Week 4 Preview: NC State vs. Presbyterian

While much of Wolfpack nation is looking ahead to NC State’s match up against Florida State, one bout stands between NC State and their date with the Seminoles. Presbyterian College (PC) comes in to Raleigh for the Wolfpack’s final out-of-conference matchup this Saturday.

NC State is heavily favored to win against Presbyterian, reeling off their big win against the University of South Florida last week. The Wolfpack played its best game of the season as they defeated the Bulls 49-17. Not since they faced North Carolina in 2008 has NC State won by that large of a margin on the road. They rushed for 315 yards, the most since 1994. Four running backs each had more than 50 yards.

Last week, junior Shadrach Thornton led the ground attack with a total of 70 yards. Thornton has proved to be an asset to the Wolfpack so far this season leading the team in rushing yards and adding four touchdowns. Along with Thornton, a stronger offensive line has been a key component to the Wolfpack’s 3-0 start. Protection has improved, allowing NC State to see the end zone more than they have in recent years. Thornton, along with sophomore wide receiver Bra’Lon Cherry will be key players to watch this Saturday.

In last Saturday’s match up Cherry secured three touchdowns for the Wolfpack, including rushing scores of 17 and three yards along with a 17-yard touchdown catch from quarterback Jacoby Brissett. Confidence remains instilled in Brissett to lead the team to another victory. His numbers look good with a completion record of 70.4 percent with seven touchdowns and only one interception. With Brissett’s passing ability the Wolfpack has a chance to secure their first 4-0 start since 2010.

PC is predicted to fall to NC State and continue their losing streak against teams in the FBS. Since the formation of the program in 2011, the Blue Hose has gone 0-7 against FBS opponents. PC’s strength is within their defense, holding last week’s opponent, Furman, to a season-low 214 yards and defeating them 10-7. Defensive back DaRon Dickey tallied six tackles, five of which were solo, the other for-loss for minus-7 yards, two pass break-ups and recovered his own forced fumble. Dickey was named the Big South Conference Defensive Player of the Week and will be a player to keep your eyes on Saturday.

NC State is 30-3 against FCS opponents and has not fallen to one since losing to East Tennessee State in 1987. The Wolfpack should be able to come out on top of this FCS team and achieve the 4-0 start they covet.

The two teams will meet in Raleigh on Saturday at 6 p.m.

*Photo credits to Liz Condo, USA Today Sports

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