Saturday, Oct. 3, Heinz Field, Pittsburgh, Pa., noon ET
North Carolina State
Coach Dave Doeren has a decision to make with Devin Leary apparently ready to go at quarterback after missing significant time in the preseason to coronavirus woes. He and Bailey Hockman are listed as potential starters against Pittsburgh, but Leary is expected to get the nod after finishing last week’s loss at Virginia Tech in his first appearance.
Hockman, a junior, is 23 of 39 passing for 191 with three interceptions in his two appearances. Leary, a sophomore, was 12 of 16 last week for 165 yards with no picks in the 45-24 loss to the Hokies. “We need them both,” Doeren said. Zonovan Knight has rushed for 191 yards in the two games, and Devin Carter has 109 yards on seven receptions.
Defense has carried the Panthers the last two games with defensive end Patrick Jones II leading the highlight film with three of the team’s seven sacks last week against Louisville. Rashad Weaver also has 3.5 sacks for the season and Daron Hayes has a pair. The Panthers also have recorded six interceptions with Paris Ford leading with two.
Offensively, the running game has been so-so with a 143 per-game average after getting 156 last week against Louisville. Kenny Pickett has completed 66 percent of his passes for 237.3 yards per game with a pair of picks. Jordan Anderson has more than doubled up his teammates in receptions with 21 good for 169 yards and two scores.
North Carolina State at Pittsburgh Panthers Betting Pick
The Panthers will be playing a fourth consecutive home game while the Wolfpack is in the middle of a three-game road stretch. Linebacker Payton Wilson, last year’s leading tackler, should return for the ‘Pack this week after sitting out last week, but defensive back Teshaun Smith is out for the season with a shoulder injury. Pitt’s defense has been pretty solid in yielding only 30 points in three games, the last two in wins over ACC opponents Syracuse and Louisville.
North Carolina State at Pittsburgh Panthers Betting Pick: Panthers (-14) 28, Wolfpack (+14) 10.
North Carolina State at Pittsburgh Panthers Best Bet
The Panthers rolled to 55 points in their shutout win over Austin Peay in their opener, but they have only 44 points their last two games combined. This will be just the second time the two teams have met since Pitt joined the ACC in 2013. NjC State won that won 35-17. “I haven’t forgotten that game,” Pitt coach Pat Narduzzi said.
North Carolina State at Pittsburgh Panthers Best Bet: UNDER 48