North Carolina State vs Texas A&M -7 (o/u 59)
- C. State had the misfortune of being in the tougher of the two ACC divisions, finishing behind #3 Clemson and #20 Syracuse in the standings with a fine record of 9-3. Those two team in fact accounted for two of the Wolfpack’s losses with the other coming at the hands of bowl-game winner Wake Forest. They did manage to close out the season with three straight blowout victories over lesser competition, scoring 48 PPG in the process. The offense was led by an exceptional passing attack that featured the nation’s 12th best passing offense. QB Ryan Finley delivered in a big way, accounting for 3,789 passing yards with 24 TDs and only 9 interceptions. He got great support from RB Reggie Gallaspy (1,012 yards, 18 TDs) and the pass-catching duo of Kelvin Harmon and Jakobi Meyers, both of whom had over 1,000 yards. The defense was solid, giving up 23.7 PPG while holding opponents to 21 points or less on 6 occasions.
Texas A&M’s record of 8-4 doesn’t reflect how tough of a football team they were this season. Three of the team’s four losses came to ranked teams, including #1 Alabama and a close 2-point loss to #2 Clemson early in the season. On offense, the Aggies offered tremendous balance, finishing 65th in the nation for passing yards (262 YPG) and 66th in the nation (203.8 YPG) rushing. The biggest threat on offense was Treyveon Williams, the nation’s 4th leading rusher with 1,524 yards and 15 TDs. He also added 278 yards and 1 TD receiving. The overall defense was solid, led by a front seven that only gave up 92 YPG rushing, 2nd best in the country.
Prediction: This is a matchup of two good football teams. They both have quality players on both side of the ball with offenses that are capable of scoring against anyone in the country. While Texas A&M is excellent against the run, N.C. State has a great passing attack. That should be enough to keep this game close. Play N.C. State +7