NC State and Clemson, both having below average seasons compared to their respective standards, are set to face off Saturday afternoon in Raleigh. The Wolfpack have battled offensive ineptitude all season, even making a QB change ahead of their sixth game of the year in an effort to create more offensive output. That has resulted in polar opposite results in the two games since, seeing a 48-point offensive explosion in a win over Marshall and a 3-point offensive implosion in a loss to Duke.
Clemson, meanwhile, is off to their worst start record-wise since the 2010 season when they were also sitting at a 2-3 mark in ACC play after five conference games. The Tigers ended that 2010 season with a 6-7 overall record and a 4-4 ACC posting. There are a lot of similarities between the 2010 and 2023 versions of Clemson - both suffered close losses, were led by a strong defense, had kicking game inconsistency, and featured a struggling and turnover-prone offense with a talented second-year QB at the helm. Cade Klubnik is a much better QB than Kyle Parker was (and it’s doubtful that Klubnik is going to bolt campus next summer after the MLB Draft, you know, considering he doesn’t play baseball), but the comparison does hold.
Will Clemson right the ship in Carter-Finley, using the victory to springboard themselves to a strong finish while running their streak of 10+ win seasons to a baker’s dozen? Or will NC State find their footing after the bye week and top the Tigers for the second time in the last three seasons?
Each BTP contributor provides their score prediction below, plus a quick blurb on their predicted outcome. Here we go!
Prediction: 19-28 (L)
Comment: “boop boop beep“
Prediction: 13-27 (L)
Comment: “This should be unpleasant.“
Why is this so hard?
Prediction: 10-24 (L)
Comment: “The TD comes late long after this was decided.“
Prediction: 14-21 (L)
Comment: “WELL...well its the BIG SHOW, Giglio called this our Super Bowl and it is, Dave’s perpetual white whale...but Clemson is still talened, especially on defense and in the run game...so tough to pick a win here“
Prediction: 0-34 (L)
Comment: “If it took a school-record long FG to avoid getting shutout against Duke, I don’t see the Pack scoring against Clemson.“
Prediction: 15-10 (W)
Comment: “Narveson and his Viking leg cannon kick State to a win while the defense gets it done.“
BTP Staff Cumulative Prediction: 12-24 (L)
Agree? Disagree? Sound off in the comments!