NC State (4-4) at Syracuse (3-5) (ET)

FACTS & STATS: Site: Carrier Dome (49,262) — Syracuse, New York. Television:
ESPN3. Home Record: NC State 3-2, Syracuse 1-4. Away Record: NC State 1-2,
Syracuse 2-1. Neutral Record: NC State 0-0, Syracuse 0-0. Conference Record:
NC State 0-4, Syracuse 1-3. Series Record: NC State leads, 6-1.

GAME NOTES: A pair of Atlantic Coast Conference bottom feeders meet up on
Saturday when the Syracuse Orange host the NC State Wolfpack at the Carrier

NC State comes in having dropped four straight contests, all in ACC play,
while Syracuse has just one win in its last six outings. The Orange, however,
thanks to a victory two weeks ago against Wake Forest, sit one game better
than the Wolfpack in the Atlantic Division of the ACC. Syracuse is 3-5 overall
and 1-3 in the ACC, while the Wolfpack are 4-4 overall and 0-4 in-conference.

Syracuse is coming off a near defeat of then 21st-ranked Clemson last weekend.
The Tigers Cole Stoudt threw for 209 yards with a touchdown in a 16-6 win.
Stoudt threw two interceptions as Clemson committed four turnovers, while
Syracuse gave it away three times.

Syracuse quarterback AJ Long struggled to just 82 yards on 12-of-27 passing
with two interceptions for the Orange, who have yet to string together
consecutive wins since beginning the season 2-0.

It looks like Long will be under center for a third straight week. The true
freshman is replacing injured starter Terrel Hunt, who has a fractured fibula.
Hunt, who hasn’t started any physical therapy yet, is expected to miss at
least another three weeks.

For the season, Long has completed 58 percent of his passes for 420 yards with
two touchdowns and four interceptions. Prince-Tyson Gulley leads the ground
game with 62 yards per game, while Jarrod West has a team-high 33 catches for
449 yards.

As a team, the Orange average 21 points on 375 yards per game. The running
game carries the load with 177 yards per game. Cameron Lynch leads a defense
that allows 23 points and 359 yards per game.

The Orange have a bevy of backs capable of put up big numbers this season,
which is evidenced by four different 100-yard rushers thus far. In addition
to Gulleys two, Hunt (1), Adonis Ameen Moore (1) and Devante McFarlane (1)
all have topped the century mark at least once. It’s just the second time in
35 years Syracuse has had that many different 100-yard rushers in the same

The Orange offense will struggle against better defenses without Hunt, like
they did against Clemson. Fortunately, NC State doesn’t have a good defense.

The Wolfpack enter having allowed an average of 39 points in their last four
losses, having not allowed fewer than 30 points in any of those games.

Most recently, NC State lost to Louisville 30-18 two weeks ago. The Wolfpack
had trouble stopping all parts of the Cardinals offense. Running back Michael
Dyer racked up 173 yards on 24 carries, while quarterback Will Gardner amassed
203 yards and two touchdowns on 21-of-36 passing efficiency while under
center. Additionally, DeVante Parker had a monster showing, reeling in nine
catches for 132 yards.

NC State quarterback Jacoby Brissett had a decent contest, registering 223
yards and two touchdowns on 18-of-32 passing. Brissett, who was intercepted
once, also produced 40 yards on 11 carries, while Shadrach Thornton gained 54
yards on 13 rushes.

Brissett is leading the NC State offense this season. He has completed 61
percent of his passes for 1,796 yards with 16 touchdowns, which is third in
the ACC, and just three interceptions. He has also run for a score.

Thornton has added seven rushing touchdowns to give the Wolfpack a solid
rushing game, while Bo Hines leads the team with 28 catches for 422 yards.

As a team, the Wolfpack averaged 29 points and 407 yards per game, with 226 of
those yards coming through the air.

Defensively, NC State has struggled to stop teams. For the season, it has
allowed an average of 29 points on 395 yards per game. Jerod Fernandez leads
the unit with 58 total tackles and two interceptions.

NC State, which leads the series against Syracuse 6-1, is making its first
trip to the Carrier Dome since 1997. The Orange’s only win in the series came
last year in a 24-10 win.

Neither of these teams are playing impressive football lately. However,
Syracuse’s defense came up big in Clemson and the offense should do enough at
home against a weaker foe to escape with an ugly win.

Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Syracuse 20, NC State 17