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Boston College Eagles vs. NC State Wolfpack Prediction and Preview

NC State Wolfpack QB Ryan Finley

NC State Wolfpack QB Ryan Finley

The NC State Wolfpack have now cracked the Top 25 after a 4-0 record to begin the season. Now ranked No. 23 in the country, the Pack will host the Boston College Eagles on Saturday.

Boston College won its last game, defeating Temple 45-35 in Chestnut Hill. NC State also was victorious the last time out, beating Virginia 35-21 in its ACC opener.

Boston College leads the all-time series over NC State 9-6. However, the two teams have split the last two meetings.

Boston College at NC State

Kickoff: Saturday, Oct. 6 at 12:30 p.m. ET
TV: ACC Network
Spread: NC State -4.5

Three Things to Watch

1. NC State offense

NC State leads the ACC and ranks ninth in the FBS in passing offense, throwing for 342.3 yards per game. The Wolfpack can boast the league’s leading passer and the No. 2 wide receiver.

Quarterback Ryan Finley stands atop the league leaders with 328.2 passing yards per game. The senior has passed for 1,313 yards. Junior receiver Kelvin Harmon is the ACC’s No. 2 receiver, averaging 101.5 receiving yards per game.

The Pack should be able to exploit what is a BC weakness. Boston College is 61st in passing yards allowed, as they're giving up 217.4 yards through the air. So the Eagles defense will definitely have its hands full.

2. AJ Dillon

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The Boston College running back is one of the most dynamic offensive weapons in the nation. But after rushing for 161 yards and two touchdowns against Temple last week, Dillon left the game due to an ankle injury.

When asked about Dillon's status, Steve Addazio didn't provide any updates on his star running back. If Dillon cannot play or is limited, freshman running back David Bailey should see a lot of action. Bailey is still eligible to redshirt with the four-game redshirt rule.

Dillon has rushed 2,241 yards for his career. He is averaging 130.4 yards on the ground this season.

3. NC State defense

Even if Dillon does not play, the Wolfpack defense will have its hands full. The Eagles have scored 216 points through five games, which is the most in school history at this point in a season.

NC State's defense is giving up 347.3 yards per game, which is 40th in the nation. They're also 13th in scoring defense, as they're giving up 15.3 points per game. The Wolfpack are also tied for fourth in the FBS and lead the ACC by allowing just seven touchdowns.

Final Analysis

Even with AJ Dillon, it will be tough for the Eagles to pull off the upset on the road, especially against a stingy Wolfpack defense.

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On the flip side, the Wolfpack offense should be able to exploit the Eagles defense with Ryan Finley and Kelvin Harmon. The Wolfpack have won six straight dating back to last year, and they should have enough to pull out number seven at home on Saturday.

Prediction: NC State 41, Boston College 24

— Written by Antwan Staley, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network and has extensive experience covering Florida sports teams. Staley has written for Bleacher Report, the Miami Herald and the Palm Beach Post and is a reporter for Pro Player Insiders. Follow him on Twitter @antwanstaley.