RALEIGH, N.C. — Trap game. Letdown game. Whatever you want to call it, No. 23 NC State heads into Saturday’s contest after the biggest win of the Dave Doeren era with another opponent it can’t take for granted in Louisiana Tech.
The Wolfpack (3-1, 1-0 ACC) just took down previously-No. 9 Clemson last Saturday afternoon, which led to State being propelled into the Top 25 for the first time this season. But that can all be lost if the Pack has a misstep before the bye week against Louisiana Tech (2-2, 1-0 Conference USA) — and they are well aware.
“It’s a test of our maturity, bottom line,” Dave Doeren said earlier this week. “People are going to talk about trap games and let downs and all those kinds of things. I’ve already addressed that with our team. We’re not going to do that. This game is about being better than we were last week. That’s our goal, to be a great football team. Great football teams don’t step backwards.
“It’s going to be a challenge. I think for us, we have to show our maturity now and our leadership. I know we will.”
With the game kicking off this evening, here’s a look at the full game information and live stream info along with a preview for the matchup.
LOUISIANA TECH VS. NC STATE GAME INFO
When: Saturday at 6 p.m. ET
Where: Carter-Finley Stadium
TV: ACC Network Extra (Stream only)
Line: NC State -18.5
Social Media: Twitter // Instagram // Facebook
Don’t let the 2-2 record deceive you, La Tech has been in every game it’s played this season. In its two losses, the Bulldogs have fallen by a combined score of three points. That includes a 35-34 loss to Mississippi State, which needed to score 21 points in the final three drives to stage the largest four-quarter comeback in program history.
The Bulldogs just picked up a 24-17 victory over the North Texas Mean Green last week, and did so without quarterback Austin Kendall under center. The La Tech offense checked out after the first half, but had enough points win outright and get back to .500 before heading to Raleigh.
If Kendall does return, he would bring the most experience against NC State of any player on the field. The weapons may be different with NC native Marcus Williams Jr. and 5-foot-6 slot receiver Smoke Harris being the main targets, but Kendall led West Virginia’s offense two years ago in a 44-27 win behind his 27-of-40 day with 272 yards, three touchdowns and one interception.
In order for the Pack to come away with a W over the Bulldogs, it will need its defense to once again step up and limit the opposition — which its done all season as the No. 1 defense in the ACC. And with the offense starting to click, it should have no problem finding scoring opportunities against a La Tech defense that has allowed 536 total yards and 38.7 points per game out of conference.
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