NCAA Week 8 Early Lookahead: Could NC State Test Clemson?

Matthew Jordan

Thursday, October 11, 2018 12:52 PM UTC

Thursday, Oct. 11, 2018 12:52 PM UTC

Here’s a quick look at some interesting Week 8 college football matchups, all of which SBR will have covered in one way or another.

Stanford at Arizona State, Thursday

5Dimes summer line: NA

This is the first Pac-12 matchup on a Thursday all season – Stanford would have been only the third ranked team we’ve had play on a Thursday night this year but the Cardinal have fallen out of the AP Top 25 with back-to-back blowout losses to Notre Dame and Utah. Star Cardinal running back Bryce Love was hurt late vs. the Utes and missed the Irish game but is expected to play Thursday. ASU was ranked following a Week 2 win over then-ranked Michigan State but has lost three of four.

Stanford has won five of the past six in this series, but they don’t play every year as they are in opposite conferences of the Pac-12. Last year, the Cardinal prevailed 34-24 in Palo Alto. Love burnished his 207 Heisman chances (he finished second) with a school-record 301 yards rushing and scoring runs of 61, 43 and 59 yards.

Look for a preview of this game Monday.

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#LightItRed #1Pack1Goal pic.twitter.com/uay45WbbRA

— NC State Football (@PackFootball) October 7, 2018
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No. 20 NC State at No. 4 Clemson

5Dimes summer line: Tigers -20

This is the final school on Clemson’s regular-season schedule that is currently ranked, although Boston College and Duke might be by the time they play. The Tigers are off their bye.

The Wolfpack very quietly are 5-0 – they had a game vs. West Virginia canceled by Hurricane Florence to really see how good they are -- and also come off their bye week. They might have the ACC’s best quarterback in Ryan Finley, a guy the NFL scouts have their eyes on.

Clemson has won the past six in this series and 13 of 14. The Tigers were ranked sixth and the Wolfpack 20th last year in Raleigh with Clemson prevailing 38-31. NC State was at the Clemson 28-yard line late in the game, but Finley would be picked off on fourth down by K’Von Wallace – only after an illegal formation penalty by NC State wiped out a completion for a first-and-goal. Finley threw for 338 yards and three touchdowns. Kelly Bryant, now gone from Clemson, threw for a score and ran for two.

No. 19 Colorado at No. 7 Washington

5Dimes summer line: NA

Potential Pac-12 title game preview? Might be, and these two played in the conference championship game following the 2016 season.

It sure looks like Washington will come out of the North Division again, while the watered-down South could be won by just about everyone other than Oregon State. Buffs head coach Mike MacIntyre has taken himself off the hot seat for now.

Colorado has yet to beat Washington in eight tries since joining the Pac-12, and the past six have all been decided by at least 15 points. It was 37-10 Huskies last year in Boulder. UW outscored Colorado 27-3 after halftime on a cold, rainy night. Myles Gaskin rushed for 202 yards and two touchdowns. Buffs quarterback Steven Montez was picked off three times.

No. 12 Michigan at Michigan State

5Dimes summer line: Sparty -1

Now things get interesting for UM coach Jim Harbaugh, because he’s largely judged on how the Wolverines fare against bitter rivals Ohio State and Michigan State. Harbaugh is just 1-5 against those schools.

Sparty has dominated this rivalry in winning eight of 10 – Harbaugh’s only win was in 2016 in East Lansing when the Wolverines were ranked No. 2 and MSU was having a down season. UM prevailed 32-23 but didn’t come close to covering the spread.

Last year in rainy Ann Arbor, unranked MSU upset No. 7 Michigan 14-10. Wolverines quarterback John O'Korn (now gone) threw three interceptions and the Wolverines turned it over five times. Michigan State had just 252 yards of offense and 11 penalties but didn’t turn it over. Brian Lewerke threw for just 94 yards but had a passing and rushing score.

Michigan State most definitely will not be favored as it was back in the summer.

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