NC State Won’t Fumble Game Away vs. Wake Forest This Year

nc state wake forest

Matthew Jordan

Monday, November 5, 2018 3:55 PM UTC

Monday, Nov. 5, 2018 3:55 PM UTC

The Atlantic Coast Conference has Thursday night all to itself in Week 11 of the college football season as Wake Forest visits No. 22 NC State on ESPN.

Wake Forest (4-5 SU, 2-7 ATS) at No. 22 NC State (6-2 SU, 4-4 ATS)Thursday, 7:30 p.m. ET (ESPN)Free NCAAF Pick: Wolfpack ATS (-16.5 alternate line)Best Line Offered: Pinnacle

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Believe it or not, Week 11 is the last one of the season where there’s just one game on Thursday night in college football, and it’s Wake Forest visiting NC State from the ACC.

You know why Wake Forest will never be very good in football? It’s a private school with high academic standards and an undergraduate enrollment of just over 5,000. That makes it easily the smallest in the ACC and among the smallest in the FBS. In basketball, it doesn’t really matter what your enrollment is – if you get one star, you can reach the NCAA Tournament. In football, you need 22 good players at least.

That’s what the goal of the Demon Deacons is down the stretch: Get bowl-eligible. Dave Clawson led Wake to bowls the past two years, the Belk and Military, and won both. Going to be tough this year as Wake closes home to Pittsburgh and at Duke in an attempt to get to 6-6 (a few 5-7 teams might get bids).

NC State (undergrad enrollment of about 25,000) will have no issues going bowling, it’s just a matter of which tier in the ACC pecking order. The Wolfpack could finish as high as second in the Atlantic behind Clemson. Coach Dave Doeren has let the Pack to four straight bowls and they’ve won three of them. The team hasn’t played in a New Year’s Day bowl since the 2002 season.

The Wolfpack are 66-39-5 all-time vs. the Deacons but Wake ended a three-game losing streak in the series by upsetting No. 25 NC State last year 30-24. John Wolford threw three touchdowns to Tabari Hines. They’re both gone now. It was the Deacons’ first regular-season win over a Top 25 team since 2011. NC State was driving late but fumbled into the Wake end zone with less than two minutes left and the Deacons recovered.

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Wake Loses Starting QB

The Deacons were 41-24 losers at home to No. 19 Syracuse on Saturday as Wake continues to struggle defensively. It allows 37.2 points per game, which is 118th nationally. To make matters worse, starting QB Sam Hartman will miss the rest of the season after injuring his leg Saturday. He’s the 12th Wake Forest player to suffer a season-ending injury, which is ridiculous. Hartman, a freshman, was 161 of 291 for 1,984 yards, 16 touchdowns and eight picks.

It’s expected that Jamie Newman will start Thursday. The redshirt sophomore has gotten into a few games and is 7-for-15 for 75 yards with a back and has rushed for 70 yards on 12 carries. Kendall Hinton would have entered fall camp as the starter if not for a three-game suspension to start the season. He has since been moved to slot receiver and is dealing with a hip injury regardless.

The Wolfpack stopped a two-game slide and got bowl eligible Saturday with a 47-28 blowout of Florida State. Freshman running back Ricky Person Jr. rushed for two scores and had a receiving TD. Person became the first NC State running back with three TDs since Matthew Dayes in 2013 vs. Louisiana Tech. Ryan Finley, who should be a first-round pick in the 2019 NFL draft, threw for three scores. The 47 points were a season high. The Wolfpack averaged 32.5 points and are Top 10 in passing yards.

  • Home team is 18-4 ATS in their last 22 meetings.
  • Demon Deacons are 0-6 ATS vs. a team with a winning record.

Wake has failed to cover its past five trips to NC State – make it six for a Thursday college football pick. I would either wait or buy that down to Pack -16.5.

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