North Carolina State, which went just 3-9 a year ago in its first season under Dave Doeren, can double that win total and also become bowl eligible when it hosts last place Wake Forest on Saturday. To do that the Wolfpack, who also have a Nov. 29 road game at rival North Carolina left on the schedule, will have to do something it hasn't accomplished in two seasons -- win a conference game at home. North Carolina State has dropped seven straight ACC home games with its best chance this season oddly coming when it gave defending national champ Florida State all it could handle before losing, 56-41.
Wake Forest has lost five straight games since defeating Army, 24-21, on Sept. 20, its only win over an FBS school this season. The home team has won seven straight and 11 of the last 12 meetings between the schools. "There's still a possibility that we can win eight games this year," Wolfpack freshman wide receiver Bo Hines said. "We're definitely on the right track."
TIME: 3 p.m. ET, ESPN3. LINE: North Carolina State -17
ABOUT WAKE FOREST (2-7, 0-5 ACC): The Demon Deacons are the only team without an ACC victory and occupy the Atlantic Division cellar right behind the Wolfpack and Syracuse, who are both 1-5. Quarterback John Wolford has become the most successful true freshman in school history, setting marks for passes attempted (267), passes completed (157), yards (1,465) and touchdown passes (nine). Another freshman, tight end Cam Serigne, had two touchdown receptions in Wake Forest's 34-20 loss at Clemson last week, a game that was tied 17-17 at halftime and 20-20 early in the fourth quarter.
ABOUT NORTH CAROLINA STATE (5-5, 1-5): Quarterback Jacoby Brissett, a transfer who began his career at Florida, is the focal point of the Wolfpack offense, having passed for 2,195 yards, 18 touchdowns and five interceptions while also rushing for 281 yards and two more TDs. Hines has been his favorite target with a team-high 40 receptions for 513 yards and a touchdown. Defensive end Art Norman has 19 career sacks, including 5.5 this season, and leads a young Wolfpack defense.
1. Wake Forest ranks 125th in the nation in total offense (203 yards per game) and rushing offense (31.4).
2. Wake Forest's Kevin Johnson, who has seven career interceptions, is ranked the No. 8 cornerback prospect by NFLDraftScout.com and has been invited to play in the Senior Bowl.
3. North Carolina State PK Niklas Sade is just one point shy of tying the school record for career points (312) held by running back Ted Brown (1975-78).
PREDICTION: North Carolina State 34, Wake Forest 17