NCAAF · Sat (10/23) @ 7:57pm ET
|Hard Rock Stadium, Miami, FL|
Our Pick: NCSU NC State at -1.0 (+102). Use the BetMGM bonus code: TODAY for a risk-free first bet up to $1,000
All about the U? No, it’s all about the L. They’ve come steadily for backers of the Hurricanes, whose wallets have thinned correspondingly since they went 9-4, overall and against the spread, in 2016.
And this one is all about the D. The visitors are stout on that end of the ball. The home squad, well, leaves something to be desired …namely, desire.
NC State Wolfpack (5-1)
The No. 18 Wolfpack has been a defensive force this season under fourth-year defensive coordinator Tony Gibson, who spent a season at Arizona and five at West Virginia polishing his schemes and tactics.
It allows 14.3 points a game, the sixth-lowest in the country. Its yield of 0.237 points per play is 11th, and its allowance of 315 yards per game is a top-20 rate. It gives up a 10th-lowest 93 rushing yards a game and foes get only 5.8 yards per pass, seventh-best in the nation.
Miami is mediocre in all of the above areas.
All of that blossomed when the Pack erased an eight-game losing streak to Clemson with a 27-21 victory over the Tigers on Sept. 25.
Sophomore quarterback Devin Leary’s 22-yard TD pass to Devin Carter gave NC State the edge in the second OT, and the Pack defense sealed it. NC State held Clemson to 10 first downs (the Pack had 31) and 215 total yards (386 for the Pack).
It is truly a team effort, which will be showcased on a national ESPN2 television audience, as few defenders stand out in any way.
One that does is Drake Thomas, a 6-foot-1, 225-pound sophomore linebacker from Wake Forest, N.C., who is 12th in the Atlantic Coast Conference with 7.3 tackles per game. The Pack leads its league with eight interceptions, and Thomas has two of them.
NC State at Miami Full Sportsbook Odds
Miami Hurricanes (2-4)
The ’Canes claim to have had quarterback issues since D’Eriq King went down with that shoulder injury against Michigan State in Miami on Sept. 18.
Sure, he’s talented, a threat to run anytime. But he’d averaged only 6.3 yards per attempt, and he’d thrown three touchdown passes and had four picked off, with one fumble.
Suffice it to say, coach Manny Diaz has issues at the most important position on the field, not a good time to be facing one of the premier defenses in the country.
Tyler Van Dyke, a 6-4, 220-pound rookie, has been marginal in the past two games, and true freshman Jake Garcia played several snaps against a lower-level foe.
Junior tailback Cam’ron Harris averages nearly six yards on his 71 carries, and has scored five TDs. Junior receiver Charleston Rambo (12-yard average on 35 catches, two TDs) will try to be the aerial spark.
But good luck. The defenses are the glaring difference here, and NC State allows opponents to score only 69% of the time when they get inside the 20-yard line. That’s 11th in the country, the definition of mettle.
Miami has questions at quarterback, and issues protecting whoever is back there and with turnovers. For a very good reason, the Hurricanes are 1-3 ATS at home this season.
Sports Betting Recommendation
This one opened with Miami being favored by 2 points. Within 24 hours, however, bettors had besieged the books with wagers on NC State, flipping the favorite.
Our two most-trusted models have NC State winning by 13 and 17 points, respectively. It’ll be another long evening for local fans.