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Champs Sports Bowl Game of the Week: Virginia Tech at NC State

The Champs Sports Bowl Game of the Week is a preview of a pivotal matchup featuring teams from the Big East and/or ACC that could impact the bowl picture.

Week Five: 
Virginia Tech (2-2, 1-0 ACC) at NC State (4-0, 1-0 ACC)
 
Saturday, Oct. 2 ï¿½- 3:30 p.m.
Carter-Finley Stadium – Raleigh, N.C.
Virginia Tech leads series 25-18-4
Last Meeting: Nov. 21, 2009 (Virginia Tech 38, NC State 10)
 
Virginia Tech Outlook

With last week�s win over Boston College, the Hokies have put their season back on track to be one of the top contenders for the ACC title.  Virginia Tech found the end zone only once in the contest � a three-yard rush by Darren Evans � but relied heavily on kicker Chris Hazley, who went four-for-four on field goals. Tyrod Taylor went 16-21 with 237 yards. This was Virginia Tech�s first shutout since 2006.

Taylor currently leads the ACC with a 165.5 passing efficiency rating. Wide receiver Jarett Boykin has posted 243 yards on eleven catches while also tallying three scores.  

NC State Outlook

 
The Wolfpack are 4-0 (1-0 ACC) with wins over West Carolina, UCF, Cincinnati and Georgia Tech. This is NC State�s best start since the 2006 season, when it went undefeated going into week five. This season, it has outscored its opponents 151-75 and rank tied for 19th in the nation in scoring offense. The Wolfpack have also posted over 400 yards of total offense in three of their four games including 527 against Georgia Tech.

Quarterback Russell Wilson threw for 368 yards with three touchdowns and one interception in last weeks� 45-28 win over the Yellow Jackets. Wilson already has 1,112 yards and 11 touchdowns on the year. NC State�s running game relies on two true freshmen, Mustafa Greene and Dean Hayes, who have combined for six scores. The Wolfpack defense forced two fumbles in the game against Georgia Tech.

Impact on Bowl Picture

Virginia Tech and NC State are currently the frontrunners in their respective division. With ACC bowl selections based around conference records, every conference meeting can either keep a team on watch or knock them off the radar. NC State avoids Coastal division challenger Miami (2-1, 0-0 ACC) but plays a tough Florida State team (3-1, 1-0 ACC) and a Clemson (2-1, 0-0 ACC) team that almost knocked off Auburn in week three on the road. The Hokies have an easier conference schedule as they avoid Florida State and Clemson but face Miami on the road.
Extra Point

The rivalry between the Wolfpack and the Hokies dates back to 1900. The longest time these two teams did not play each other was 1993-2003 while Virginia Tech was a member of the Big East. When Virginia Tech rejoined the ACC in 2004, the game between these two rivals was decided by only one point � NC State 17, Virginia Tech 16 � which is NC State�s only series win since. 
 
Expert Predictions

Andrea Adelson
Andrea Adelson
ESPN.com CFB Blogger

PICK:  Virginia Tech
RECORD: 6-2 (3-1 CSB)

Bram Weinstein
Bram Weinstein
ESPN Anchor

PICK:
  NC State
RECORD: 8-0 (4-0 CSB)
Jay Gruden
Jay Gruden
Florida Tuskers Coach

PICK:
  Virginia Tech
RECORD: 8-0 (4-0 CSB)
Chuck Beverly
Chuck Beverly
FCSports Chairman

PICK:
  Virginia Tech
RECORD: 8-0 (4-0 CSB)

 

 

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