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ACC rivals meet Thursday as the NC State Wolfpack visit the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets.
Following a quality 4-2 start, N.C. State has dropped four straight, including five of six to sit next-to-last in the ACC Atlantic. The Wolfpack remains winless since Oct. 1o when narrowly defeating Syracuse 16-10. N.C. State’s most recent setback came 34-20 Nov. 16 vs. Louisville. To gain bowl eligibility, the Wolfpack must win their remaining games vs. Georgia Tech and UNC.
Meanwhile, Georgia Tech’s misery index rises as Geoff Collins’ men are 2-8 and last in the ACC Coastal Division. After stunning Miami Oct. 19, the Yellow Jackets have resumed their labored ways, losing four consecutive. Most recently, Georgia Tech suffered a 45-0 road shutout opposite Virginia Tech.
The Yellow Jackets currently own -2 odds entering Thursday’s conference battle.
NC State looking for .500 finishAs noted, NC State's fortune slipped when entering conference play. Currently sixth in the Atlantic, the Wolfpack experienced recent defensive issues vs. bowl-eligible Louisville. Cardinals play-caller Micale Cunningham, (13 of 20, 242 yards) tossed four touchdown strikes as backup Ryan Chalifoux's scoring pass added final touches during Louisville's 34-20 road win vs. NC State. Behind aerial gains and efficient defense, each of the Cardinals' 326 yards went toward winning football. In defeat, even outgaining their recent opponent 377 to 326, NC State couldn't convert end-zone chances.
State freshman quarterback Devin Leary finished Saturday's home loss 24 of 44 with two touchdowns and an interception. Combined with little ground support, the Wolfpack's passing game couldn't cut muster as Dave Doeren's men took another step back from 2018's 9-4 record.
NC State averages 22.9 ppg (#104 FBS) and allows 29.2 ppg (#79). The Wolfpack's updated injury report shows seven contributors listed as out and two as questionable.
Ramblin' wreck look to finish season on positive noteWith Paul Johnson out and Geoff Collins in, Georgia Tech's ACC standing has flat lined. Gone from last season's 7-6 bowl offering are key contributors TaQuon Marshall and Jalen Johnson, each played invaluable roles before Johnson bid college football farewell. Gone, too, is Tech's patented wishbone offense. Marshall led the Jackets' 18-19 charge with 16 total touchdowns and 1,871 total yards. Once credible, behind starter James Graham's eight touchdowns and seven interceptions Tech's offense is stagnant at 16.5 ppg. The team's defense allows a bottom-third nationally 31.1 ppg.
Atlantic Coast Conference contender Virginia Tech recently unleashed an offensive surge vs. Collins' men, shutting out the Yellow Jackets 45-0 last weekend. Behind Hendon Hookers' two ground scores, the Hokies added four rushing touchdowns and 461 overall yards vs. Tech. Conversely, blocked at every turn, Georgia Tech gained just 134 offensive yards opposite a staunch Hokies defense. In defeat, Graham and Yates complete 11 of 25 featuring two costly turnovers.
Acclimating to a new system, with several new faces, Georgia Tech's 2-8 mark shows 411.8 yards allowed and labored 290.2 total offensive yards. Both numbers will be tested this weekend by an NC State group clinging to bowl contention hopes
- Yellow Jackets are 2-11 ATS in their last 13 games overall.
- Yellow Jackets are 1-8 ATS in their last 9 games after accumulating less than 170 yards passing in their previous game.
- Yellow Jackets are 0-7 ATS in their last 7 home games.
- Yellow Jackets are 0-5 ATS in their last 5 home games vs. a team with a losing road record.
Trends courtesy of Covers.com
- Wolfpack are 3-0-1 ATS in their last 4 road games vs. a team with a losing home record.
- Wolfpack are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 Thursday games.
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
Neither program enters today's late-Nov. matchup as inspired groups. As stated, though, by winning out NC State can make its sixth-consecutive bowl appearance. Conversely, Georgia Tech has nothing to gain Thurs. other than pride. I don't think pride will be enough for Johnson's men opposite slightly better competition. With little to choose from between teams struggling on both sides, expect a quality outing from Leary as fellow youngster Zonovan Knight gains ground yards vs. Tech's generous run defense. It's worth noting the Wolfpack are 0-4 this year on the road. Georgia Tech is just 1-4 from home. Today, NC State claims it first 2019 road win.
Full-Game Total Pick
I feel NC State is the primary offensive supplier in Thursday's matchup. That stated, the Wolfpack exhibit strong Under tendencies this season. Some trends to consider include State's 19-1-1 Under record in Thursday games, State's 6-1 Under record in their last seven vs. losing teams, and a 19-8 Under tally in the Wolfpacks' last 27 conference tilts. Likewise, and this is vital, the Under is 5-1 in Georgia Tech's last six home games. Further, both programs are mired among offensive challenges which will hold today's score beneath the 47.5 total.