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Wake Forest vs. N.C. State Preview: Q&A with Backing The Pack

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Our friend Will Thompson from Backing The Pack joins us to preview Wake Forest vs. North Carolina State.

Grant Halverson

Are you and other State fans more nervous for this game after watching Wake Forest's game against Clemson last Thursday?

I think I'd be lying to you if I wasn't a little nervous given Wake's last couple of performances. Y'all held BC just above 200 yards rushing, while the Pack allowed over 300. Also goes without saying that y'all were much better against Clemson than the Pack was (been trying to erase that one from memory). I certainly think it's going to be a close game, but I feel much better about the game being in Raleigh.

If State does lose this game, and ultimately fails to make a bowl game after starting 4-0, what will fans think of Coach Doeren?

Doeren has certainly had his ups and downs with the fans this season. That being said, If you had told us before the season started that State would still have a chance to make a bowl at this point in the season, after everything that happened last year, I think we all would've been ecstatic (I know I would have been). It's paramount for Doeren in my opinion to make a bowl, simply because of the extra practices that provides and the momentum that could generate into next season, because Doeren does have a pretty solid class coming in next year. If that doesn't happen, well, I don't think he'll be let go, but west Raleigh will likely be pretty skeptical about how year three is going to go.

What do you think is N.C. State's biggest advantage in this game?

State's biggest advantage, if you can believe it, will be in on special teams. The Pack's punter, Wil Baumann has been without a doubt the team's MVP, and that sort of gives you an idea of how things have gone this season, but Baumann has consistently been great this year, as AkulaWolf hilariously noted on our site. State needs to utilize any advantage it can get at this point, and dominating field position would help State tremendously in this game. (State also really needs is for Jacoby Brissett to have a great game, but he's been pretty wildly inconsistent lately so it's hard for me to call him an advantage).

What do you think is N.C. State's biggest disadvantage in this game?

State's biggest disadvantage seems to be their consistent achilles heel of giving up huge plays on defense, and although Wake has struggled mightily on offense this season, I think they'll manage to hit a few big plays against State's defense, simply because it's been happening all season. If State is going to come away with a victory, they're going to need to come up with stops on third down. State is giving up a first down more than 50% of the time on third down, which simply isn't good enough. Hard to win if the defense can't get off the field (as this has shown at times this season)

Finally, let's get a prediction on this one. Does State win and become bowl eligible?

All that above being said, I think State wins by a FG in what's sure to be a sloppy, turnover filled but high scoring game, 34-31. We'll be doing our best impression of the Coastal Division.

Many thanks to Will for taking the time to answer our questions. You can follow him on Twitter @thrillis4.