Free Pick North Carolina State at East Carolina 9-10-16

September 10, 2016


North Carolina State at East Carolina
When: 12:00 PM ET, Saturday, September 10, 2016
Where: Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium, Greenville, North Carolina

Scottie Montgomery got his head coaching career off to a rousing start as East Carolina blasted Western Carolina in the season opener last week. Montgomery can expect things to get markedly more difficult this week when the Pirates host ACC foe North Carolina State on Saturday.

Montgomery came from Duke with the reputation for lighting up the scoreboard and certainly didn’t disappoint in his debut as East Carolina racked up 52 points against the overmatched FCS foe. What was a bit surprising is how well nomadic quarterback Philip Nelson fared in his first outing in nearly three years as the senior tossed five touchdown passes and ran for another. The Wolfpack also had little trouble in their season opener rolling over another FCS opponent, William & Mary, 48-14. N.C. State also solved its quarterback dilemma, naming Ryan Finley the starter after the Boise State transfer connected on 81 percent of his throws in the victory.
TV: Noon, ET. LINE: N.C. State -4.5

ABOUT NORTH CAROLINA STATE (1-0): Finley certainly had the inside track at the starting job after coming to Raleigh with new offensive coordinator Eli Drinkwitz, who also left Boise State in the offseason. Finley finished 17-of-21 for 174 yards and running back Matt Dayes, who went over 100 yards rushing in five games last season, added 138 yards on the ground and two scores in the opener. Dayes recalls the teams’ last meeting when East Carolina went into Raleigh and posted a 42-28 victory, telling reporters: “We remember what they did to us, so we’re going to try to return the favor this weekend.”
ABOUT EAST CAROLINA (1-0): Nelson, who made 16 starts in two seasons at Minnesota, was 28-for-32 passing and tossed touchdown passes to four different players while setting a career high with 398 yards. The senior hadn’t played a game since 2013 after transferring to Rutgers and subsequently being expelled. Zay Jones grabbed 10 catches for 180 yards and a score and Anthony Scott carried the ball 11 times for 120 yards and was also a big part of the passing game, catching nine passes for 90 yards and two touchdowns. The Pirates’ 688 total yards of offense was its most since a 70-41 victory over North Carolina in 2014.

1. East Carolina played before 44,161 at Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium in the opener and Saturday’s game is sold out with a capacity of 50,000.
2. N.C. State leads the series 16-12, but the Pirates won three of the last five meetings and are also riding a five-game winning streak against ACC teams.
3. The Wolfpack allowed 37.2 points per game in the second half of the season but return six starters and limited William & Mary to 168 yards of total offense in the opener.


Team Comparison
  W‑L Strk PF PA Home Away Grass Turf Conf
North Carolina State 1-0 W1 48.0 14.0 1-0 0-0 1-0 0-0 0-0
East Carolina 1-0 W1 52.0 7.0 1-0 0-0 1-0 0-0 0-0
Last Meeting
  North Carolina State East Carolina
Date Away Home Tot Rus Pas Tot Rus Pas
11/23/13 ECU 42 NCST 28 441 129 312 445 170 275
Player Stats
Previous Matchup
Passing Player COMP % YDS TD INT
North Carolina State B. Mitchell 63.6 312 4 0
East Carolina S. Carden 76.7 255 3 0
Rushing Player CAR YDS AVG TD
North Carolina State S. Thornton 20 66 3.3 0
East Carolina V. Cooper 22 148 6.7 0
Receiving Player REC YDS AVG TD
North Carolina State R. Smith 7 104 14.9 1
East Carolina J. Hardy 8 83 10.4 1
Touchdowns Player TD
North Carolina State J. Ramos 2
East Carolina S. Carden 2
Passing Player COMP % YDS TD INT
North Carolina State R. Finley 81.0 174 2 0
East Carolina P. Nelson 87.5 398 5 0
Rushing Player CAR YDS AVG TD
North Carolina State M. Dayes 23 138 6.0 2
East Carolina A. Scott 11 120 10.9 1
Receiving Player REC YDS AVG TD
North Carolina State J. Samuels 5 66 13.2 1
East Carolina I. Jones 10 180 18.0 1
Touchdowns Player TD
North Carolina State J. Samuels 3
East Carolina A. Scott 3
Quickchart Matchup
North Carolina State North Carolina State Off vs  East Carolina East Carolina Def
North Carolina State 521 yards
East Carolina 320 yards
North Carolina State 4.5 yards/rush
East Carolina 3.9 yards/rush
North Carolina State 8.7 yards/attempt
East Carolina 6.4 yards/attempt
East Carolina East Carolina Off vs  North Carolina State North Carolina State Def
East Carolina 688 yards
North Carolina State 168 yards
East Carolina 7.2 yards/rush
North Carolina State 2.2 yards/rush
East Carolina 12.5 yards/attempt
North Carolina State 5.6 yards/attempt


PREDICTION: East Carolina 30, North Carolina State 28

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