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N.C. State football vs. North Carolina: Time, TV schedule, game preview, score

Tarheels battle Wolfpack

Ryan Finley #15 congratulates teammate Matthew McKay #7 of the North Carolina State Wolfpack after McKay's fourth quarter touchdown during their game against the Georgia State Panthers at Carter-Finley Stadium on September 8, 2018 in Raleigh, North Carolina. North Carolina Sate won 41-7. (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)
Ryan Finley #15 congratulates teammate Matthew McKay #7 of the North Carolina State Wolfpack after McKay's fourth quarter touchdown during their game against the Georgia State Panthers at Carter-Finley Stadium on September 8, 2018 in Raleigh, North Carolina. North Carolina Sate won 41-7. (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)


CHAPEL HILL, N.C. – North Carolina State has plenty to play for entering Saturday’s showdown at in-state rival North Carolina, and it goes beyond state bragging rights. The Wolfpack have won two of their past three games following a two-game losing streak, and with victories over the Tar Heels and next week against East Carolina could find itself earning a trip to the Camping World Bowl in Orlando against a Big 12 foe.

TV: 12:20 p.m. ET, Raycom Sports. LINE: N.C. State -7

 

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But N.C. State coach Dave Doeren continues to preach to his team about focusing on itself, telling reporters Monday, “Our best football that we’ve played has always been about us getting better. And that’s all we’re going to talk about.” The Wolfpack have won eight of the past 11 in the series and are favored again Saturday against a Tar Heels team that snapped a six-game losing streak with a 49-26 victory over Western Carolina last week. North Carolina may have experienced one of the toughest seasons in the nation, considering three defeats in the losing streak came by seven points or fewer and the Tar Heels led two games with two minutes to play. North Carolina coach Larry Fedora downplayed talk of his job status Monday, telling reporters, “I don’t have time to reminisce right now about what’s going on or what’s happened in the past.”

ABOUT NORTH CAROLINA STATE (7-3, 4-3 ACC)

An upset loss at home to Wake Forest on Nov. 10 short-circuited any hopes of reaching a major bowl, but the Wolfpack took out their frustrations last week in a 52-10 rout of Louisville. Senior quarterback Ryan Finley fired a career-best four touchdown passes and passed for 316 yards – his seventh game this season with 300-plus yards – as N.C. State finished with 518 yards of total offense. Senior linebacker Germaine Pratt leads the defense with 98 tackles, 11 tackles for loss and 6 ½ sacks.

ABOUT NORTH CAROLINA (2-8, 1-6 ACC)

The Tar Heels took advantage of Western Carolina’s defense, gaining a season-high 654 yards as freshman tailback Javonte Williams rushed for 93 yards and three touchdowns. Senior linebacker Cole Holcomb leads the ACC with 99 tackles and is bidding to lead North Carolina in tackles for the third consecutive season. Keeping opponents out of the end zone has been a problem: the Tar Heels are allowing 34.6 points per game and have allowed 35-plus points six times.

EXTRA POINTS

1. The Tar Heels rank 15th in the nation in sacks per game (3.0), registering 30 in 10 games.

2. N.C. State is 5-0 this season in games that kick off between noon and 1 p.m., with a noon start next week against the Pirates.

3. Wolfpack P A.J. Cole averages 42.2 yards per punt, third-best in school history.

PREDICTION: N.C. State 37, North Carolina 24

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