Wolfpack Kickoff: Game 1 vs. Wake Forest

Brett Friedlander

NC State (0-0, 0-0 ACC) vs. Wake Forest (0-1, 0-1 ACC)

Carter-Finley Stadium (57,600)

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

Streaming: WatchESPN; National radio: Sirius 105, XM 193; Live stats: GoPack.com

Weather at kickoff: Cool and dry, 58 degrees at kickoff, no chance of rain

Series history: State leads 66-41-6 (44-22-5 in Raleigh)

Last meeting: Wake Forest 44, State 10, Nov. 2, 2019 at Winston-Salem

Last week: State's season opener, Wake Forest lost to No. 1 Clemson 37-13

BetOnline line: State minus 1 | Over/Under 53

WHAT THEY'RE SAYING

"Obviously, they have the benefit of playing one game and having that game under their belt, as we all know. People talk about the improvements teams make from week one to week two and I know that’s something that they have as an advantage. Looking at them as a football team, they have their systems. They are very sound. They don’t beat themselves. They don’t turn the football over. They create a lot of takeaways defensively. They don’t get penalized. They put themselves in positions that way to win games." Coach Dave Doeren

“I expect NC State to be a very improved football team. They probably got hit as hard with injuries as anybody in the country last year. Dave (Doeren) always does a great job and always has his team prepared. Offensively, they have 10 starters back and the 11th guy was a guy who was injured last year and has played a lot of football." Wake Forest coach Dave Clawson. 

PLAYERS TO WATCH

NC State stats | Wake Forest stats

NC STATE (2019 stats)
WAKE FOREST

Passing

Devin Leary

110-210-5  1,219 yards  8 TD

Sam Hartman

11-21-0  182 yards  0 TD

Rushing

Zonovan Knight

136 carries  745 yards  5 TD

Christian Beal-Smith

11 carries  29 yards  0 TD

Receiving

Emeka Emezie

56 catches  576 yards  2 TD

Taylor Morin

9 catches  93 yards  1 TD

Devin Carter

32 catches  456 yards  0 TD

Jaquarii Roberson

4 catches  92 yards

Defense

Payton Wilson

69 tackles, 5 TFL, 1 INT

Zion Keith

12 tackles  1 PBU

Tanner Ingle

68 tackles 5 TFL, 4 PBU

Carlos Basham

2 tackles  1 sack  1 PBU

NOTABLE

State has faced Wake Forest 113 times since 1895, more times than any other opponent in its 128 years of football. Saturday's game will mark the 114th consecutive meeting between the in-state rivals, the third-longest current streak in college football ...

The Deacons have won three straight against the Wolfpack. It's State's longest losing streak in the series since 2005-07 ...

Home field means something in this rivalry. Over the past 20 years, State is 8-2 at Carter-Finley Stadium while Wake has an indentical 8-2 record in Winston-Salem ...

The Wolfpack is 6-1 in season openers under coach Dave Doeren. This will, however, be the first time the team has begun the season against an ACC opponent ...

State's injury woes last season led to 48 different players starting at least one game, the most among Power 5 programs. Twenty-five of those players are back on the roster in 2020 ...

Emeka Emezie vs WF 2018
Senior wide receiver Emeka EmezieRob Kinnan/USAToday sports

Wide receiver Emeka Emezie needs just four more catches to move into the top 10 all-time in Wolfpack history. He currently has 122 receptions over his first three seasons ...

Three transfers will be making their first appearances for State -- graduate defensive end Daniel Joseph (from Penn State), junior linebacker Vi Jones (Southern Cal) and junior safety Rakeim Ashford (Jones County CC) ...

Wake Forest defensive end Carlos Basham currently has a streak of 19 consecutive games with a tackle for loss, the longest streak in FBS by seven games ...

Deacons quarterback Sam Hartman is back in the starting role after redshirting during the 2019 season. During his true freshman season in 2018, Hartman started the first nine games before suffering an injury ...

Wake Forest has been to four straight bowls, the longest streak in school history.

PREDICTION

Brett:  Wake Forest is a better team than it showed last week against Clemson, but the Wolfpack is a better team than the one that last six straight to end last season, as well. Devin Leary has the confidence that comes with being the team's undisputed leader and the defense has most of its injured player back. This is an opportunity for the Wolfpack to have a fresh start and it will take advantage ... Wolfpack 27, Deacons 23 

Kenton: These teams are extremely evenly matched on paper and whenever two teams are evenly matched for the most part, I always go with who's the most experienced up front. As I've talked about all week, State has the experience up front. They have guys that have started entire seasons up front. That combined with a healthy backfield will mean success for the Wolfpack ... Wolfpack 27, Deacons 20

You can follow us for future coverage by clicking "Follow" on the top righthand corner of the page. Also be sure to like us on Facebook & Twitter:

Facebook -- ACC Insider

Twitter -- @WolfpackMaven, Brett Friedlander at @BFriedACC and Kenton Gibbs at @TGIF_Kenton

Comments

Football

FEATURED
COMMUNITY