Both teams come in with 1 loss to SEC team. NC State lost despite doubling South Carolina in yardage while Notre Dame found a way to lose despite being +2 in TO Margin. To me both teams are pretty even with Notre Dame's strength being their offensive line, and NC State's strength being their defensive line. However, there is line value on the road team here with NC State off a bye along with Notre Dame's fat and happy win over USC last week where everyone saw the game.
Notre Dame relies heavily on running the ball and are averaging 317 yards per game 7.1 yards per carry. Winbush really hasn't been a threat to throw the ball 116 QB rating 51.7% completion rate just 6 yards per attempt. That's really NC State's weakness here as they are ranked 14th in defending the run. Notre Dame has really inflated offensive numbers running the ball. Against Michigan State and Georgia they have just 200 yards rushing. They have really dominated the weaker opponents having faced rushing defenses ranked 101, 112, 80, 90, and 85th. Against tougher competition it's been proven you can stop this rushing offense.
NC State's rushing defense hasn't faced many good rushing offenses either outside of Louisville who is ranked #7 with a mobile QB in Lamar Jackson. They held Louisville to 116 yards rushing and I would say Jackson is a better passer than Winbush. I think there is more proof that NC State can stop the run than there is Notre Dame can run against really good defenses.
Now Notre Dame also good at stopping the run ranking 25th, but again they have faced poor running offenses and last week they faced a banged up USC offense. This week NC State's offense is not spectacular and rank 61st running the ball, but Ryan Finley their QB hasn't turned the ball over. They faced running defenses ranked 29, 17, 44, 52, 50, and 99.
Both defenses have been excellent in the red zone and turnover margin. I feel like strength of schedule is about even as well. AT the end of the day I think there is just too much line value. NC State has only turned the ball over 3 times all year. Michigan State is getting a lot of credit right now while NC State is off a bye and it weren't for NC State's poor special teams play where they rank 121st I'd be playing this as my POD.
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