WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. – No. 22 Wake Forest continues a lengthy stay at home when it takes on visiting North Carolina State on Saturday in an ACC matchup. The Demon Deacons will be playing their third straight game at their home in BB&T Field and are coming off a bye week, making for a stretch that sees them go more than 40 days between road games.
TV: Noon ET, ESPN. LINE: Wake Forest -7.5
They bounced back from their first loss of the season with a 22-20 win over Florida State on Oct. 19, as Nick Sciba's fifth field goal with 4:18 left proved to be the difference. Sophomore quarterback Sam Hartman stepped in for an injured Jamie Newman (shoulder) and threw for 308 yards in the win, and the backup could see some action again in this one, although Newman has been throwing. The Wolfpack is also rested following a bye week of its own, which came on the heels of a 45-24 loss at Boston College. N.C. State hosts ACC leader Clemson next week as it tries to inch toward bowl eligibility for the sixth straight time.
ABOUT NORTH CAROLINA STATE (4-3, 1-2 ACC)
The revolving door at quarterback for the Wolfpack has seen redshirt freshman Devin Leary burst through, and he will make his first career start Saturday. Leary came off the bench to throw for 259 yards and three touchdowns in the loss to Boston College after getting limited reps in two previous games. He will lean on a running game that ranks tied for fourth in the ACC in yards per carry (4.3) and a receiving corps led by junior Emeka Emezie (35 catches, 380 yards).
ABOUT WAKE FOREST (6-1, 2-1)
Hartman was the starter last year before getting hurt and giving way to Newman, so there is no hesitation going with the North Carolina native. “If we don’t have Sam Hartman, we probably don’t win,” coach Dave Clawson told the media after the win over Florida State. Either signal-caller can depend on sophomore wide receiver Sage Surratt, who ranks fifth nationally in yards (881) and tied for fifth in receiving touchdowns (nine).
1. Surratt has 19 catches for 366 yards and three TDs over the last two games.
2. Wolfpack freshman WR Devin Carter had six catches for 140 yards at Boston College after recording 12 catches for 172 yards through his first six games.
3. Wake Forest won the last two meetings, including a 27-23 triumph at N.C. State last year in which Newman threw a game-winning TD with 30 seconds left.
PREDICTION: Wake Forest 35, North Carolina State 24