The door to the Atlantic Division has been opened in the ACC this season, and NC State can take a big step toward a long-awaited division crown this weekend with a tough road matchup at Boston College. NC State (4-1, 1-0 ACC) can keep pace with Wake Forest in the division race by remaining undefeated, but getting out of Chestnut Hill with a conference victory over the Eagles (4-1, 0-1) will not come easily.
No. 22 NC State at Boston College
Kickoff: Saturday, Oct. 16 at 7:30 p.m. ET
TV: ACC Network
Spread: NC State -3
When NC State Has the Ball
NC State's offense has been fairly balanced this season. The Wolfpack rank around the middle of the ACC in rushing offense and passing offense. Nothing about the stat sheet stands out as a clear advantage on offense, but they have found enough offense to take care of things this season, including a victory against Clemson. Quarterback Devin Leary has completed 67.4 percent of his passes this season with 12 touchdowns to just two interceptions. But this week Leary will have to continue being efficient against the ACC's top pass defense.
Boston College has allowed 193.8 passing yards per game and just four touchdown passes compared to six interceptions.
When Boston College Has the Ball
Boston College's offense had been on a roll racking up points this season until it ran into a defensive wall last weekend against Clemson. Boston College put 41 points on the board against Missouri. Running back Pat Garwo III is among the ACC's leaders in rushing yards per game, but the Eagles are going up against the ACC's best rushing defense. The Wolfpack are allowing just 92 rushing yards per game, the only ACC team holding opponents to fewer than 100 yards per game on the ground. NC State has also allowed just one rushing touchdown this season.
Boston College has one of the most efficient offenses on third down. The Eagles lead the ACC in third-down conversions as the only ACC program succeeding on the majority of their attempts. But NC State leads the ACC in third-down defense. Something will have to give in this one.
This could be a real opportunity for the Wolfpack to prove that they are a top threat in the Atlantic Division. Already with a win against Clemson to fall back on, NC State coming out on top of a good Boston College team would go a long way to creating an inside track to the ACC Championship Game. This will be a back-and-forth game though, as both teams have been through this season, and the Eagles could play the role of spoiler at home to jump into the Atlantic Division shuffle themselves.
Prediction: Boston College 34, NC State 32
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