NC STATE WOLFPACK (6-4)
at CLEMSON TIGERS (9-1)
Kickoff: Saturday, 3:30 p.m. EDT
Line: Clemson -16.5, Total: 64
No. 11 Clemson seeks its seventh straight victory when NC State travels to Death Valley on Saturday afternoon.
After losing seven straight meetings SU (3-4 ATS), NC State crushed Clemson 37-13 last year behind 253 passing yards and 3 TD from Mike Glennon. The Wolfpack quarterback has thrown 16 TD in six ACC games, but has nine picks as well. Tigers QB Tajh Boyd is the No. 2 rated passer in the nation with 2,941 passing yards, 28 TD and 9 INT, but he had 0 TD and 2 INT in last year’s loss to NC State. Clemson WR Sammy Watkins left last game with a leg injury, but is expected to play. His team has seven straight ATS wins.
Can Clemson extend its win streak with another lopsided win? For the answer, connect to The Platinum Sheet for all the StatFox Experts picks for every key college football game throughout the 2012 season.
NC State's defense had been burned for 76 points and 1,016 yards during a two-game losing skid, but the team got back on track with last week's 37-6 pounding of Wake Forest, holding the Demon Deacons to 185 total yards (16 rushing). Although the Wolfpack's defense has been average in terms of total yards (396 YPG, 63rd in FBS), they have been ferocious in their pursuit of the quarterback with an ACC-leading 3.0 sacks per game and 7.8 Tackles For Loss per game (T-7th in nation). Offensively, the ground game flourished against Wake Forest with 170 yards, but needed 51 carries (3.3 YPC) to get to that total. However, this was a big increase from the 48 rushing YPG and 1.8 YPC the Wolfpack averaged in their previous four contests. Despite the team's road struggles (0-4 ATS), Glennon has put up some big numbers away from home, burning Miami for 440 yards and 4 TD, Maryland for 307 yards and 2 TD and North Carolina for 467 yards and 5 TD. Glennon has also been forcing some passes though, with six interceptions over the past three games. That is part of NC State's 11 giveaways during this three-game stretch.
Boyd is the ACC leader in total yards (330 YPG) and he has just been rolling during this six-game win streak, surpassing 400 total yards four times and compiling 24 total touchdowns (19 passing, 5 rushing). WR DeAndre Hopkins (1,096 rec. yds) has scored a receiving touchdown in all nine of his games versus FBS opponents this year, totaling 14 for the season. That has helped make up for the disappointing season from Watkins, who has just two receiving touchdowns for the entire season that has been cut short by injuries and a suspension. Clemson's ground game hasn't been great recently, gaining 135 yards or less in three of the past four games. The Tigers managed just 3.2 yards per carry in last week's 45-10 win over Maryland. Turnovers have also been problematic, as Clemson has seven giveaways in the past two games. Defensively, the Tigers have really shut down the run in the past three contests, allowing 92 rush YPG on a paltry 2.6 YPC.