeting with Florida State as NC State nearly pulled off the upset. However, it was the defense which came up big in that matchup. NC State limited Dalvin Cook and the FSU running game to just 2.6 yards per carry.
That front has remained intact this season, and has been up to its usual tricks. NC State stifled South Carolina into just 31 total rushing yards, and held Furman to just 2.8 yards per carry. If the Wolfpack can once again stuff the run and put the game in the hands of FSU’s freshman quarterback, they should have a decent chance of completing the upset this time around.
Betting on the Florida State Seminoles (0-1)
Florida State should be well-rested and well-prepared for the visit of NC State after having their last two games against ULM and Miami canceled and postponed, respectively, due to Hurricane Irma.
That two-week bye should’ve given them more than enough time to recover from the 24-7 mauling they suffered against Alabama in their opening game of the season.
It should’ve also given freshman James Blackman enough time to prepare for his first ever start at quarterback. Blackman will take over as the starter after Deondre Francois suffered a season-ending knee injury late in the Alabama game.
Blackman has reportedly been impressive during practices, but it’ll be a significant jump from practice to a live competitive game. At least he’ll get to make his first career start in friendly territory, which should take away some of the pressure.
With a few question marks surrounding the offense, the Seminoles defense will need to step up and prevent the Wolfpack from putting up too many points. That Noles D certainly showed it could up its game against Alabama and was only undone by a couple of costly special teams miscues.
Blackman makes enough plays to win his first ever start, but the NC State defense makes it hard for him and allows the Wolfpack (+13) to cover.
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