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Louisville vs. NC State: Several things we're watching

Jamie Rhodes-USA TODAY Sports

It counted before, but now it really counts, so let's see what this team is all about.

1.) Are you faster?

Matt Dayes is off to four-straight 100-yard rushing games, and he's been sharp in most aspects; what I'm wondering is how much (if at all) that changes against Louisville, which has better talent up front than anybody State's seen thus far. If Dayes can continue to be an important part of NC State's offense between the tackles, he can open up the edges for State's more explosive players, which is crucial.

2.) Why did you land?

Jumichael Ramos was a no-show against South Alabama, and David Grinnage has been a Nowhere Man this entire season. (Grinnage has been dealing with an injury.) Grinnage was assumed a significant part of the passing game, while Ramos emerged early as one of Brissett's favorite targets. It sure as hell wouldn't hurt the Wolfpack to get a big game from at least one of them, particularly in rainy conditions.

3.) Motor away

NC State has to be incredibly careful with Lamar Jackson, who can go full Tyrod Taylor if the Wolfpack is not careful. It's one thing to say that you're ready for a kid who is not a great passer, and while it's true Jackson is not (yet) a great passer, the problem is all the rest. He's a fine-enough passer. That leaves a whole lot more that can happen, all of which he can make happen, and most of which is bad. It's going to get wet, and it might get scary.

4.) Storm vibrations

Will this weather matter? If it rains a ton, NC State should be fine, more comfortable than it is typically in running the ball to win a game. That's what's changed over the last few years, and what makes the weather less a matter of strategic import and more an indicator of cares. Louisville will break, oh my god, how Louisville will break. This is an important game for Louisville right up until it isn't, which is 20 minutes or so into the game.