No. 21 North Carolina State (7-2, 4-1 ACC) at No. 13 Wake Forest (8-1, 5-0), Saturday at 7:30 p.m. EST (ACC Network).
Line: Wake Forest by 1 1/2 , according to FanDuel Sportsbook.
Series record: N.C. State leads 67-41-6.
WHAT’S AT STAKE?
This is a huge matchup in the race to determine who will win the Atlantic Division race and earn a trip to the ACC championship game next month. The Wolfpack beat six-time reigning league champion Clemson in double overtime in September and can earn another head-to-head tiebreaker by beating the Demon Deacons. Wake Forest is coming off its first loss at North Carolina, a rare nonconference matchup between league teams. But a win in this one would give the Demon Deacons at least a two-game lead in the loss column on every division team with two games left to play.
Wake Forest’s offense against N.C. State’s defense. The Demon Deacons keep putting up big numbers. They’re third in the Bowl Subdivision ranks in scoring offense (44.7 points per game) and sixth in total offense (508.7), and they’re the only FBS team to have scored at least 35 points in every game. N.C. State is tied for sixth nationally in scoring defense (16.0) and sits at No. 19 in total defense (321.4), and that unit performed well in wins against Louisville and Florida State despite playing without four starters lost to season-ending injuries.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
N.C. State: RB Zonovan Knight. Knight ran for 75 yards in the Florida State game, bouncing back from quiet outings against Miami (16 yards) and Louisville (23 yards). The Wolfpack could use a strong running performance from Knight and Ricky Person Jr. to control the clock and keep Wake Forest’s high-powered offense on the sideline.
Wake Forest: WR Jaquarii Roberson. Roberson has cracked the 100-yard mark four times in five games and has six touchdown catches in the past three games.
FACTS & FIGURES
This game has typically been a rough one for N.C. State in a longtime instate series. Wake Forest has won eight of nine meetings at home since 2001. … N.C. State’s only win in Winston-Salem since 2001 came in 2015. … Wake Forest WR A.T. Perry is tied for third nationally with 10 touchdown catches and 18th in receiving yards (93.9), right behind Roberson (94.2). … Wake Forest QB Sam Hartman is tied for fifth in TD passes (27) and N.C. State’s Devin Leary is tied for seventh (25).
More AP college football: https://apnews.com/hub/college-football and https://twitter.com/AP_Top25. Sign up for the AP’s college football newsletter: https://apnews.com/cfbtop25