NC State looking to maintain momentum vs. Miami

Field Level Media

October 31, 2023 at 6:26 pm.

Miami and North Carolina State have shared disappointments this season, yet both remain in contention in the Atlantic Coast Conference entering Saturday’s meeting in Raleigh, N.C.

The visiting Hurricanes (6-2, 2-2 ACC) have won two in a row, needing overtime in each of those home outings to outlast Clemson and Virginia.

“Our team, by now, should feel that there is not a situation that we can’t overcome,” Miami coach Mario Cristobal said. “It was good to see all that pay off. The validation, the hard work. Never looking back, always going forward.”

NC State (5-3, 2-2) defeated Clemson last week, a solid showing after an open week on the schedule. The Wolfpack have vowed to stay together after taking some midseason criticism.

“It just made us stronger as a whole,” Wolfpack freshman receiver KC Concepcion said.

NC State coach Dave Doeren has 100 wins between Northern Illinois and NC State combined. His 77 wins with the Wolfpack are tied with Earle Edwards (1954-70) for the most in school history.

“I’d like to own it singular and not tied,” Doeren said.

NC State is still trying to sort out issues on offense, but there have been encouraging signs. The only two turnovers in the Clemson game were committed by the Tigers.

“Plus-two in turnover margin, that’s how you win games,” Doeren said. “We did not turn the ball over on offense and had some explosive plays. There’s definitely positives.”

MJ Morris has started the past three games at quarterback, with the Wolfpack going 2-1.

NC State linebacker Payton Wilson picked up another ACC weekly honor as the top linebacker for last week. He’s a bit dinged up, Doeren said, but should be fine for the Miami game.

“I think Payton is playing better than anybody in college football,” Doeren said of the ACC leader in tackles. Wilson also returned an interception for a touchdown against Clemson.

Miami’s Rueben Bain Jr. has been dubbed the ACC’s top defensive lineman the past two weeks and three times this season. The Hurricanes registered 10 tackles for loss, with six sacks, in the 29-26 win against Virginia.