Game-By-Game Predictions for the Wolfpack's 2014 Season
However Doeren still has high expectations from his team in 2014. The good news is that it can’t get much worse—other than winning less than three games, obviously. But it’s a process; Doeren is rebuilding and there are going to be more growing pains along the way.
So with 12 starters returning, the Wolfpack have a solid foundation to build off of. More importantly, Florida transfer Jacoby Brissett has arrived to be Doeren’s guy under center. Brissett should fit well into the offensive scheme and give Wolfpack fans more to cheer about this season.
I’ll give my prediction on the Wolfpack’s 2014 season:
8/30 vs. Georgia Southern: W
This Georgia Southern team defeated Florida last season, but I don’t see the Wolfpack losing this one. I’m sure NC State coaches have been harping on stopping the run this offseason, as the Wolfpack defense was ranked last against the run. Expect to see eight guys in the box when NC State is on defense.
9/6 vs. Old Dominion: W
Another FCS opponent should give this team another win early. I expect the defense to continue to gain confidence and Brissett to get comfortable in Doeren’s system. This should be an easy win, or at least it better be.
9/13 at South Florida: W
ACC vs. AAC and this matchup will certainly be intriguing. Both programs were down last year (USF went 2-10) and are looking to rebound. Even though South Florida is at home, I’m picking the Wolfpack because of Brissett. He should be able to exploit this defense with his arm, along with his legs.
9/20 vs. Presbyterian: W
The Wolfpack didn’t want to challenge themselves in the non-conference that’s for sure. Cakewalk.
9/27 vs. Florida State: L
Here’s where it all starts. Maybe NC State can crack the top 25 after a 4-0 start, but this game won’t be close. If I were Doeren, I’d be happy to keep it within 20. The Wolfpack have no chance to win this one.
10/4 at Clemson: L
This is rough; to play FSU and Clemson back-to-back is certainly not ideal. Going into Death Valley is no easy task and I don’t see this one ending well either. Once again, just try to keep the score reasonable and move on to the next game.
10/11 vs. Boston College: W
The Eagles lost a lot this offseason, including plenty of senior playmakers. But this will be the battle of the former Florida quarterbacks, as transfer Tyler Murphy is expected to suit up for Boston College. I’m giving the edge to the Wolfpack in this one. After playing Florida State and Clemson, this team should be ready to get a win at home.
10/18 at Louisville: L
Louisville will have plenty of firepower on offense and that’s bad news for the Wolfpack defense. Petrino will certainly know where the weak spots are after watching the Florida State film and I expect him to exploit them.
11/1 at Syracuse: L
Syracuse has an up-and-coming quarterback in Terrel Hunt and the Orange won the Texas Bowl against Minnesota last season. As of now, NC State is still chasing a lot of mid-tier teams in the ACC and I’m not confident the Wolfpack can go on the road and take one from the Orange.
11/8 vs. Georgia Tech: L
The Yellow Jackets love to the run the ball under head coach Paul Johnson. The Wolfpack were ranked last in the ACC last season against the run, so naturally you have to give the edge to Georgia Tech.
11/15 vs. Wake Forest: W
The bleeding stops here. Wake Forest is set up to struggle mightily in 2014 and I don’t see any reason why NC State won’t win this one. Look for Brissett and company to release some frustration out in the last home game of the season.
11/29 at North Carolina: L
Larry Fedora had his team rolling towards the end of the season in 2013 and there’s a good chance this could continue this season. North Carolina has Marquise Williams returning under center and I’m confident he’ll be too much for the Wolfpack to handle.
2014 North Carolina State Projected Record: 6-6