Wolfpack Kickoff: Game 2 at Virginia Tech

Brett Friedlander

NC State (1-0, 1-0 ACC) vs. Virginia Tech (0-0, 0-0 ACC)

Lane Stadium (66,233)

8 p.m., ACC Network (PxP: Dave O'Brien; Analyst: Tim Hasselbeck, Sideline: Katie George)

Streaming: WatchESPN; National radio: Sirius 105, XM 382; Live stats: GoPack.com

Weather at kickoff: Seasonable and dry, 65 degrees at kickoff, 10% chance of rain

Series history: Virginia Tech leads 27-18-4 (10-3-2 in Blacksburg)

Last meeting: Virginia Tech 28, State 13, Oct. 9, 2015 at Blacksburg

Last week: State defeated Wake Forest 45-42. Virginia Tech's season opener 

BetOnline line: State plus 6 1/2 | Over/Under 56 1/2

WHAT THEY'RE SAYING

"They have a new defensive coordinator, so we’ll see what goes on if there’s changes to their scheme. Obviously they ran a system under Bud Foster that was very successful for a long time and the new DC did play for him. But we do expect to see some things different. (We're) just not sure what they’ll be until we get into the game." Coach Dave Doeren

"I think we're all living in a test-by-test world. We'll see as they come. Hopefully everything works out fine, and it all works out. I'm not trying raise alarm, but I'm also just being honest with the situation we're in. We're trying each day to see where it's at, and hopefully we're on the right side of where this thing is trending. I'm not positive one way or the other where we're at, and I'll know a little more as the week goes on." Virginia Tech coach Justin Fuente  

"Our mentality here at NC State as an offense is that we want to score points, whatever that takes to put points up on the board. If we run the ball 100 times a game, throw the ball 100 times a game (or) split it even down the middle ... I don't care. Whatever it takes that works and gets the ball in the end zone." Offensive guard Joe Sculthorpe

PLAYERS TO WATCH

NC State stats | Virginia Tech stats

NC STATE
VIRGINA TECH (2019 stats)

Passing

Bailey Hockman

16-23-1  191 yards  1 TD

Hendon Hooker

99-162-2  1,555 yards  13 TD

Rushing

Ricky Person Jr.

14 carries, 99 yards  2 TD

Khalil Herbert

43 carries, 384 yards  2 TD (at Kansas)

Receiving

Devin Carter

3 catches, 30 yards 1 TD

 Tre Turner

34 catches, 553 yards, 4 TD

Cary Angeline

2 catches, 45 yards, 1 TD

Tayvion Robinson

31 catches, 404 yards  1 TD

Defense

Drake Thomas 

12 tackles, 1 sack

Rayshard Ashby

120 tackles, 17 TFL, 3 FF

Daniel Joseph

5 tackles, 2 sacks, 1 QP

Jermaine Waller

46 tackles, 3 INT, 10 PBU

UNIFORM COMBINATION

The Wolfpack will be dressed in white from head-to-toe with a splash of red for Saturday's game in Blacksburg.

NOTABLE

Saturday's game was originally scheduled as the season opener for both teams on Sept. 2 but was moved back two weeks when the Wolfpack lost eight days of preseason preparation because of a COVID-19 outbreak. It's still the Hokies' first game after last week's scheduled matchup against Virginia was postponed for the same reason. ... 

This is the 50th time these teams have met dating back to 1900, but it's the first time they've played since 2015 and just the fifth time since Tech joined the ACC in 2004. The Hokies won that first game 120 years ago by the score or 18-2. ...

State's last win in Blacksburg was a 17-16 victory in 2004 when Tech missed a potential game-winning field goal as time expired. ...

The Wolfpack's 270 rushing yards were its most since piling up 292 against North Carolina on Nov. 25, 2017. ...

Surprise starting quarterback Bailey Hockman completed passes to nine different receivers during last Saturday's 45-42 win against Wake Forest. State has won two of Hockman's three career starts ...

Kicker Christopher Dunn made all six of his extra point attempts, extending his streak to a school record 85 straight for his career. Dunn also made his only field goal try, his 12th in a row over his last six games. That's the third-longest streak in school history and third-longest active streak nationally. ...

Two members of the Wolfpack's coaching staff spent a combined 28 seasons at Tech before coming to Raleigh. Cornerbacks coach Brian Mitchell was there from 2016-19 while defensive line coach Charley Wiles spent 24 seasons in Blacksburg. ...

Charley Wiles on practice field
Defensive line coach Charley WilesNC State athletics photo

Tech will be playing its season opener against an ACC opponent for the third straight year after facing Florida State in 2018 and Boston College last year. ...

Saturday's game will be the debut of new Hokies' defensive coordinator Justin Hamilton. He takes over from Bud Foster, who retired in 2019 after 33 seasons. ... 

Tech linebacker Rayshard Ashby has led the ACC in tackles for the past two seasons and is the only active player in the league with two 100-plus tackle seasons. He was named the ACC's Linebacker of the Week five times last year.

PREDICTION

Brett: This is a tough one, because it's uncertain exactly who will be available for the Hokies and what kind of physical condition they'll be in after spending more than a week in quarantine. But if the Wolfpack can run the ball even close to the way it did against Wake Forest and figure out a way to contain quarterback Hendon Hooker's running, it can come away with a victory regardless of who lines up on the opposite side of the line ... Wolfpack 38, Hokies 35

Kenton: My prediction is based on the assumption that Tech will have all its key players ready to go. While this is a much improved Wolfpack team, the remnants of Bud Foster on that defense, combined with Hendon Hooker leading that offense will likely be too much for State to handle ... Hokies 27, Wolfpack 23

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