Free Pick North Carolina State at East Carolina 9-10-16
September 10, 2016
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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.
|North Carolina State||1-0||W1||48.0||14.0||1-0||0-0||1-0||0-0||0-0|
|North Carolina State||East Carolina|
|11/23/13||ECU 42||NCST 28||441||129||312||445||170||275|
|North Carolina State||B. Mitchell||63.6||312||4||0|
|East Carolina||S. Carden||76.7||255||3||0|
|North Carolina State||S. Thornton||20||66||3.3||0|
|East Carolina||V. Cooper||22||148||6.7||0|
|North Carolina State||R. Smith||7||104||14.9||1|
|East Carolina||J. Hardy||8||83||10.4||1|
|North Carolina State||J. Ramos||2|
|East Carolina||S. Carden||2|
|North Carolina State||R. Finley||81.0||174||2||0|
|East Carolina||P. Nelson||87.5||398||5||0|
|North Carolina State||M. Dayes||23||138||6.0||2|
|East Carolina||A. Scott||11||120||10.9||1|
|North Carolina State||J. Samuels||5||66||13.2||1|
|East Carolina||I. Jones||10||180||18.0||1|
|North Carolina State||J. Samuels||3|
|East Carolina||A. Scott||3|
|North Carolina State Off vs East Carolina Def|
| 521 yards
|East Carolina Off vs North Carolina State Def|
| 688 yards
PREDICTION: East Carolina 30, North Carolina State 28