Virginia Tech Hokies (2-2 SU, 2-1 ATS) vs. North Carolina State Wolfpack (4-0 SU, 3-0 ATS), 3:30 p.m. EST, Saturday, October 2, 2010, Carter-Finley Stadium, Raleigh, N.C. TV: ABC
by Ryno of Predictem.com
Betting Odds: Va Tech -4/NC State +4
Over/Under Total: 55
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So what happened to those Virginia Tech Hokies? The same team that was ranked in the top 10 nationally in the preseason is now unranked and 2-2, and that’s after a two-game winning streak. After taking care of business with a shutout victory at Boston College last week, the Hokies are now the favorites on the road at ACC rival North Carolina State, a team that is ranked in the top 25.
NC State is 4-0 after defeating Western Carolina, UCF, Cincinnati and Georgia Tech. All of those wins other than the UCF win were by double digits. And the Wolfpack led UCF 28-7 before allowing two late touchdowns. So it’s safe to say the Wolfpack look legit thus far. But they will be tested on Saturday and a win over the Hokies will certainly strengthen their claim as a legit power in the ACC this season.
In NC State’s 45-28 win at Georgia Tech last week, QB Russell Wilson was 28-for-41 passing for 368 yards, three touchdowns and an interception. The Wolfpack totaled 159 rushing yards on 40 carries. Dean Haynes ran for 75 yards on 18 carries and Mustafa Greene ran for 68 yards and a touchdown on 13 carries. Wilson also ran for a touchdown. Georgia Tech ran for 247 yards on 48 carries for a 5.1 yards-per-carry average. The Wolfpack did a nice job defending Yellow Jackets QB Joshua Nesbitt, who was just 5-for-18 for 116 yards and a touchdown. Both teams had two turnovers.
VT started its season with a dramatic 33-30 loss to Boise State on a neutral field. The Hokies had the lead late in the game but Boise State made the clutch plays late in the fourth quarter to win the game. The Hokies must have been upset about that tough less because they totally flopped the next week by losing 21-16 at home to James Madison. The week after that, they struggled for a while but ended up with a 49-27 win over East Carolina.
Last week, the Hokies won 19-0 at Boston College in their ACC opener. They only scored one touchdown in the game - a 4-yard touchdown run by Darren Evans - and kicker Chris Hazley added four field goals. QB Tyrod Taylor was 16-for-21 passing for 237 yards and an interception. The Hokies totaled 107 rushing yards on 39 carries. The big difference in the game was the turnover differential. The Hokies forced three turnovers and committed just one. The Hokies held BC’s QB to 11-of-25 passing for 130 yards and two interceptions. They also held the Eagles to 106 rushing yards on 28 carries, although starting RB Montel Harris had 111 rushing yards on 19 carries.
For the season, Taylor has 746 passing yards with five touchdowns and two interceptions and is completing 65.3 percent of his pass attempts. He has also run for 201 rushing yards, more than Va Tech’s leading running back. Jarrett Boykin is the Hokies’ leading receiver with 11 receptions for 243 yards and three touchdowns.
Wilson is having a terrific season thus far with 1,112 passing yards, 11 touchdowns and just one interception while completing 59.9 percent of his pass attempts. Five different NC State receivers have between 10 and 14 receptions on the year, so there aren’t just one or two receivers to focus on. Wilson likes to spread the ball around. The Hokies will have to play some strong pass defense to shut down Wilson and the Wolfpack.
Virg. Tech is 4-0 ATS in its last four games as a favorite and 7-2 ATS in its last nine games overall as a favorite. NC State is 4-1 ATS in its last five home games. The over is 5-1 in the Hokies’ last six games overall but the under is 4-1 in their last five road games. The over is 5-0 in NC State’s last five October games and 4-0 in its last four games as a home underdog.
Ryno’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: Despite being on underdog on paper, I believe NCSU wins this game by 10+ points! Good luck!