NC State faces tough Boston College rush D without top back
Nov. 06, 2015
BOSTON (AP) — North Carolina State gave No. 3 Clemson a huge test last week. Now the Wolfpack will face another challenge when they go against Boston's College's top-ranked rush defense Saturday without their top running back.
On Thursday, N.C. State announced that Matt Dayes was lost for the season with a foot injury suffered in last week's 56-41 loss at home against the Tigers.
The Wolfpack (5-3, 1-3 Atlantic Coast Conference) own the nation's 33rd-ranked rushing offense heading into Saturday's matchup with the Eagles (3-6, 0-6). BC gives up just 64.2 yards per game on the ground.
Dayes is ranked 25th nationally with 108.1 yards per game and tied for 11th in the nation with an ACC-best 12 rushing touchdowns.
Eagles coach Steve Addazio feels like his young squad is still in for a tough matchup.
"They're a really veteran team," he said. "They have seven returning starters on defense and (seven) on offense."
With the loss of Dayes, the Wolfpack likely will need another big day for quarterback Jacoby Brissett, who threw three TD passes against the Tigers. He's completed 65.5 percent of his attempts this season, throwing 13 TDs with just one interception.
"We have to be balanced," N.C. State coach Dave Doeren said. "We have to be able to do similar to what we did to Clemson."
The Wolfpack collected 389 total yards against Clemson.
"They've got a great veteran quarterback," Addazio said. "He's a great pocket passer and an accurate guy."
The Eagles are searching for any kind of spark for an offense that's ranked 126th in the country, collecting just 276 yards per game and 123th through the air.
The Eagles come in having lost six straight, while N.C. State has dropped three of four.
In last week's loss against Virginia Tech, Addazio benched starter Troy Flutie after two series and inserted freshman walk-on John Fadule for the first time. It was the fourth QB to see action for the Eagles this season.
Opening starter Darius Wade was lost with a broken ankle in the third game. Replacement Jeff Smith missed last Saturday's loss with a concussion. He was cleared to practice this week.
"I think we'll keep developing all of our quarterbacks," Addazio said.
Fadule rushed for a team-leading 53 yards and completed 8 of 20 attempts for 143 yards.
Here are some things to know ahead of this game:
WALK THIS WAY: Addazio said Fadule had a chance to play at Harvard, but wanted to play at a Power 5 conference school. Next he'll find out if he's earned a scholarship. "Those are one of the things that we have to address at the end of the season," Addazio said. "But my philosophy is easy here: If you go do it on the field and you earn it on the field, then you get a scholarship. That's the way I look at it. I like to see guys earn it and get it."
HOMEFIELD EDGE: The Eagles have won the last six times the schools have met at Alumni Stadium. "Tough place historically to play," Doeren said. The Eagles are also 7-3 against the Wolfpack since joining the ACC.
DUAL THREAT: FB/TE Jaylen Samuels could see some more carries with Dayes out. He has 42 catches for 429 yards with five TDs. He's also carried 29 times for 208 yards and six scores.
WHAT A RATIO: Brissett has thrown 36 touchdowns and only six interceptions over the past two seasons after transferring from Florida following the 2012 season.
UNSEASONABLE WEATHER: The game-time temperature is expected to be near 60.
AP Sports Writers Aaron Beard and Joedy McCreary contributed from Raleigh, North Carolina.