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North Carolina State

vs.

Miami

9/24/12

Through the first four weeks, it's been hard to get a read on these two teams. Each of them has one bad loss. NC State lost to Tennessee in their first game of the season 21-35 at a neutral site as a three-point underdog. From there, they beat a Connecticut team 10-7 which doesn't look that great now. As for Miami (FL), they got demolished by 39 points at Kansas State, but they were only seven point underdogs. However, just last week, they took out Georgia Tech in OT even though they were two TD underdogs.

This will be one of the harder games to get a read on for the weekend, but coming off last week's win, the Hurricanes are just over FG favorites.

Miami (FL) is led by Stephen Morris who had a coming out game (they hope) against the Yellow Jackets throwing for 436 yards and two TDs. Those numbers double each of his three previous games this season. Still, he has just four TDs to three INTs overall which aren't all that comforting. The Hurricanes like to run the ball through Duke Johnson and Mike James. The two are needed to lighten the load on Morris' arm. They have combined for 567 rushing yards, 172 receiving yards and nine total TDs. Expect a heavy dose from them as Miami (FL) hopes to stay undefeated in the ACC.

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As for NC State, this is their first in-conference game. Through their first four games, the run defense has done its job and will be needed in this contest. The Wolfpack's power also comes from their rushing game. They have five different players with at least 21 carries which comes out to 582 total yards on the ground and eight TDs. Mike Glennon is under center and since the Tennessee game, he has done everything right. After throwing four picks against the Volunteers, he hasn't thrown one yet compared to five TDs. His main targets are Quintin Payton (338 yards) and Bryan Underwood (four TDs).

Expect a tough battle in Miami, much like the game between Miami (FL) and Georgia Tech last week. The interesting part to that contest was Miami (FL) scored the game's first 19 points then GT followed with 36 of their own and then the Hurricanes finished the game scoring 23 unanswered. That's how inconsistent Miami (FL) has been this year. Also in that game, GA Tech only attempted eight passes yet still scored 36 points. The balanced Wolfpack running attack will surely aim to capitalize on that.

There aren't any great markers in this meeting as the last time these two teams played was back in 2008. Nevertheless, there are some numbers that stick out. The Wolfpack are 1-4-1 ATS in their last six road games while the Hurricanes are 4-1 ATS in their last five conference games. The under has hit five straight times when NC State goes on the road and also has an amazing 38-18-1 mark in the Hurricanes last 57 homes games.

This is a difficult game to handicap as far as the side goes. Mostly because we're not sure yet, what we have with NC State. Their yards per point numbers look very good, with a -13.7 on offense and a 20.6 on defense. But then, UCONN, South Alabama and Citadel are the teams responsible for those nice numbers. When they stepped up in class their first game of the season, they were hammered by Tennessee.

As for the Hurricanes, we anticipated their bounce back after the Kansas State fiasco, but it wasn't easy against Georgia Tech. Like the fact that they won it in the end, but hate the fact they blew an early 19-0 lead in the game. Not the type of team you want to trust laying points.

We're going to skip the side here and lean towards the under with the assumption that despite the weak opposition, the NC State defense is vastly improved from a year ago and can keep this team in games. The total is 55 currently, so plenty of room here. Under 55

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