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NC State preparing for the biggest game of their season

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By BJ Bennett
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Ranked in the top ten nationally, North Carolina State will play at 5th-ranked Clemson in college football’s biggest game of week five. GameDay will be in the Upstate for the primetime kick as the two clash for the top spot in the ACC Atlantic Division and a contending placement in the polls. This is the type of contest that will help shape both the conference and national narrative. While the Tigers remain one of the most consistent programs in the country, the Wolfpack know they can win on Saturday; they defeated Clemson last season.

After a low scoring bout in regulation, NC State answered an opening Clemson touchdown in overtime to force another period of extra play. Devin Leary then found Devin Carter for a 22-yard touchdown pass on the second play of the second overtime. Though the two-point conversion attempt failed, the Wolfpack defense held strong, keeping the Tigers out of the redzone and forcing another D.J. Uiagalelei incompletion on fourth down to clinch the win. It was a signature victory for NC State, one which proved the Wolfpack can play with anyone in the country.

That afternoon, Leary threw four touchdown passes, Carter caught two, and the NC State defense limited the Tigers to just total 214 yards. In fact, the Wolfpack had 31 first downs compared to just ten for Clemson and held the football for nearly 42 minutes. NC State won on the field and won by even more in the box score.

The Wolfpack will be looking for another such performance on Saturday.

Undefeated at 4-0, NC State could take a major step towards at ACC Championship Game appearance with a win at Clemson. Another triumph could prove to be a springboard towards a special season. College football is ready for Saturday’s matchup, ready to see if the Wolfpack can do it again, and the result will have a major impact in the conference standings and the national rankings. Dave Doeren and NC State can move even closer to the top five with a high-profile win.

For the Wolfpack, the Clemson game is key. A victory would give NC State an invaluable tiebreaker over the team most consider the ACC favorite. It is the biggest game on the schedule. Should NC State move to 5-0, each and every next game will carry the same distinction. The Wolfpack were so close to making it to Charlotte last season, ultimately losing to Miami by one point and Wake Forest by three points as the Demon Deacons advanced to the ACC Championship Game. After the Tigers are eight more conference games.

This is a really good NC State team. The Wolfpack have a chance to be great. Saturday night, with all of college football tuned in, will be a major test for NC State. It’s one the Wolfpack have already passed and one they appear ready for again.

BJ Bennett – B.J. Bennett is’s founder and publisher. He is the co-host of “Three & Out” with Kevin Thomas and Ben Troupe on the “Southern Pigskin Radio Network”. Email: [email protected] / Twitter: @BJBennettSports

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