NC State (3-6) at Boston College (5-4)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, November 16, 12:30 p.m. (et).
FACTS & STATS: Site: Alumni Stadium (44,500) -- Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts. Television: Local. Home Record: NC State 3-3, BC 4-1. Away Record: NC State 0-3, BC 1-3. Neutral Record: NC State 0-0, BC 0-0. Conference Record: NC State 0-6, BC 2-3. Series Record: Boston College leads, 6-4.
GAME NOTES: Now that the Boston College Eagles finally have their first road win of the season, they can now focus more on their ACC schedule as they prepare for the arrival of NC State to Chestnut Hill this weekend.
Heading into last weekend the Eagles had fallen to USC, Clemson and North Carolina in their only road dates, but the squad finally got on track outside of the Bay State with a 48-34 victory over New Mexico State in Las Cruces. Boston College has now won two in a row for the second time this season, but is still just one game over .500 altogether.
Right now, the Wolfpack would certainly take being even slightly better than average because they've been on a major slide since early October when they bowed to Wake Forest in Winston-Salem. That setback to the Demon Deacons kicked off a five-game losing streak for NC State, the latest setback coming against Duke last weekend, 38-20, in Durham.
Not only is NC State dealing with a lengthy skid, the team is also without a single win in ACC play, leaving the Pack last in the Atlantic Division standings at 0-6.
In terms of the all-time series, the Eagles own a 6-4 edge over NC State, although the Wolfpack won the most recent encounter last season by a score of 27-10 in Raleigh.
NC State rolled up more than 400 yards of offense against the Blue Devils last week, but the visitors managed to convert only 6-of-18 on third down as they suffered the loss to Duke. The Wolfpack tallied just a single offensive touchdown in the matchup, an 80-yard pass from Brandon Mitchell to Quintin Payton in the fourth quarter to give the Pack a 20-17 advantage, but from there it was turnovers that hurt the most.
Both Mitchell and Pete Thomas split time at quarterback for the Pack, combining to hit on just 13-of-33 passes for 248 yards, but also three interceptions, two of which were returned for touchdowns in the final frame.
Quite honestly, if it were not for the special teams and the interceptions brought back for scores by Duke, the outcome could have easily swung in NC State's favor because the defense played well enough to keep the visitors in contention. In fact, the Pack limited the hosts to only 321 yards of total offense thanks to the efforts of Brandon Pittman who logged three of his game- high 14 tackles behind the line of scrimmage.
Also drawing attention to himself was Hakim Jones who made an interception and both forced and recovered a fumble.
Jones is currently fifth on the team in total stops this season with 41, while Pittman falls just below him on that list with 39, five of which have been for a loss.
Speaking of tackles for loss, the Wolfpack are also quite dubious in their attempt to prevent such tackles, ranking last in the ACC and 119th in the country after nine games with an average of 8.4 TFL surrendered. In addition to being taken down quite a few times themselves, Thomas and Mitchell have had a lot of trouble finding open receivers when they do stay on their feet. In fact, the duo has just four TDs against 15 INTs right now.
Matching their highest scoring output of the season last weekend, the Eagles whipped up on New Mexico State thanks mostly to the efforts of running back Andre Williams who broke the school's single-game rushing record with 295 yards. Williams carried the ball 30 times and scored twice for the Eagles as they rolled up 550 yards of total offense on just 60 plays.
Also having a strong outing was Chase Rettig who converted 17-of-25 passes for 230 yards and three more scores through the air for the visitors. BC turned the ball over on its first possession, but responded by delivering three straight scoring drives.
On defense, the Eagles forced NMSU to punt on four of the first five possessions, the other ending in a field goal. Boston College did surrender a hefty 548 yards of total offense to the hosts, but while the Eagles were averaging 9.2 yards per play, NMSU was coming up with only 6.4 yards, still a big chunk nonetheless.
Steele Divitto came away with a game-high 18 tackles, followed by Dominique Williams and Manuel Asprilla with 13 and 11 tackles, respectively. Divitto has now moved up to second place on the team's tackles chart, showing 80 stops which is just one behind Kevin Pierre-Louis.
Rettig has been a great game manager for the Eagles with his 64.0 percent completion rate and 14 touchdowns through the air, against just four interceptions, but clearly the BC offense is owned by Williams and his exploits. The top ground gainer in the nation entering the week with his 1,471 yards, Williams has scored 12 touchdowns on the ground, the rest of the BC offense producing only two rushing scores. Perhaps most impressive about Williams is the fact that he is averaging six yards per carry.
Unless the Wolfpack quarterbacks can catch lightning in a bottle, there is little chance that they will have much to do with the outcome of this meeting. However, you can be sure that Williams and Rettig will certainly be factors on the other side for the Eagles.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Boston College 28, NC State 24
11/14 15:06:39 ET