NC State Wolfpack 2023 College Football Preview
July 10, 2023
Record – 8-5
ATS – 4-9
The Wolfpack blasted out of the gate to a 4-0 start and split the next two games with Clemson (L) and Florida St (W). They TRADED PAINT the rest of the way and finished the regular season on the upswing by taking down hated rival North Carolina in a 2OT thriller (W 30-27). Rumor has it that they beat the Tar Heels with something called a “Ben Finley” at QB who may or may not have been their 9th string QB, but that needs a fact check. Maryland was able to OOZE past the Wolfpack in the MAYO Bowl and NC State finished the season at 8-5.
NC State Wolfpack 2023 Outlook
The Pack went thru a lot of QBs last season thanks to the injury bug but they still posted an impressive 23-8 TD to INT ratio. NC State landed one of the premier transfer portal specimens during the offseason and we’ll watch Brennan Armstrong try and rebound off a disappointing 2022 campaign (7-12 TD to INT). It was just a short time ago (2021) that Armstrong was LIGHTING IT UP with Virginia (4,449, 31 TD) so there’s definitely reason for optimism in Raleigh. We’re not in love with the skill position players. The Pack return two of their top-three RBs but NEITHER of them had a TD run LY, and recall that NC State only booked 8 rushing TDs during the entire 2022 season (#127 FBS). The top-two WRs? HE GONE. And HE GONE. Maybe they’ve got a gem or two hiding on the depth chart but we don’t see ’em. Three starters are back on the offensive line but they’ve gotta replace their excellent center Grant Gibson. Armstrong gives them potential, but we’re a bit skeptical, even tho new OC Robert Anae did fine work with Armstrong in 2021.
The defense was fantastic LY as they tied for the ACC lead in scoring defense (19.2 PPG) and were #2 in the conference in defending the run (101 YPG). Things don’t look superb heading into this season as the Pack return just five starters and lose five of their top-six tacklers, and that includes All-Galaxy LB Drake Thomas who kept statisticians busy LY (7.5 sacks, 19 TFL, 23 QBH). In fact, the LB corps is pretty decimated but at least they retain the ageless Payton Wilson (12.5 TFL, 7 QBH). The DL looks talented and they’ve got good size, whilst the secondary looks solid at CB and not so much at safety.
The Pack have to replace the best PK in the country in Christopher Nunn (28-29 FG, 30-30 XP LY) but they got an excellent replacement in Brayden Narveson who starred with the Hilltoppers (53-68 FG, 158-159 XP). The Pack have continuity at punter and KR.
Overall – The non-conference slate isn’t a killer, but it’s a bit tricky. VMI is a layup but home games with Notre Dame and Marshall will be a test. And don’t sleep on the FIGHTING JIM MORAS in week one when the Pack travel to the northeast to battle UConn. They miss Florida St in ACC play and get to face Clemson, UNC, and Miami at home.
Potential ATS Trouble Spot – at Wake Forest (Nov 11)
This could be LETDOWN CITY as the Pack roll into town off games vs Clemson and YOUR Miami Hurricanes.
Season Win Total
Market consensus July 10
Over 6.5 -150
Under 6.5 +120
NC State’s recent history and their schedule make us think ‘over’ but we don’t love the roster. GUN TO THE HEAD selection would be ‘over’ but we’re not gonna go there.
Dave Doeren is 72-54 as head coach with the Wolfpack but he hasn’t been kind to DEGENERATE NATION posting a mark of 58-66-2 ATS (47%).
It’s probably not a good idea to underestimate NC State as they’ve posted eight or more wins in five of the last six years. They’ve solidified the QB position but don’t have a lot of proven offensive weapons. Furthermore, it doesn’t seem possible that the defense will be as productive as the prior two editions.
We’re probably in the minority but we just don’t see this team competing at the top of the ACC. We’ll call for six or seven wins and another bowl appearance. AWOO! Go Wolfpack.