No. 22 NC State hosts Wake looking to continue climbing
Wake Forest (4-5, 1-4 ACC) at No. 22 North Carolina State (6-2, 3-2, No. 14 CFP), Thursday, 7:30 p.m. EST (ESPN).
Line: N.C. State by 17.
Series record: N.C. State leads 66-39-6.
WHAT’S AT STAKE?
The Wolfpack aren’t going to catch No. 2 Clemson atop the ACC’s Atlantic Division, but the second 10-win season in school history remains a real possibility, and they’re trying to string together enough victories to climb up the CFP rankings and into a New Year’s Six bowl. The Demon Deacons have virtually no margin for error if they’re to reach their third consecutive bowl.
N.C. State receivers vs. Wake Forest secondary. The Wolfpack have one of the best receiving corps in the nation, with two of them — Jakobi Meyers (7.4) and Kelvin Harmon (6.2) — ranking among the ACC’s top four in receptions per game. The Demon Deacons have struggled all season against the pass, ranking 12th in the league in pass defense, but showed improvement last week against Syracuse.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Wake Forest: WR Greg Dortch, the team’s most reliable playmaker, will need to find some holes in the ACC’s worst pass defense and make life easier on first-time starting QB Jamie Newman.
N.C. State: WR Emeka Emezie, the team’s No. 3 receiver with 28 receptions, surely has something to prove. Emezie was a step shy of crossing the goal line for the go-ahead touchdown late in last year’s meeting when he fumbled, and Wake Forest recovered and eventually put the game away.
FACTS & FIGURES
N.C. State has won 15 of the last 16 meetings in Raleigh, with Wake Forest’s only victory coming in 2006 during the Demon Deacons’ run to the ACC title and the Orange Bowl. ... The Wolfpack, who are 5-0 at Carter-Finley Stadium, will match the school’s single-season record for victories at home with a win. ... N.C. State coach Dave Doeren is 4-1 against Wake Forest’s Dave Clawson, in a record that dates back to when both coaches were in the Mid-American Conference.
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