NC State Seeks Bowl Eligibility Against Boston College

NC State Wolfpack (5-3, 1-3 ACC) at Boston College Eagles (3-6, 0-6 ACC)

Saturday November 7, 12:30 PM ET

Alumni Stadium, Chestnut Hill, MA

Line: NCSU -4

Over/Under: 39

Since putting up 41 points in the first quarter en route to a 76 – 0 victory against the Howard Bison, the Boston College Eagles have mustered just 65 total points in their seven games since. Boston College will have to rely on its stout defense, as usual, to combat the scoring potency that NCSU has shown it’s capable of.

Against a top level defense in Clemson, NC State racked up 389 yards, and 41 points. They did surrender 623 yards and 56 points to the Tigers in the shootout.

Boston College has been shutout twice this season (vs. FSU and Wake), and will be out of bowl contention with one more loss. Seven losses one week into November cannot be where Eagles fans saw this year going. They did lose a standout quarterback in Tyler Murphy, and do not possess a weapon like running back Andre Williams or Murphy in the backfield.

For the Wolfpack, in consecutive seasons, they have played the consensus favorite to win the ACC title very close for roughly three quarters. Last season it was Florida State that had to claw its way back into the game with State and won the game 56 – 41. This season, Clemson did not have to claw as much as the Seminoles did a year ago, but they still didn’t put the Wolfpack away until the fourth quarter.

Unlike last year when the Pack was 4 – 4 heading into their ninth game, they are now one win shy of bowl eligibility. While Boston College is struggling to stay afloat, the Wolfpack are trying to get over the five win hump. NC State seeks bowl eligibility for the second consecutive season.

I thought Wake Forest would be the gimme game for the Wolfpack this season, if things got hairy and they were stuck at five wins in November. They have already beaten the Deacons, they have their five wins, and they have what may be the most winnable conference game of the year coming up.

Just as teams can’t and shouldn’t take a team with nothing to lose for granted, the Wolfpack cannot sleep walk into Massachusetts this weekend and sputter about offensively. If they can’t keep up the momentum from a 41-point outburst against Clemson then they may struggle with this Eagles defense.

Matt Dayes Injury

As if going against the number one ranked rushing and total defense wasn’t enough, the Wolfpack have suffered another blow in the run game. After losing starting running back Shadrach Thornton to dismissal, his successor Matt Dayes, suffered a foot injury and is out for the remainder of the season.

This is a crushing blow to the NC State offense as Dayes was a key component in their bowl run last season. He has stepped up big time in the absence of Thornton and leads the team in carries, rushing yards, and rushing touchdowns. He is third in the ACC in rushing yards and first in rushing touchdowns.

Dayes’ injury leaves full back/tight end Jaylen Samuels as the Wolfpack’s leading rusher at 208 yards and rushing touchdowns at six. Samuels leads the team in receptions, receiving yards, and receiving touchdowns.

Dayes is a huge loss in Raleigh and for the ACC. Dayes follows James Conner of Pitt in the injury department. Conner never even took flight this season, as he was lost in the opener. Florida State’s Dalvin Cook has also missed time due to an injury, and the battle of attrition in the conference is coming to a head late in the season.

Back to the Eagles. On the flip side of the ball, the Eagles are an abysmal 118th in the country in scoring offense at 18.3 points per game. They only average 18.3 because of the 76 – 0 dismantling of Howard.

If Boston College can focus on quarterback Jacoby Brissett, who will be the biggest weapon State has with Dayes out, they can isolate the weapon the Wolfpack will use. With the run game all but dried up, the Wolfpack will need the passing game to carry them to victory. Boston College is just fifth ranked in passing defense, as opposed to first in the run department.

I don’t see a 3 – 0 slugfest like the Boston College game versus Wake Forest, but points will be hard to come by. If I had to bet on the over/under in this one (39), I’ll take the under.

I don’t see Boston College scoring more than ten, but I don’t think the Wolfpack can make a huge dent in the armor of the Eagles’ defense. Boston College is second in the nation in sacks, and pass protection will tell the tale of the Wolfpack this Saturday.

I’m going 10 – 9 final in favor of NC State, if and only if they manage to move the ball. If they give the same effort as their Louisville or Virginia Tech games, it will be a long day for NC State in Chestnut Hill.

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