The Louisville Cardinals are already firmly behind Clemson in the ACC standings after suffering a 47-21 defeat at the hands of the Tigers. If they can’t find a way to beat the N.C. State Wolfpack on the road, the Cardinals’ shot at an ACC Atlantic title might be done for. The two teams will meet on Thursday night; kickoff is scheduled for 8 p.m. ET and will be broadcast live on ESPN (live stream).
The Wolfpack have rebounded from an opening-week loss to South Carolina to jump into the top 25, but they’ll need a big victory in primetime to stay there. NC State beat an overrated Florida State team in Week 4 but have been devoid of quality wins (Marshall, Furman, Syracuse) otherwise. Defending their turf against a ranked opponent — and one with the defending Heisman Trophy winner at quarterback — would be a huge boost to the team’s postseason prospects.
Time, TV channel, and streaming info
- Time: 8 p.m. ET
- Location: Carter-Finley Stadium, Raleigh, NC
- TV: ESPN
- Streaming: Watch ESPN
- Odds: Louisville is favored by 3.5 points
Louisville at NC State news:
- Lamar Jackson now has just the fourth-best odds to win 2017’s Heisman Trophy.
Saquon Barkley (RB Penn State 5/4
Baker Mayfield (QB Oklahoma) 9/4
Mason Rudolph (QB Oklahoma State) 9/1
Lamar Jackson (QB Louisville) 10/1
Sam Darnold (QB USC) 14/1
- Bradley Chubb, YOU had the NCAA’s most egregious flop of Week 5!
- Louisville closed out September with a couple of easy wins, but did they tell us anything about the Cardinals?
As of last week, Mekhi Becton is the top-rated freshman in college football per Pro Football Focus. Becton was one of my top picks as a breakout player this season, and he’s been pretty solid from day one. Having another quality offensive tackle is a luxury Louisville has yearned for, and now they have it in Becton and junior Geron Christian.
- Is this the best defensive line in NC State history? Or was the 2005 edition better?
2017 has begun to fulfill on the field the enormous potential it possessed on paper. The Syracuse game was close, but it was due to the usual culprits – an I-have-no-idea-how-to-stop-the-other-team’s-receivers secondary and a Jekyll and Hyde (mostly Hyde) kicking game. I recommend we move Chubb to cornerback and Jones to safety on passing downs, although it may slightly reduce Chubb’s sack totals.
Will Ryan Finley’s hot streak continue?
Finley is playing the best football of his career in 2017, completing more than 70 percent of his passes and throwing nine touchdowns with no interceptions through five games. His solid streak should continue Thursday against a Cardinals defense that ranks 84th in the FBS in terms of opponent passing efficiency.
Louisville at NC State prediction:
The Wolfpack are off to a hot start, but Lamar Jackson will give NC State a much tougher test than any team they’ve faced this season. Louisville squeaks out a win on the road Thursday night.