NC State vs. Clemson NCAAF Week 5 Picks and Prediction

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DJ Uiagalelei #5 of the Clemson Tigers throws a pass against the Furman Paladins. Eakin Howard/Getty Images/AFP.

It’s a huge game in the Atlantic Coast Conference’s Atlantic Division on Saturday night as No. 5 Clemson hosts No. 10 NC State. Which way to lean at BMR’s top-rated sportsbooks

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North Carolina State Wolfpack vs. Clemson Tigers 

Saturday, October 1, 2022 – 07:30 PM EDT at Memorial Stadium 

Rivalry Trends

The first day of October brings one of the biggest games of the season in the Atlantic Coast Conference and specifically the Atlantic Division, there won’t be divisions any longer after this year, as No. 10 NC State visits No. 5 Clemson.

I do expect the winner of this game to represent the Atlantic in the ACC title game, although Florida State certainly may have something to say about that. ABC has this prime-time matchup. 

Last year, the Wolfpack upset the Tigers 27-21 in double overtime in Raleigh. N.C. State had lost 8 straight and 15 of 16 meetings to Clemson. It was the first win over a Top 10 team for Wolfpack coach Dave Doeren as the Tigers were ranked ninth then.

Devin Leary threw for 238 yards and 4 scores and NC State rushed for 148 yards. Clemson QB DJ Uiagalelei struggled in completing just 12 of 26 for 111 yards with two TDs and a pick. Justyn Ross caught both TD throws but is now with the Kansas City Chiefs. 

NC State is 5-2 against the spread on the NCAAF picks in its past seven trips to Clemson. ESPN’s College GameDay will be on hand.  

Wolfpack Have Had Easy Schedule 

This was expected to be the best team Coach Dave Doeren has had at NC State and so far there’s nothing to disprove that as the Wolfpack are 4-0 after easily handling visiting UConn 41-10 on Saturday.

NC State QB Devin Leary, the ACC preseason Offensive Player of the Year, hit Thayer Thomas on a 75-yard TD pass on the first play of the game. It was the longest play from scrimmage of the season for N.C. State, and it was also the first time the team has scored on its first offensive play of a game since 1991. 

"They came out excited to play and with a great start. It's good to see Devin get in a rhythm," Doeren said. "Almost everything we talked about during the week, we got to see." 

Leary finished with 320 yards and 4 touchdowns (to four different players) with a pick. NC State also rushed for 169 yards and held UConn to just 39 yards through the air. Thomas moved into sole possession of second in program history in career touchdown catches with 22.  

Defeats Streak

NC State did not punt once, the first time it didn’t do that since a 47-45 win over Maryland on Nov. 5, 1994. The Wolfpack extended their home winning streak to 13 games, a run that started Nov. 14, 2020. That’s the second-longest such streak in the history of Carter-Finley Stadium. 

At No. 10 in the new AP poll, NC State has its highest ranking since the Oct. 28 poll of the 2002 season. This is the first Top 10 matchup in the history of the program.

It’s the Wolfpack’s second road game so far, and they were nearly upset in the first one at East Carolina in Week 1. Doeren said the team would practice this week with wet balls to simulate rainy conditions as the remnants of Hurricane Ian could be a factor on Saturday night.  

The Wolfpack will be a part of ESPN’s College GameDay game for the first time since 2004, when N.C. State hosted Miami at Carter-Finley Stadium. 

Uiagalelei Comes Off Career Game 

Clemson played a big game on Saturday in winning 51-45 in double overtime at then-No. 21 Wake Forest, but it was clear the Tigers were badly missing injured secondary players Sheridan Jones, Malcolm Greene and safety Andrew Mukuba as Wake put up 337 yards passing against one of the country’s top defenses.

Too early to know if any of those guys will play this week. Defensive tackle Tyler Davis was "player of the game," according to Dabo Swinney. After missing the previous two games, Davis had six tackles and two sacks. 

Clemson's Offensive

Offensively, Clemson had easily its best game of the year with 559 yards.

Quarterback DJ Uiagalelei had arguably the game of his career with 423 yards of total offense (371 passing, 52 rushing) and threw 5 touchdowns to lead Clemson to its 14th victory in a row over the Demon Deacons.

The 300-yard passing game was Uiagalelei’s first of the season and the third of his career, pulling him with one of the career total of his position coach Brandon Streeter (four from 1996-99). It was Uiagalelei’s first 300-yard game since his career-high 439-yard effort at Notre Dame in 2020.

Uiagalelei became the first Clemson quarterback to throw 5 touchdown passes in a game since Trevor Lawrence at Georgia Tech in 2020. He has thrown multiple touchdown passes in three straight games for the first time in his career.

Uiagalelei's Comebacks

It was Uiagalelei’s fourth career fourth-quarter comeback win, tying Deshaun Watson for the second-most by a Clemson quarterback since 2000.  

“If you’re going to win a division championship, a league championship, you’ve got to be able to win on the road,” said Swinney. “To be able to win in overtime, on the road with a lot of adversity, that shows the character and the heart of our young men and I’m really proud of them.” 

Will Shipley rushed 20 times for 104 yards and a score. He has rushed for at least 1 touchdown in 7consecutive games dating to last season.

Uiagalelei's Stats

His streak is Clemson’s longest since Travis Etienne rushed for a touchdown in seven straight games in 2020. Beaux Collins became the first Clemson player to post a receiving touchdown in each of the first four games of a season since Sammy Watkins in 2011. 

Clemson had 16 third-down conversions, a school record. It improved to 42-4 since 2018 when scoring first. The Tigers’ 175 points this season are tied for their second-most through four games in school history.

Clemson has finished even or positive in the turnover margin in eight consecutive games, dating to last season.

It has won 10 straight games, the nation’s longest active streak. Swinney improved to 33-3 all-time against teams from the state of North Carolina. 

North Carolina State vs. Clemson: Pick and Prediction

Saturday will be Clemson’s 30th overall appearance, and 8th home appearance, on ESPN’s College GameDay. It marks the 13th consecutive season that Clemson has played in at least one game featured on-site by College GameDay.

The Tigers are 18-11 all-time when playing in it and 14-4 since the start of the 2016 season. Clemson is 6-1 when hosting it.  

The Tigers are 4-1 ATS in their past five ACC games. I like them to win by a touchdown. NC State had problems at times against East Carolina’s fast and aggressive defensive front in the season opener, and Clemson’s is faster and even more aggressive.

Following the NCAAF odds, I would recommend to get this spread before it gets to 7 as it has risen there at a few other of BMR’s top-rated books. 

Score Prediction: Clemson 31 - NC State 24 

NCAAF Pick: Clemson -6.5 (-110) at BetOnline (visit our BetOnline Review)

NCAAF Pick: Over 42.5 (-115) at BetOnline 

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Over 42.5 (-115)
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*The line and/or odds on picks in this article might have moved since the content was commissioned. For updated line movements, visit BMR’s free betting odds product.