Wake Forest at North Carolina State

The Sports Xchange

November 07, 2018 at 6:21 pm.

GAME SNAPSHOT
KICKOFF: Thursday, 7:30 p.m.
SITE: Carter-Finley Stadium, Raleigh, N.C.
TV: ESPN
SERIES: North Carolina State leads 66-39-6. Wake Forest won 30-24 in 2017.
RANKINGS: North Carolina State No. 14

PLAYERS TO WATCH
Demon Deacons

–RB Cade Carney has a team-high six touchdown runs this season. Until the 2-yard scoring play against Syracuse, the previous five were from a yard out. A junior, he didn’t play in his first two seasons against N.C. State because of injuries.

–WR Greg Dortch has compiled 90 or more receiving yards in six of nine games this season. He has six touchdown receptions. This matchup with N.C. State will be his first against an in-state ACC opponent because the sophomore missed such matchups last year when injured.
–FS Cameron Glenn has three consecutive games with double-digit tackle totals and is second on the team with 65 total tackles. Last year, he made 11 stops against North Carolina State. He needs to average 11 tackles for each of the final three regular-season games to guarantee reaching last year’s 98-tackle total.

Wolfpack

–QB Ryan Finley has thrown for a league-leading 311.2 yards per game with 16 touchdown passes against 6 interceptions. This is a chance for Finley to help avenge a loss from last year when the Wolfpack plays Wake Forest.

–RB Reggie Gallaspy has rushed for nine touchdowns this season. Most of those have been in short-yardage situations. The Wolfpack has a total of 14 rushing touchdowns this season, so Gallaspy shows a knack for getting to the end zone. He had 11 total career rushing touchdowns entering the season.

–LB Germaine Pratt, a senior, has a team-leading 9.9 tackles per game. He also leads the team with 5.5 sacks this season and ranks second in the ACC in tackles after holding the top spot for most of the season.

KEYS
TO THE GAME

Back on track after a 47-28 win over Florida State, No. 14 North Carolina State looks to extend its unblemished home record Thursday night when it meets Wake Forest in an Atlantic Coast Conference Atlantic Division clash.

Kickoff at Carter-Finley Stadium in Raleigh is 7:30 p.m. on ESPN.

The Wolfpack (6-2, 3-2 ACC) is 5-0 at home this year after snapping a losing streak at two games with the win over Florida State. Coach Dave Doeren wants his team to play the way it did against the Seminoles when it hosts the Demon Deacons (5-4, 1-4 ACC).

“We played fast, were aggressive, didn’t beat ourselves,” he said.

The ‘Pack hasn’t had an unbeaten record at home since 1986 when it was 6-0-1. The last time it won every home game was 1974 when it was 5-0.

The return of running back Rick Person last week, however, enhances the ‘Pack’s prospects of remaining undefeated. He scored three touchdowns and provided a nice complement to running back Reggie Gallaspy.

“Reggie is running over people and Ricky is putting his foot on the ground, cutting and bouncing,” Doeren said. “That change of pace helps and it keeps those two guys fresh.”

After starting the season by winning three of its first five games, Wake Forest has lost three of its last four. After the 41-24 setback at Syracuse last week, it was revealed the next day that freshman quarterback Sam Hartman will miss the remainder of the regular season with a leg injury.

That means redshirt sophomore Jamie Newman could be in line for his first career start. It is also possible that Kendall Hinton could be available. He is a former starting quarterback from past seasons, but he wasn’t in uniform for the Syracuse game because of a hip flexor injury sustained in practice.

“There will be some adjustment, obviously,” Doeren said. “It will be a short week, so it will be hard for them to change too much. You can’t re-invent the wheel.”

It’s a difficult time for Wake Forest to deal with a quick turnaround.

“We have no depth,” Wake Forest coach Dave Clawson said. “When the snap counts get into the 60s in the third quarter, it’s patch work.”

There will be no postseason for the Demon Deacons if they don’t win two of their last three regular-season games.

“We’ve got three games and we have to get two of them for the seniors on the team,” Wake Forest junior linebacker Justin Strnad said.

The desperation is sinking in for the Deacons.

“It’s three games left, it’s how bad do you want it?” senior running back Matt Colburn said.

Wake Forest will have receiver/return specialist Greg Dortch available after he missed last year’s game against the Wolfpack.

N.C. State could have defensive tackles Eurndraus Bryant and Shug Frazier back for the game after they sat out last week with undisclosed injuries.

Wake Forest pulled off an upset of a nationally ranked N.C. State team last year. The Demon Deacons have at least one victory against a ranked team in each of the past two seasons, but this might be the final shot this year after going 0-3 — all at home — in such situations this year.

This is Wake Forest’s third Thursday night game of the season after defeating Tulane in overtime and losing to Boston College in the others.

“We have no time (to sulk),” Strnad said. “Playing on (Thursday) is challenging. We play a (sport) that is physically and mentally taxing and we’ve got to get to work.”

It’s Senior Night for N.C. State, which has won the last five meetings in Raleigh against Wake Forest. This was the final home game on the original schedule. After a September cancellation against West Virginia, a home game was added for Dec. 1 against East Carolina.