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Week 2: N.C. State vs Central Florida Pick & Preview

Date/Time: Saturday, September 11, 7:30 p.m. ET
Venue: Bright House Networks Stadium
N.C. Sate vs Central Florida Lines
Moneyline: Wolfpack +130, Golden Knights -150
CFB betting favorite: Central Florida -3
Over/Under: 51.5

North Carolina State Wolfpack (1-0)

Though they haven’t been tested against elite competition yet, the North Carolina State Wolfpack have to be happy with their Week 1 showing. They romped 48-7 over Western Carolina.

Amazingly, they scored on seven straight drives at one point. It seemed everything N.C. State touched on offense turned to gold. Russell Wilson was 21 of 31 through the air for 306 yards and four touchdowns – two of which went to T.J. Graham. On the ground, freshman Dean Hayes didn’t get the rock often but he averaged five-plus yards per carry when he did, running for 69 yards on 13 handoffs and scoring a touchdown.

The Wolfpack were a weak defensive team last year, regularly allowing 30-plus points per game, so a stingy effort in Week 1 should boost their confidence. They’ll have to work extra hard to stall UCF’s offense, as the Golden Knights are a fantastic defensive squad.

Central Florida Golden Knights (1-0)

Central Florida is a tough school to figure this season. We know the Golden Knights play great defense – they’re the anti-Houston – but their offense is a question mark. Rob Calabrese had a solid debut at quarterback last week in a 38-7 victory over South Dakota, going 12 of 15 for 176 yards and a touchdown. But that stat line also shows how conservative UCF was with its new starter. [soliloquy id=”82219″]

In an easily winnable game last week, it would’ve been nice to see the Golden Knights take the shackles off Calabrese and really see if he’s ready to succeed Brett Hodges. But the small sample size of 15 passes may not prepare him for a bigger game against N.C. State. Calabrese relied almost exclusively on A.J. Guyton, connecting with him eight times for 127 yards, so the Wolfpack will likely drape defenders on Guyton and force Calabrese to find another target.

Central Florida would probably like to use running back Jonathan Davis plenty; he carried 20 times for 107 yards and a touchdown last week. But their “D” will have to keep them in the game early for that strategy to work.

The pick:

Central Florida got talked up plenty this offseason after posting the nation’s fourth-best run defense last year. But the Golden Knights haven’t yet shown they can hang with BCS schools. They’re 0-9 win they host one of the big boys. Until they can prove they’re ready for that upper echelon, I’d bet against them. The game should be close but I like the Wolfpack to win.

Prediction: N.C. State 24, Central Florida 20

Moneyline: N.C. State +130

Spread: N.C. State +3

Over/Under: UNDER 51.5

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  1. First of all if you are going to write about college football, let’s get their name right. For about 3-4 years now UCF has dropped the golden, and are now simly Knights. Haven’t heard of anyone make that mistake in years. Second, UCF beat NCSt 3 years ago, so how are they 0-9 all time against BCS schools???

  2. Cmon…seriously??? You’re telling us about the “Golden Knight” name being dropped? Are they even relevant?