NC State, returning home after suffering yet another devastating road loss, squares off this Saturday with the Orange of Syracuse in a late-season ACC contest. While the division title chances for the Wolfpack are slim and mostly out of their hands, any hopes hinge on winning this weekend and next - and getting some help from another orange clad foe.
Syracuse features an offense centered around one of the nation’s best running backs in Sean Tucker, as well as the dynamic abilities of quarterback Garrett Shrader. The two have combined for over 2,300 scrimmage yards this season (almost 2,100 of which have been on the ground), as well as 26 total touchdowns (24 on the ground).
NC State, meanwhile, hasn’t topped the century mark in rushing yards in a game in over a month, as the offense has shifted to a pass-heavy approach. With a quarterback like Golden Arm Award finalist Devin Leary, that’s not necessarily a bad approach, although it can make the Wolfpack one-dimensional and a bit easier to game plan for.
Can the Wolfpack get back to their winning ways in front of the home crowd in Carter-Finley Stadium, all while keeping alive some semblance of hope for an ACC Atlantic title? Or will the Orange roll into town and achieve not only a win, but also bowl eligibility for just the second time in the last eight seasons?
Each BTP contributor provides their score prediction below, plus a quick blurb on their predicted outcome. Here we go!
Why is this so hard?
Prediction: 23-13 (W)
Comment: “Pack sleepwalks a bit after last weekend’s heartbreak, but the patchwork D regains its third down form. Dunn goes 3-for-5 on FGs but hits a long one late to ice it.“
Prediction: 31-17 (W)
Comment: “Missed the whole second half, then avoided football coverage/commentary for most of this week so I feel wholly underprepared to know the temperature of the program. At home against a team that can only run…a win“
Prediction: 27-20 (W)
Comment: “I anticipate sluggishness and Syracuse’s pass rush is no joke. Tough to shake the feeling that this game will be closer than it needs to be.“
Prediction: 32-19 (W)
Comment: “beep boop“
Prediction: 35-17 (W)
Comment: “Defense plays well, Leary throws more touchdowns, State wins“
Prediction: 28-23 (W)
Comment: “Sweatin’ it out in this week. State chucked it all around last week to match Wake, and they’ll force the run this week to match Syracuse. Less than a 3 hour game in this one.“
Prediction: 27-24 (W)
Comment: “Sluggish start with the hangover from last week. Cuse does just enough to lose the game as State hangs on.“
Prediction: 34-24 (W)
Comment: “I was worried about a letdown game. Then I heard Chris Ingram talk about how “pissed off” the team is. They’ll get it done against the Orange.“
BTP Staff Cumulative Prediction: 30-20 (W)
Agree? Disagree? Sound off in the comments!