N.C. State didn’t play this week but moved up two spots to No. 14 in the AP poll and one spot to No. 15 in the USA Today poll.
The Wolfpack (6-1, 4-0 ACC) moved up because Southern California, No. 11 in the AP top 25 last week, lost. The Trojans got blown out at Notre Dame (49-14) on Saturday night.
Next up for the Wolfpack? The same Fighting Irish, who made the biggest jump up to No. 9. N.C. State is 2-0 this season against ranked opponents but hasn’t beaten a top-10 team since 2012.
The Wolfpack did beat Notre Dame last season, 10-3 at Carter-Finley Stadium during Hurricane Matthew. The Irish (6-1) have done a 180 under coach Brian Kelly after going 4-8 last season with three losses to ACC foes (State, Duke and Virginia Tech).
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Quarterback Brandon Wimbush, in his first year as the starter, has been a revelation for Kelly and the rejuvenated Irish. The junior from Teaneck, N.J. has three 100-yard rushing games and has accounted for 18 touchdowns in six games (he did not play in Notre Dame’s 33-10 win at North Carolina on Oct. 7).
The Irish have turned into a run-first team in Kelly’s eighth season. They rank No. 6 in the country in rushing offense (317.9 yards per game). Junior running back Josh Adams has 967 rushing yards in seven games.
N.C. State, which has won six straight since dropping its opener, excels in stopping the run. The Wolfpack ranks No. 6 in rushing defense (91.3 yards per game).
Last year’s game in Raleigh was played in about 9 inches of standing water after heavy rains soaked the area. A blocked punt turned out to be the difference for the Wolfpack, which is 2-0 against Notre Dame all time.
This is the first trip by N.C. State to South Bend, Ind. The Wolfpack has won four straight on the road, going back to last season, including a 35-17 win at Pittsburgh in its last outing.
Joe Giglio: 919-829-8938, @jwgiglio