Mountaineer Monday: Champs Sports Bowl Preview Edition
For these two squads, the preseason predictions had one team finishing at the bottom of their respective league, and the other outright winning the league in 2010
For the Wolfpack, the predicted 4thplace finish was averted by the play of Russell Wilson and the tremendous passing offense displayed in Raleigh this season.
North Carolina State finished the 2010 season 2nd in the ACC Atlantic Division as they came up short against Maryland in the season finale, propelling Florida State to the ACC title game this season.
For the Mountaineers, the program entered with high hopes of winning the Big East as star players Noel Devine and Jock Sanders returned for their senior seasons looking at big goals in Morgantown.
The dreams of the first outright Big East title since 2005 were shredded after a two game losing streak to Syracuse at home and Connecticut on the road after poor offense output in both games.
The two teams will look to put a exclamation point on 2010 with a win in their bowl later this month on December 29th in South Florida.
With that being said, let’s get to the breakdown of the Champs Sports Bowl between these two marquee teams from the ACC and Big East...
Overall Record: West Virginia Leads 5-4
First Meeting: 10/22/1914 – NCSU 26, WVU 13
Last Meeting: 09/22/1979 – NCSU 38, WVU 14
Biggest WVU Win: 61-0 – 11/21/1953
Biggest NC State Win: 49-13 – 12/29/1972 Peach Bowl
West Virginia National Rankings
Total: 64th Nationally with 376 Yards per Game
Passing: 66th Nationally with 214 Yards per Game
Rushing: 49th Nationally with 162 Yards per Game
Total: 3rd Nationally with 251 Yards per Game
Passing: 11th Nationally with 166 Yards per Game
Rushing: 2nd Nationally with 85 Yards per Game
North Carolina State National Rankings
Total: 39thNationally with 406 Yards per Game
Passing: 19th Nationally with 281 Yards per Game
Rushing: 93rd Nationally with 125 yards per Game
Total: 35th Nationally with 340 Yards per Game
Passing: 78th Nationally with 227 Yards per Game
Defense: 12th Nationally with 113 Yards per Game
WVU, Geno Smith – 219-333 Attempts, 2567 Yards, 94 Carries, 158 Yards, 23 Touchdowns, Six Interceptions
NC State, Russell Wilson – 280-482 Attempts, 3288 Yards, 129 Carries, 394 Rushing Yards, 14 35 Total Touchdowns, 14 Interceptions
WVU, Noel Devine – 201 Carries, 886 Yards, 30 Catches, 237 Yards, Seven Total Touchdowns
NC State, Mustafa Green – 131 Carries, 584 Rushing Yards, 29 Catches, 256 Yards Receiving, and Five Touchdowns Total
EDGE: North Carolina State
Wide Receivers & Tight Ends
WVU, Tavon Austin – 53 Catches, 757 Yards, 14 Carries, 152 Yards, Nine Total Touchdowns
NC State, Owen Spencer – 57 Catches, 868 Yards, 4 Touchdowns
WVU 2010 Experience: Four Seniors, Six Juniors
NC State 2010 Experience: Four Seniors, Three Juniors, Three Sophomores, Two Freshmen
WVU, Julian Miller – 25 Tackles (25 Solo), 10 Tackles For Loss, 7 Sacks, Forced Fumble
NC State, JR Sweezy – 33 Tackles (17 Solo), 4 Sacks, Forced Fumble
WVU, Anthony Leonard – 28 Tackles (37 Solo), Sack, Forced Fumble
NC State, Nate Irving - .46 Tackles (42 Solo), 16 Tackles For Loss, 5 Sacks, 2 Forced Fumbles
WVU, Keith Tandy – Six Interceptions, 17 Tackles (37 Solo), Forced Fumble, Tackle For Loss
NC State, Brandan Bishop– Three Interceptions, 34 Tackles (27 Solo), Forced Fumble
WVU, Tyler Bitancurt - 40-40 PAT Attempts, 10-15 Field Goals
NC State, Josh Czajkowski – 40-41 PAT Attempts, 17-22 Field Goals
WVU, Bill Stewart – Third Year, 28-11 Overall Record, One Conference Championship (2010)
NC State, Tom O’Brien – Fourth Year, 21-22 Overall Record
Keys to a WVU Win:
- Excellent Play from Geno Smith
- Increased use of Tavon Austin in the passing game
- Avoid the turnover bug that plagued the offense lately
Keys to a NCSU Win:
- Continued steady play of Russell Wilson
- Throw down field against a sometimes fragile secondary
- Control the run against the trio of Alston, Clark, and Devine
Pick: West Virginia 28, North Carolina State 20
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