Nov 16, 2017

ACC & Big 12 Week 12 Preview: NC State, Wake Face Off For In-State Bragging Rights

In the 12th week of the college football season, members of the Florida Citrus Sports Team Selection Committee are making visits throughout ACC and Big 12 country, meeting with fans across both conferences in advance of the Camping World Bowl on December 28.

Here are a few of the games our representatives will be taking in this week.

No. 19 NC State (7-3, 5-1 ACC) at Wake Forest (6-4, 3-3 ACC) — 7:30 p.m. on ESPNU

Home teams have been dominant over the past two decades of the Wolfpack-Demon Deacons rivalry, with hosts going 17-3 in the past 20 contests. Wake Forest would certainly like to see that trend continue as it looks to build off last week’s 64-43 win over Syracuse, which featured a school-record 734 yards of offense. Against NC State, the Deacs will look to ride the arm and legs of quarterback John Wofford, who was responsible for six touchdowns in the win over the Orange (three passing and three rushing in the first 100-yard rushing game of his career).

For its part, North Carolina State will want to get off to a fast start defensively — and recent history suggests that it will. The Wolfpack have recorded an interception on their opponent’s opening drive in three of their past five games, and would do well to put Wofford on his heels early. Over the past seven games, NC State has outscored its opponents by a combined 37 points in the first quarter (5.3 points per game), and has also closed strong, posting a +22 fourth-quarter scoring margin (+3.1 per game) in those seven contests.

Navy (6-3, 4-3 AAC) at No. 8 Notre Dame (8-2) — 3:30 p.m. on NBC

Navy has long been known for its potent triple-option rushing attack, which is gaining an FBS-leading 369.8 yards per game on the ground this season. But thanks in large part to Heisman hopeful Josh Adams, Notre Dame has also built one of the strongest rushing offenses in the country, and enters this weekend’s contest with the Midshipmen averaging 303.2 rushing yards per game.

On the season, Adams ranks eighth nationally with 1,231 rushing yards and is fourth in yards per attempt at 8.05. Consequently, the Irish offense has been a consistent big-play threat, and ranks first or second in the nation in runs of at least 20 yards (2nd, 37), 30 yards (2nd, 25), 40 yards (2nd, 15), 50 yards (t-2nd, 11), 60 yards (t-1st, nine) and 70 yards (2nd, four) this season. Those four 70+ yard touchdown runs all came from Adams in consecutive wins over Miami-Ohio (73 yards), North Carolina (73), USC (84) and NC State (77), making him the first FBS player since 1996  to have a 70-yard touchdown run in four straight games.

No. 12 TCU (8-2, 5-2 Big 12) at Texas Tech (5-5, 2-5 Big 12) — 12:00 p.m. on FS1

After a strong start, Texas Tech dropped four straight Big 12 contest in October and early November, but the Red Raiders righted the ship in Week 11 at Baylor and will look to build on that win when they host TCU in Lubbock this weekend. Kliff Kingsbury’s squad has had no problems moving the ball this season and ranks 15th nationally in total offense (489.9 yards per game), seventh in passing (343.6) and 13th in scoring (38.2), but the Red Raiders have struggled at times defensively, particularly in pass coverage, where they allow 300 yards per game through the air.

If there’s a bright side, it’s that TCU doesn’t rack up yards like an Oklahoma or Oklahoma State — which totaled 617 and 597 yards against Tech, respectively, this season — but the Horned Frogs’ offense should by no means be overlooked, as it features a balanced run-pass attack and ranks in the top 35 nationally in total offense and scoring.

Kansas State (5-5, 3-4 Big 12) at No. 13 Oklahoma State – 3:30 p.m. on ESPN2

Oklahoma State has scored at least 49 points in four of its past five games and will look to keep its high-flying offense rolling when Kansas State visits Stillwater this weekend. The Cowboys enter the game with the No. 2-ranked offense in football at 573.7 with yards per game, and also rank second nationally in passing offense (378.9 yards) and scoring (45.7 points per game) this season.

That success has come thanks in large part to the play of Heisman hopeful Mason Rudolph, the FBS leader in passing yards (3,690), passing yards per game (369.0), as well as receiver James Washington, who leads the Big 12 and ranks second nationally with 1,151 receiving yards this season. Rudolph & Co. will certainly provide a tough test for a K-State secondary that allows 303.4 passing yards per contest, however the Wildcats did hold West Virginia quarterback Will Grier to just 97 passing yards in the second half of last week’s 28-23 loss to the Mountaineers.

Here are the rest of the ACC and Big 12 games our selection committee members will attend:

Virginia (6-4, 3-3 ACC) at No. 3 Miami (9-0, 6-0 ACC) — 12:00 p.m. on ABC
Texas (5-5, 4-3 Big 12) at West Virginia (7-3, 5-2 Big 12) — 12:00 p.m. on ESPN

Other ACC and Big 12 games being played this week:

Delaware State (2-8, 1-6 MEAC) at Florida State (3-6, 3-5 ACC) — 12:00 p.m. on ACC Network
The Citadel (5-5, 2-3 SoCon) at No. 2 Clemson (9-1, 7-1 ACC) — 12:20 p.m. on ACC Network
Pittsburgh (4-6, 2-4 ACC) at Virginia Tech (7-3, 3-3 ACC) at 12:20 p.m. — 12:20 p.m. on ACC Network
Iowa State (6-4, 4-3 Big 12) at Baylor (1-9, 1-6 Big 12) — 2:30 p.m. on FSN
Western Carolina (7-4, 5-3 SoCon) at North Carolina (2-8, 1-6 ACC) — 3:00 p.m. on ACC Network
No. 4 Oklahoma (9-1, 6-1 Big 12) at Kansas (1-9, 0-7 Big 12) — 3:30 p.m. on ESPN
Georgia Tech (5-4, 4-3 ACC) at Duke (4-6, 1-5 ACC) — 3:30 p.m. on ACC Netowork|
Syracuse (4-6, 2-4 ACC) at Louisville (6-4, 3-4 ACC) — 3:30 p.m. on ESPNU
Boston College (5-5, 3-4 ACC) at Connecticut (3-7, 2-5 AAC) — 7:00 p.m. on CBS Sports Network

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