NC State (5-6) at UNC (8-3)
Kickoff: Noon, Kenan Stadium, Chapel Hill
TV/Radio: ESPN, 106.1-WTKK, 101.5-WRAL
NC State’s strength: The Wolfpack’s front four has carried the defense all season and is led by junior defensive end Bradley Chubb, who leads the ACC with 19.5 tackles for loss. N.C. State ranks No. 7 nationally in rush defense, allowing 102.1 yards per game.
Running back Matt Dayes has paced the offense with 1,015 rushing yards on the season. He is the first N.C. State running back to rush for 1,000 yards since 2002.
UNC’s strength: Junior quarterback Mitch Trubisky has thrown for 289.2 yards per game and has 25 touchdowns, to only four interceptions, on the season. The Heels rank No. 21 in the country in passing offense and senior receiver Ryan Switzer has 78 catches for 856 yards on the season.
Key theme: N.C. State’s defense forced a total of seven turnovers in back-to-back games against Notre Dame and Clemson. That’s the same number it has forced in the five games since the 24-17 overtime loss at Clemson on Oct. 15. The defense has to make more plays, especially against UNC’s prolific offense. The Wolfpack can’t afford to just trade punches with UNC’s offense. It won’t be able to keep up.
N.C. State also needs to keep tabs on UNC running back T.J. Logan, who has three touchdowns in as many career games against the Wolfpack. Logan ran for 100 yards, on just six carries, with two touchdowns in last year’s 45-34 win in Raleigh.