North Carolina State (4-2, 1-1 ACC) at No. 7 Louisville (5-1, 3-1), Noon (ABC)
Line: Louisville by 19 1/2
Series: Cardinals lead 5-1.
WHAT’S AT STAKE
N.C. State looks to rebound from a heartbreaking 24-17 overtime loss at then-No. 3 Clemson by finishing things off this time in its second straight top-10 matchup on the road. Louisville aims to pile on the points again after Duke held the Cardinals to a season low in last week’s 24-14 victory. A Louisville win also earns bowl eligibility for the seventh straight season.
N.C. State’s run defense vs. Louisville’s ground game. The Wolfpack lead the ACC in rushing defense with 95.3 yards allowed per game, which also ranks fifth nationally. The Cardinals feature the conference’s top rushing attack (305.7 yards per game) led by Jackson — who has run for 832 yards and 15 TDs — and followed by senior RB Brandon Radcliff (534 yards, 3 TDs). Jeremy Smith has run for five TDs, including an 80-yarder against Duke last week en route to a career-best 97 yards rushing.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
N.C. State: RB Matt Dayes. The senior has returned this season from a foot injury to rank third in the ACC with 669 yards and a per-game average of 111.5 yards. Both numbers are behind Jackson and Florida State’s Dalvin Cook, which is impressive company.
Louisville: DT Drew Bailey. The junior made 11 tackles against Duke, the most for a defensive lineman since Elvis Dumervil posted the same number in the 2005 season opener against Kentucky. Bailey is tied for seventh on the team with 26 tackles including 1.5 sacks.
FACTS & FIGURES
The Wolfpack are playing consecutive road games against top-10 schools for the first time in program history. … N.C. State has committed just seven turnovers. … The Cardinals have won seven straight at home dating back to last season. … Jackson needs 168 yards to become the school’s first 1,000-yard rusher since 2010 and the first QB to do so. … Louisville still leads the nation in scoring at 52.3 points per game.