NC State aims to break spell against Georgia Tech
North Carolina State will try to reverse a losing trend and earn a little revenge Saturday when it hosts Georgia Tech in Raleigh.
The Wolfpack (7-3, 6-3 ACC) have not beaten Georgia Tech (3-5, 3-4) at home since 2000 and would like to end that streak this weekend, when they play their final regular-season game.
NC State is still smarting from last year’s 28-26 defeat to the Yellow Jackets in Atlanta. Coach Dave Doeren’s injury-depleted team fell behind 21-3 and saw their comeback fall short when a final two-point conversion failed.
Georgia Tech leads the series 20-10 and has a 9-6 advantage in games played in Raleigh.
“It’s been a fun year,” Doeren said. “It’s a special group. If we get this next one and it puts us at eight (wins), it would make it even better.”
NC State has significantly improved its offense this year. Last season, the Wolfpack averaged 22.1 points per game. This season that figure is 31.9. The Wolfpack are coming off a 36-29 win over Syracuse, scoring the final 16 points to secure the victory.
Quarterback Bailey Hockman has thrown for 1,511 yards and 12 touchdowns in eight games. He passed for a career-high 313 yards and four touchdowns against Syracuse.
Zonovan “Bam” Knight and Ricky Person have been a steady, dependable combination in the backfield. They combine for an average of 127.4 yards per game, and Knight (698 yards) has eight touchdowns.
NC State’s Christopher Dunn needs two field goals to tie the school’s career record. He has 53, including a 31-yarder that sealed the win against Syracuse.
The Wolfpack got a boost on defense last week when safety Tanner Ingle returned after missing most of the season with a hamstring injury. He had seven tackles against Syracuse.
Georgia Tech ended a three-game losing streak – and a month-long layoff – with a 56-33 win over Duke. The Yellow Jackets had three players from that game honored by the ACC – offensive tackle Zach Quinney (co-Offensive Lineman of the Week), quarterback Jeff Sims (Rookie of the Week) and defensive end Jordan Domineck (Defensive Lineman of the Week).
It was the third time Sims has received such an honor. He set career highs for rushing yard (108) and touchdown passes (three) and became the first freshman in the country to run for at least 100 yards and pass for at least three TDs in a game this season. Sims has thrown for 1,492 yards and 11 touchdowns and rushed for 385 yards and four TDs this year.
Domineck had a crucial strip sack and fumble recovery for a touchdown that changed the momentum of the game against Duke. He finished with two sacks and 2½ tackles for loss. He leads the team with four sacks and 7½ tackles for loss.
“We’re a culture built on effort,” Georgia Tech coach Geoff Collins said. “He plays with ridiculous effort. When you do that, good things happen, and that’s what he did. He did a great job giving great effort when we weren’t playing (for a month), and it showed.”
–Field Level Media