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NC State Football Predictions

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Simply getting NC State to a bowl game wasn’t enough to save head coach Tom O’Brien, as he was fired prior to their 24-38 loss to Vanderbilt in the Music City Bowl. O’Brien had led the Wolfpack to three straight winning seasons and back-to-back bowl wins before getting canned.

The loss of O’Brien was eased by the addition of new head coach Dave Doeren. In his two seasons at Northern Illinois, Doeren compiled an impressive 23-5 record. Just this past season he helped the Huskies win a school-record 12 games, which landed them a spot in their first ever BCS Bowl (Orange Bowl).

Doeren has certainly created a buzz in Raleigh, but it might be difficult for him to live up to the hype in his first year on the job. NC State returns just 10 starters and will have to adjust to new schemes on both sides of the ball. The first order of business will be finding a replacement for starting quarterback Mike Glennon, but there’s also plenty of concern with a defense that must replace five of their top six tacklers.

Turnovers played a big role in the Wolfpack not meeting expectations in 2012. They were -9 in that department and a big part of that was the inconsistent play of Glennon, who wasn’t nearly as effective as he was in his junior season. They also had just six true home games. While turnovers could remain an issue in the first year of a new system, the fact that NC State has eight home games in 2013 should help ease the transition.

Last Season
ACC (Atlantic)
Record
ATS Record
Over/Under
Points For
Points Against
3rd
7-6
5-7-1
5-7
28.1
25.6
Key Numbers for 2013
Returning Starters
Returning to Offense
Returning to Defense
4 Year Recruiting Rank
Strength of Schedule
10
5
5
2.385
56th
16th
Head Coach Dave Doeren
Overall
ATS
Home
Home ATS
Road
Road ATS
23-5
15-12-1
12-0
7-5-0
8-2
6-4-0
Bowl Games
Bowl Games ATS
Off of a Bye
Off of a Bye ATS
Off of a Loss
Off of a Loss ATS
1-1
1-1
0-0
0-0
3-1
2-2
2013 Schedule
2013 NC State WolfPack Schedule
Date Opponent
Spread (Est.)
Win Chance
8/31 Louisiana Tech
-14
0.88
9/7 Richmond
-23
1
9/19 Clemson
+11
0.21
9/28 Central Michigan
-14
0.88
10/5 @ Wake Forest
+3
0.44
10/12 Syracuse
-8
0.75
10/26 @ Florida State
+20
0.00
11/2 North Carolina
+2.5
0.48
11/9 @ Duke
+2
0.44
11/16 @ Boston College
-2.5
0.57
11/23 East Carolina
-9.5
0.78
11/30 Maryland
-6
0.68
Estimated Wins: 6.43

NC State will have an excellent opportunity to open up the season 5-1. They have two easy non-conference home games against Louisiana Tech and Richmond before their early showdown against Clemson on Sept. 19. The Wolfpack likely won’t be able to pull off the upset against the Tigers, but should be able to bounce back the following week against Central Michigan. They then have a very winnable game at Wake Forest and another favorable home matchup against Syracuse.

The second half of the season kicks off with a road game against Florida State. While the Wolfpack were able to stun the Seminoles at home in 2012, they will likely struggle to keep it close in Tallahassee.

The rest of the schedule is very manageable. Even though NC State is expected to be a home underdog against in-state rival North Carolina, that’s definitely a game they could win. They have two more favorable road games against Duke and Boston College before closing out the regular season with a couple of home games against East Carolina and Maryland.

Odds
Regular Season Win Total
ACC Championship Odds
National Championship Odds
6.5
25 to 1
1,00 to 1
Odds Courtesty of Bovada
Season Predictions

With the way the schedule sets up in 2013, NC State has the potential to reach double-digit wins in Doeren’s first year on the job. This team should be able to build a lot of confidence in the first half of the season, which will get the players buying into the new systems.

The big concern I have with the Wolfpack is their lack of experience, especially at the quarterback position. Those three road games against Wake Forest, Duke and Boston College are going to be a lot tougher than I think most people would expect. Let’s not forget that the Wolfpack have a total of just three road wins over the last two seasons.

When it’s all said and done I think Doeren will get NC State back to a bowl game thanks to a very easy non-conference schedule, but they won’t be a threat to win the Atlantic. In fact, I think they will have a losing record inside the conference. I look for them to lose all three games against the top level teams in Clemson, Florida State and North Carolina, lose at Wake Forest, and fall to either Boston College or Duke.

2013 Projections
ACC (Atlantic)
ACC Record
Overall Record
Win Total Prediction
4th
3-5
7-5
Over (6.5)
NC State Football Resources
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