Oskeim Sports has decided to cover the Notre Dame/N.C. State game as one of his daily sports picks for Saturday, October 28.
The Fighting Irish are coming off a huge win over USC and are now primed for a letdown against the most underrated 6-1 team in college football. North Carolina State has won six straight games, including an upset over Louisville (39-25) as three-point underdogs. More importantly, the Wolfpack are coming off a bye and have had two full weeks to prepare for this critical meeting in South Bend.
North Carolina State is averaging 35.4 points and 467 total yards per game at 6.3 per game against teams that would combine to allow 5.7 yards per play to mediocre offense. Notre Dame’s defense has been 0.6 yards per play better than average this season (4.9 yards per play to teams that would combine to average 5.5 yards per play against a mediocre team) so these teams are even from the line of scrimmage when the Wolfpack have the ball.
With that said, the Wolfpacks’ underrated attack is ranked 24th in pass efficiency, 6th in completion percentage and 24th in total offense. Let’s also note that North Carolina State’s offensive line is ranked 14th-nationally in sacks allowed and has paved the way for the Wolfpack to become one of the best first down offenses in the land.
Notre Dame’s success is predicated on running the ball with Josh Adams (7th-nationally with 967 rushing yards) and quarterback Brandon Wimbush (3 rushing touchdowns last week). However, the Irish are lining up against one of the best defensive lines in the nation, one that is limiting teams to a mere 91 rushing yards per game at 3.0 yards per carry.
Notre Dame’s woefully inadequate passing game does not pose a threat, averaging just 157 yards per game at 5.7 yards per pass attempt against teams that would combine to allow 6.4 yards per pass play to a mediocre quarterback. The Wolfpack will be able to stack the box, thereby eliminating Notre Dame’s best option on offense.
North Carolina State boasts the 6th-best rush defense in the nation, averages 6.7 tackles for a loss per game (47 TTFL in 2017) and has one of the country’s best first down defenses. I also like the fact that the Wolfpack are 30th in kickoff returns and 7th in punt returns so they will be starting with good field position throughout this game.
From a technical standpoint, the Wolfpack are a profitable 13-5 ATS in their last eighteen road affairs (5-0 ATS L/5), 5-2 ATS in their last seven October games, 7-3 ATS in their last ten games off a straight-up win and 11-5 ATS in their last fifteen non-conference tilts.
More importantly, North Carolina State is a perfect 13-0 ATS following a bye when installed as an underdog, while head coach Dave Doeren is 12-1 ATS off a bye in his coaching career.
With Notre Dame standing at 6-13 ATS in its last nineteen games off a win by more than 20 points, take the Wolfpack plus the generous points as one of Oskeim Sports’ Daily Sports Picks for Saturday, October 28.
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