N.C. State and Boston College play on Satuday, November 11, 2017 in what will be one of the more intriguing ACC Atlantic Division matchups of the weekend. All the sudden, these teams are headed in opposite directions from where they were towards in the middle of October.
Boston College comes into this week on a 3-game winning streak, which includes an impressive victory on the road against Louisville and a home rout versus Florida State. Suddenly, the dormant Eagles offense has exploded for at least 35 points in three straight games and are outscoring opponents 121-55 during that stretch.
While Boston College is back in bowl contention, N.C. State fell out of the AP Top 25 on Sunday. The Wolfpack have lost two straight but the two defeats came against Notre Dame and Clemson, who are two of the Top 4 teams in the College Football Playoff rankings.
The loss to Clemson last week came down to the final play too, but it will be interesting to see how N.C. State responds to the adversity of losing. Wolfpack coach Dave Doeren didn’t handle it very well, calling for an investigation into why Clemson had a laptop on the sidelines during the game. N.C. State can’t afford to allow the letdown of last week’s loss linger into this Saturday.
Find game time, TV channel and how to watch online information below.
N.C. State-Boston College TV Channel, time, live stream
Date: Saturday, November 11
Time: 12 p.m.
TV Channel: ESPN2/ABC
Online Stream: WatchESPN
N.C. State-Boston College football picks, odds
Pick: NCST 33.8-24.2 (from the OddsShark computer)
Odds: NCST -3 (from Bovada)
N.C. State-Boston College preview, keys to the game
N.C. State may be reeling a bit, but they still have an argument for being the best 3-loss team in the nation and among the AP Top 25. The Wolfpack were 27th with 101 votes in the new AP Poll on Sunday, but they stayed in the Top 25 at No. 24 in the Amway Coaches Poll.
Junior quarterback Ryan Finley has led the way for N.C. State all season as one of the best signal callers in the ACC. Finley has completed 65.7 percent of his passes while averaging 7.5 yards per attempt, which puts him inside the Top 5 in both statistics throughout the conference. Finley also has 15 touchdowns versus just 3 interceptions.
Interestingly, though, all 3 of those picks have come in the last two weeks. Against Notre Dame and Clemson, he had 4 touchdowns as well. Taking care of the ball against a tough defense on the road is a major key for the Wolfpack this week.
For the second straight year, senior playmaker Jaylen Samuels has been Finley’s favorite target. Samuels leads the team with 59 receptions and contributes both in the passing and rushing attack. The senior has accounted for 727 total yards and 12 touchdowns this year.
But sophomore wide receiver Kelvin Harmon has arguably been just as dangerous, leading the team with 799 receiving yards on 51 catches. He is averaging 15.7 yards per catch and has scored 4 touchdowns.
Other than Finley taking care of the ball, N.C. State establishing a rushing attack is probably its second-biggest key on offense. Boston College allows 206.2 rushing yards per game, which is ranked worst in the ACC.
The Eagles have been uncharacteristically average defensively this season, but their offense has been much better over the last three games. The Boston College rushing attack has averaged 280.7 yards per game and 5.2 yards per carry the last three weeks. They have attempted at least 47 runs in each of those games to keep the pressure off their young quarterback, and it’s been working to perfection.
Freshman running back A.J. Dillon has led the way with 510 rushing yards during that stretch. Against Louisville, he exploded for 272 yards and 4 touchdowns on 39 attempts.
Continuing to dominate upfront and running the ball is the key for Boston College. Freshman quarterback Anthony Brown has struggled this year, averaging only 5.3 yards per pass attempt with 11 touchdowns and 8 interceptions.
N.C. State featured one of the best run defenses in the country through the middle of October, but they allowed 318 and 224 rushing yards to Notre Dame and Clemson, respectively, each of the last two weeks. The Eagles present another very tough challenge running game for the Wolfpack to stop.
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