In a meeting of a pair of teams heading in different directions, NC State welcomes rival North Carolina to Carter-Finley Stadium for a Saturday night heated affair under chilly conditions in front of a sure-to-be raucous crowd. This will be just the fourth true road game for the Tar Heels, who are just 1-2 in front of a visiting crowd. North Carolina is coming off a 20-31 loss at Clemson in the only comparable atmosphere the team has experienced to what they will face on the Wolfpack’s home turf.
For UNC, a favorable early season schedule spurred the team to a 6-0 start and a #10 national ranking. Since then, the team has dropped three of four games against FBS opponents thanks to a defense that has surrendered 31+ points in each of those efforts and a passing attack that, while still one of the ACC’s best, has regressed over the second half of the season from their torrid start.
The Wolfpack, on the other hand, started the season on a much different note. State’s defense incurred uncharacteristic breakdowns leading to big plays by their opponents and the offense struggled to find its identity on the way to a 4-3 start. Following the Pack’s bye week, the offense has found its footing, the defense is back to its normal smothering ways, and State has reeled off four straight wins to reach the eight win threshold for the fourth consecutive season and the sixth time in the last seven years.
In a matchup of hated local adversaries, will UNC right their proverbial ship in time to avoid a third straight loss to the Wolfpack? Or will NC State continue their solid play down the season’s stretch run to keep the Tar Heels on a season-ending backslide for the second straight campaign?
Each BTP contributor provides their score prediction below, plus a quick blurb on their predicted outcome. Here we go!
Prediction: 26-29 (L)
Comment: “boop boop beep“
Prediction: 30-27 (W)
Comment: “something weird will happen“
Why is this so hard?
Prediction: 27-24 (W)
Comment: “This prediction seems a little low scoring, but State will have numerous lengthy ground and pound drives eating up clock.“
Prediction: 17-28 (L)
Comment: “Part of me wonders if the offense peaked one week too early in Blacksburg. Can they keep up with the explosiveness of Maye, Hampton and Walker?“
Prediction: 28-24 (W)
Comment: “State’s defense is meaner than a JUNKYARD Dog...and they will show it when it counts most, limit Hampton, and force Maye to press...good guys win, flawless victory“
Prediction: 0-48 (L)
Comment: “Ignore the way the baby blue’s have played in the second half of the season. Mack is Back and they have a Heisman contender.“
Prediction: 32-24 (W)
Comment: “State does the damn thing because the damn things needs gettin’ done. Hard-Tough-Together wins the day.“
BTP Staff Cumulative Prediction: 23-29 (L) ... 27-26 (W) without no23sport’s sandbagging
Agree? Disagree? Sound off in the comments!