G.W. Gras

Senior Writer for The Bears Brawl and Lead Host of The Bears Brawl Podcast.

North Carolina State Wolfpack -6.5 at West Virginia Mountaineers

Over / Under 49

West Virginia is living life without quarterback Will Grier, and it’s been rough to say the least. Quarterback Austin Kendall has been average at best in his first two games, averaging just under 200 passing yards a game and at clip of just below 6 yards per pass. Head coach Neil Brown is in his first year coaching at West Virginia and has the task of rebuilding an offensive line, and trying to get the offensive moxie back that once defined West Virginia.

The offense struggled for most of week one against James Madison, until they “pulled away” in the fourth quarter with a touchdown and field goal to be the FCS opponent 20-13. When facing Missouri the following week, the running game and passing game of the Mountaineers were put to a halt in the 38-7 loss.

Source: Tim Bradbury/Getty Images North America

N.C. State has become a stronger program in the five years Dave Doeren has been its head coach, and now in his sixth season coaching the Wolfpack, he is looking to shed the thought that his team will be going through some kind of “transition year.” The recruiting at NC State has been surprisingly good under Doeren and because of that, they seem to never miss a beat year to year.

This season the Wolfpack opened up against less than stellar opponents from the Carolinas (East and Western) and won both those games by an average score of 37.5 to 3. In their first road game of the season, they travel to Morgantown bringing the ACC’s best defense (so far).

The Wolfpack’s run defense is holding opponents to an average of one yard a carry, which is pretty much what the Mountaineers are averaging on the ground (1.1). This ultimately gives the Wolfpack an easy advantage when factoring the CLASH average which is .95 yards a carry for West Virginia.

N.C. State is also going through a change of the guard at quarterback as Ryan Finley is now in the NFL, and Matthew McKay is under center. McKay hasn’t really been tested and probably still won’t be tested by a Mountaineers team that allows a completion percentage of 62.5%.

It’s easy to lean Wolfpack here as they have covered their last four games against Big 12 opponents and the Mountaineers haven’t covered in their last five meetings against ACC opponents. Bottom line is, the name of West Virginia is stronger than N.C. State, and some folks may still take the points at home, which helps out the smarter people who know NC State will win this win by at least two scores.

The PIck: N.C. State -6.5