Day & Time: Saturday, October 15, 3:30 pm
Location: JMA Wireless Dome, Syracuse, N.Y.
Line: The Draftkings Line favors the Syracuse Orange by -3.5, a more reasonable line than the Syracuse -5 that appeared at the beginning of the week.
TV/Streaming: ACC Network, WatchESPN
Rivalry: 13-2, NC State
Current Streak: 3, NC State
First Meeting: Two legendary coaches did battle early in the 1972 season. The then singularly named Carter Stadium hosted the first meeting between Syracuse and NC State as Lou Holtz led the Wolfpack to a 43-20 win over the Orange coached by Ben Schwartzwalder. NC State went 8-3-1 that season and won the Peach Bowl over West Virginia, while Syracuse finished the 1972 campaign with a 5-6 record.
Last Meeting: Another classic “WTF went wrong in that game” against NC State in the last couple of seasons. Syracuse struggled all night with the exception of Sean Tucker as the Orange got demolished by the Wolfpack 41-17. Of note, this was the game that Tucker broke Joe Morris’ single-season program rushing record.
Head Coaches: Syracuse - Dino Babers (seventh year, 34-43) | NC State - Dave Doeren (10th year, 69-50)
Coach Bio: Doeren played tight end at Drake University and started his collegiate coaching career there in 1995 as the linebackers coach. His big Power Five jobs were with Kansas and Wisconsin, holding defensive coordinator jobs for six years between the two schools. Doeren got his first head coaching job at Northern Illinois in 2011, where he went 23-4 overall with the Huskies. He earned bowl berths in both seasons at Northern Illinois, including an Orange Bowl bid in 2012 and a No. 16 ranking in the AP poll. Doeren didn’t coach in that Orange Bowl as he took the NC State job prior to the game. He is currently the second-winningest coach in NC State history.
Last Year: The eternal question of “When would NC State do an NC State” came on October 23 against Miami after the Wolfpack upset then No. 9 Clemson in Raleigh. NC State finished 9-3 and was set to play UCLA in the Holiday bowl, but the game was canceled due to COVID issues in UCLA’s program. Weirdly, NC State claims the win in that bowl due to forfeit but the NCAA and ACC do not recognize that as a win.
Last Game: An injury to Devin Leary in the middle of the third quarter forced NC State to heavily switch to a run attack against Florida State. Luckily for the Wolfpack, the Seminoles offense didn’t do much against a talented NC State defense. A Devan Boykin interception with 38 seconds left sealed a 19-17 nervy win for the Wolfpack.
“Fear Me, I’ve Killed Hundreds of Timelords”: A well-balanced defense with threats all around is going to include run stoppers, and one of those is Isaiah Moore. He’s NC State’s highest-graded run defender with a 91.5 on PFF and leads the Wolfpack with 6.5 tackles for loss
If Syracuse Wins: Dancing Floyd now dances for bowls
If Syracuse Loses: We agree to never play NC State after a bye week ever again.
Fun Fact: Let’s go through weird degrees of separation here. As most of you know, this game is Syracuse’s first ranked-vs-ranked game at the Dome since 2001, when then the No. 22 Orange hosted and defeated the No. 25 Boston College Eagles. BC’s head coach at the time was Tom O’Brien. He left the Eagles to become NC State’s head coach in 2007, where he stayed until 2012, being replaced by Dave Doeren.
Odds/lines subject to change. T&Cs apply. See draftkings.com/sportsbook for details