Cincinnati rebounded in Week 3 against Akron after a sluggish Week 2 effort against Tennessee.
While their first two home opponents, Austin Peay and Akron, were over matched by the Bearcats, NC State will be a little tougher match up for Cincinnati.
Cincinnati proved they were no contest for Tennessee and if they want this season to be different than last, they cannot lose at home to an NC State team that is not nearly as talented as they were a year ago.
Here is what to expect from NC State on Thursday night.
The Wolfpack have had a somewhat balanced attack over the first three games, and have put up at least 27 points in all of those contests.
Quarterback Mike Glennon has passed for 745 yards and eight touchdowns on the season. He has also been sacked eight times. The Bearcats defensive line will have to get pressure on Glennon by forcing them into some third and long situations.
On the ground the duo of Curtis Underwood Jr. and James Washington have combined for 390 yards and four touchdowns. They will split carries and slowing down the running game will be the key to victory for Cincinnati.
Receiver T.J. Graham is a deep ball threat, averaging 21.0 yards per reception on 12 catches. He teams with Tobias Palmer to give NC State a solid duo at wide out.
The Wolfpack rank 52nd in the country in points allowed per game at 22.7.
They allowed 21 points in a season-opening win against Liberty, but then were blitzed by Wake Forest, who scored 34 points.
The Cincinnati offense is more explosive than even Wake Forest, and the Bearcats should be able to put some points on the board.
NC State has suffered a lot of injuries on the defensive side of the ball, the latest to linebacker Terrell Manning.
On the defensive line senior Jeff Rieskamp has missed action due to injury as has tackle J.R. Sweezy.
With a banged up defense, the Wolfpack will have a hard time slowing down the high-flying Bearcats attack that is fourth in the country at 51.3 points per game.
Playing at home will be extremely beneficial to Cincinnati. They will need the home field advantage to be able to take down NC State.
The injuries to the NC State defense and the ineptitude of the Cincinnati defense could make for a high scoring game.
Cincinnati should have enough talent on offense to get a much needed win against a non-conference foe.
Prediction: Cincinnati 42 NC State 31