2016-17 Football Previews – (ACC) – Wolfpack
Looking for 2016 NC State Wolfpack predictions? The Wolfpack have stabilized as a respectable middleman in the Atlantic Coast Conference’s Atlantic division over the past couple of seasons. After a lousy 3-9 campaign in 2013, NC State has won 15 games in the past two years. The Wolfpack will hope to push further toward contender status in 2016, but it won’t be easy in a difficult cohort.
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2016-17 College Football Previews – NC State Wolfpack
Head Coach: Dave Doeren
2015 Record: 7-6
NC State Wolfpack Odds to win 2017 FBS Championship: +30000
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NC State Wolfpack Predictions: Team Strengths
The Wolfpack have an excellent H-back style TE/RB in Jaylen Samuels, who was actually on the depth chart as a RB last year, and his size would suggest that’s his position (5″11, 223-lbs) but he led NC State in receiving in 2015 with 65 receptions and seven TDs.
He’s joined in the backfield with Matthew Dayes, who should crack the 1,000-yard barrier this season after gaining 865 yards and a dozen majors a year ago.
On defense, DE Bradley Chubb leads the way, the second-leading returning tackler to go with 5.5 sacks.
He’s augmented by junior LBs Airius Moore and Jerod Fernandez. Junior DT B.J. Hill also had 7.5 tackles for loss a year ago, so he, too, can be disruptive.
Elsewhere, NC State has a gem in sophomore punter A.J. Cole, who was sought-after out of high school and backed up the hype with a 41.7 average as a freshman in ’15. Finally, NC State has a potent weapon in the return game with senior WR Bra’Lon Cherry.
NC State Wolfpack Predictions: Team Weaknesses
The QB position is unproven for the Wolfpack this year. The likely starter is Ryan Finely, a junior who transferred from Boise State, but was injured and out for the year last season.
The only other player who’s had a rep at the spot is soph Jalan McClendon, who has just 14 career pass attempts.
NC State will miss the graduated Jacoby Brissett, who now plays for the New England Patriots. State has also lost 100 career starts on the offensive line this off-season, so there’s likely a learning curve there.
Additionally, the Wolfpack lose two starters in the defensive secondary, so senior Jack Tocho and junior Germaine Pratt – who has great size for the safety position (6″3, 234 lbs) – must step up.
Kicker Kyle Bambard only connected on half of his FG attempts in 2015, so he may be replaced by senior Connor Haskins.
NC State Wolfpack 2016 Prediction: 7-6
NC State is not a bad football team under capable Coach Doeren, but the schedule is not kind to them this season.
The Wolfpack draw North Carolina and Miami out of the Coastal division, in addition to the three powers in their own division (Florida State, Clemson and Louisville) and Notre Dame in non-conference play.
While NC State have a good chance at a bowl appearance, it likely shouldn’t expect much more than that in a strong year in the ACC.
I like NC State’s running game, defensive front seven and the depth at receiver, but question marks under center is not what you want to have with so many bullies on the regular season slate.
Lastly, with an early bye week, the home stretch should be exhausting. Thus, anything over seven wins would be exceeding expectations for this ballclub.
2016 NC State Wolfpack Football Schedule
- 09/01/2016 vs. William & Mary 7:30 pm
- 09/10/2016 at East Carolina Noon
- 09/17/2016 vs. Old Dominion 6:00 pm
- 09/24/2016 BYE
- 10/01/2016 vs. Wake Forest TBA
- 10/08/2016 vs. Notre Dame TBA
- 10/15/2016 at Clemson TBA
- 10/22/2016 at Louisville TBA
- 10/29/2016 vs. Boston College TBA
- 11/05/2016 vs. Florida St. TBA
- 11/12/2016 at Syracuse TBA
- 11/19/2016 vs. Miami-Fl TBA
- 11/25/2016 at North Carolina 3:30 pm
What do you think about our 2016 NC State Wolfpack predictions? Please leave us a comment below telling us how you think they’ll do in 2016!
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