Louisiana Tech (2-2) at No. 23 North Carolina State (3-1), Saturday at 6 p.m. EDT (ESPN+/ACC Network Extra).
Line: N.C. State by 18 1/2, according to FanDuel Sportsbook.
Series record: N.C. State leads 1-0.
WHAT’S AT STAKE?
North Carolina State is following its upset of then-No. 9 Clemson in Atlantic Coast Conference play by stepping out of league play for its final nonconference matchup. Dave Doeren’s team stands as the ACC’s highest-ranked team. The Bulldogs are also playing their nonconference finale and seeking a win against a power-conference opponent after a close loss to Mississippi State to open the season.
N.C. State’s defense against Louisiana Tech’s offense. The Wolfpack held Clemson to 214 total yards in the double-overtime win. N.C. State also ranks sixth nationally by allowing just 13 points per game despite losing starting linebacker Payton Wilson, safety Cyrus Fagan and now nose tackle C.J. Clark to season-ending injuries. Louisiana Tech ranks in the top 50 of the Bowl Subdivision ranks in passing offense (269 yards per game) and scoring offense (35).
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Louisiana Tech: WR Tre Harris. The freshman leads the team with 215 yards receiving and three touchdowns, including a 62-yard score against SMU.
N.C. State: WR Emeka Emezie. The senior had career highs of 14 catches for 116 yards with a touchdown in the Clemson win, proving to be a reliable target for quarterback Devin Leary.
FACTS & FIGURES
Bulldogs coach Skip Holtz wasn’t sure if quarterback Austin Kendall would be ready for this game after he missed last week’s win against North Texas due to “medical reasons.” … Holtz coached his first game at Louisiana Tech against N.C. State in 2013, which also marked Doeren’s first game with the Wolfpack. … Both teams have lost at Mississippi State this season. … Louisiana Tech’s two losses have come by a combined three points. … Leary has completed 75% of his passes over the past two games for N.C. State.
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