Louisville vs. NC State prediction roundtable with the Campus Insiders staff. Breaking down what will happen in Saturday’s ACC battle between the Cardinals and Wolfpack.
I was pulling hard for NC State to knock off Clemson, prove to everyone that the Tigers aren’t as good as their ranking and earn the Wolfpack more respect than they’ve gotten. That win sure would’ve helped Matt Dayes get more exposure on the nation scene after he put up his fifth 100-yard rushing game. He might get his sixth this week, but Louisville isn’t going to let NC State push it around inside Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium. Lamar Jackson adds four touchdowns to his Heisman resume and the Cardinals win going away.
I am sold. Matt Dayes is an absolute monster in the open field. He has the vision and the one-cut ability to rack up the yards against a lot of teams. It’s too bad for the Wolfpack that Lamar Jackson is going to put the team on his back — à la Greg Jennings (props to you if you get that reference). The Cardinals are going to run the ball all over NC State and win this one easily.
The Wolfpack should put up another strong effort against a top ACC contender one week after nearly upsetting Clemson. But it will be another close loss for Dave Doeren’s squad, as Lamar Jackson will record 300 yards of total offense, and the Cardinals won’t let star Wolfpack running back Matt Dayes hurt them too much on the ground. NC State’s balanced offense will cause some problems for the Louisville defense, but the Cards will tighten things up in the red zone, force the Wolfpack into field goal situations and pull away in the second half.
Louisville is about to take out its feelings about what happened in Death Valley a few weeks ago on the poor Wolf Pack. They want to show the world they can beat NC State, the team that took Clemson into OT and was one bad field goal away from knocking off the Tigers. I expect Lamar Jackson and Louisville to come out of the gates swinging and leave with a big ol’ “Remember Us, CFP Committee?” across their foreheads.
Can we just give Lamar Jackson the Heisman Trophy already and save everyone from a two-hour ESPN show where the announcers have to act like they don’t know who is going to win? NC State is an improved team and should have beaten Clemson. They will not come close in this one as Louisville continues to work its way back toward a possible CFP spot.