NC State vs East Carolina Prediction, Game Preview

NC State vs East Carolina prediction, game preview, how to watch. Week 1, Saturday, September 3

NC State vs East Carolina How To Watch

Date: Saturday, September 3
Game Time: 12:00 ET
Venue: Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium, Greenville, NC
How To Watch: ESPN
Record: NC State (0-0), East Carolina (0-0)
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NC State vs East Carolina Game Preview

Why NC State Will Win

The offense should be explosive – at least with the passing game – but it’s the defensive side that’s going to be the star.

The linebacking corps will be among the best in the nation, forget about running consistently on the from three, and the secondary has as much talent and upside as any in the ACC.

East Carolina’s offense will be good, and the passing game will be occasionally great, but there’s a question mark about the pass protection that’s going to have a long day against a wave of Wolfpack linebackers.

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Why East Carolina Will Win

The Pirate defense should be good enough to hold up.

The offense has a good rotation of running backs to at least give it a shot, and QB Holton Ahlers is a seasoned veteran who won’t be fazed in an ACC team coming into town.

Yes, the offensive line is going to be a concern until it starts working, but the transfer portal was a huge help, the receiving corps was upgraded, and – back to the other side – the defense that improved so much last year is now full of veterans who know what they’re doing.

The key will be to hold on. It’ll get hit for a ton of yards, but as long as it can bend without breaking too often, this can be interesting.

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What’s Going To Happen

Don’t put anything past East Carolina at home.

This is one of those programs that finds a way to do big things from time to time when big name teams come to Greenville.

The Pirates weren’t able to beat South Carolina last year, but it came up with a strong game in the 20-17 loss. They rocked SMU at the end of 2020, almost got Cincinnati in 2019, and blew out North Carolina in 2018.

They’ll hang around for a while, but the NC State defense will settle in and take over in the second half. Devin Leary and the Wolfpack offense won’t be sharp right away, but he’ll hit two big passes to open things up.

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NC State vs East Carolina Prediction, Line

NC State 34, East Carolina 17
Line: NC State -10.5, o/u: 55.5
ATS Confidence out of 5: 2.5

NC State vs East Carolina Must See Rating: 3

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Story originally appeared on College Football News