College Football Picks: NC State Won't Be Able to Stop North Carolina's Strong Offense

Joe Gavazzi

Thursday, November 26, 2015 8:44 PM GMT

In this article we look at the rivalry game between the North Carolina Tar Heels and the NC State Wolfpack and offer our Crusher of the Week college football pick.

North Carolina (-5) vs. NC State 3:30 ET ESPN2
It is less than an hour from Chapel Hill to Raleigh, but the intensity of this rivalry is as fierce as if they were next door neighbors.  The game is scheduled for a 3:30 ET kick as televised on ESPN2.  Last year, NC State visited Chapel Hill and came away with a (35-7) victory, outgaining the Tar Heels 454-207.  That was in the middle of a 3-0 SU ATS season-ending run for the Wolfpack and a 0-2 SU ATS season ending slide for a N. Carolina team, who gave up a program high, 39 PPG and 498 yards last season.  This year, they again meet in the season finale.  But, the situation is oh so different! 

N. Carolina is the team with the momentum based on the 10-game winning streak that has resulted in an 8-3 ATS log in which they have covered by 115 points.  Though NC State is 7-4 SU for the year, they do not hold the same type of momentum edge that was apparent between these teams last season. 

My cause for concern in this game is the Tar Heels’ look ahead to their ACC Championship game next week against No. 1 Clemson.  My hope is that the motivation of revenge from last year’s loss and the intensity of this rivalry works in their favor.  For, the fundamentals are surely in place.

 

NC State Wolfpack
As an example of the NC State favorite/underdog dichotomy, I point to our 6% CFB GOY on November 7th, when the Wolfpack, as -4 favorite, went to Chestnut Hill and totally dominated Boston College in a (24-8) win.  That was consistent with their performance in the favorite role all year against sub.500 teams vs. whom they were favored, they have won by 28 vs. Troy, 35 vs. E. Kentucky, 24 at ODU, 50 at S. Alabama, 18 at Wake, 16 at BC and 13 vs. Syracuse last week.  All but last week’s win vs. the Orange (a look ahead to this matchup) were covers.  Now, consider their performances against quality teams: a 7 point loss on this field to Louisville, a 15 point loss at VA Tech, a 15 point loss to Clemson and a 17 point loss at Florida St.  As will be discussed, there is still a weakness in the NC rushing defense as the Tar Heels allow 199/4.5 overland.  But, NC State is Operating Without Their 2 Best RBs, Dayes and Thornton, Who are OFY.  Superstar QB Brissett will have a tough time doing it with his arm against a top-flight N. Carolina defensive secondary.  As witnessed above, the NC State solid defensive numbers have been built against weak link competition.

 

North Carolina Tar Heels
That moniker will clearly not apply to this Tar Heel attack.  Under the guidance of 4th year HC Fedora, who as OC at Oklahoma St. and HC at S. Mississippi was renowned for building balanced explosive offenses, the Tar Heels this year are a proud member of the 200 CLUB.  It has resulted in an average of 41 PPG, 491 YPG and 7.5 YP play.  Following an opening night victory against S. Carolina (QB Williams threw 2 INTs in the Gamecock end zone), the Heels have ripped off 10 straight victories with all but the 30-27 win at VA Tech last week (Hokies in LHG for Beamer, NC in look ahead to this game) were by 7 or more points.  That includes a road win of (26-19) at a viable Pitt team.

Remembering the (35-7) loss of last year, do not expect HC Fedora or QB Williams to take their foot off the gas pedal, as they Crush NC State and enter next week’s ACC Title game with Clemson with momentum building confidence.  I invite you to put the college football odds in your favor and join me in my college football pick as the CFB Crusher of the Week.

College Football Picks: North Carolina -5 at The Greek

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