Wake Forest hopes to parlay a record-setting offensive performance into its third win in four games when it hosts No. 22 North Carolina State on Saturday. The Demon Deacons racked up a school-record 734 yards of offense, erasing a 14-point halftime deficit and routing Syracuse 64-43 last Saturday, becoming bowl-eligible for the second straight season after not reaching one since 2011.
“You have to be consistent to be a good offense, so we have to do it all over again this week,” Wake Forest senior tight end Cam Serigne told reporters after recording seven catches for 119 yards and three touchdowns versus Syracuse. Demon Deacons senior quarterback John Wolford is also playing at a high level, accounting for a school record-tying six touchdowns last week to give him a school-record 69 for his career, eclipsing the old mark of 65 set by Riley Skinner in 2009. The Wolfpack edged Boston College 17-14 last week after back-to-back losses to No. 9 Notre Dame 35-14 and No. 3 Clemson 38-31. “It’s always nice to get a winning taste back,” North Carolina State coach Dave Doeren told reporters. “Our goal at the end of the week was to try to get to seven wins in the ACC, which has never been done (in school history). It’s a great goal, a lofty goal.”
TV: 7:30 p.m. ET, ESPNU. LINE: Wake Forest -1.5.
ABOUT NORTH CAROLINA STATE (7-3, 5-1 ACC): Senior defensive end Bradley Chubb is a semifinalist for the Walter Camp Player of the Year award — one of four defensive players on the 15-man list. Chubb, who has a school-record 57.5 tackles for loss, leads the country in that category at 2.4 per game and his 10 sacks are fourth-most nationally. Junior quarterback Ryan Finley (15 touchdowns, four interceptions, 63.5 percent completion rate) failed to throw a TD for the first time this season against BC in a game played in sub-freezing temperatures.
ABOUT WAKE FOREST (6-4, 3-3): Junior running back Matt Colburn rushed for a career-high 237 yards and two touchdowns against Syracuse - the most by a Demon Deacon since Josh Harris went for 241 in 2010 - and is averaging 163.7 yards in his last three games. Wolford boasts a team-leading 10 rushing scores and has 20 TD passes against three interceptions while completing 65.2 percent of his passes. Senior linebacker Grant Dawson has recorded team highs of 47 unassisted and 70 total tackles, while senior lineman Duke Ejiofor’s 6.5 sacks are tied for fourth in the ACC.
1. Senior TE Jaylen Samuels (nine) and junior RB Nyheim Hines (seven) have combined for 16 of the Wolfpack’s 22 rushing touchdowns.
2. Serigne has eight TDs this season and 20 for his career, tied for the most in ACC history among tight ends with Virginia’s Heath Miller (2002-04) and Virginia Tech’s Bucky Hodges (2014-16).
3. N.C. State leads the series - its longest against any school - 66-38-6, winning the last three meetings by a combined 64 points. The home team is 17-3 in the last 20 meetings.
PREDICTION: N.C. State 34, Wake Forest 31