12:03 pm
September 3

#13 North Carolina State @ East Carolina

Who will WIN this matchup?

#13 North Carolina State Wolfpack (0-0)

@ East Carolina Pirates (0-0)


Current odds:

North Carolina State Wolfpack: (-455)

East Carolina Pirates: (+335)


The spread for this game is NC State by 12 points.

No. 13 NC State and East Carolina will renew an in-state rivalry when the two sides kick off their season Saturday afternoon in Greenville, N.C.

Host ECU is coming off its best season in several years. The Pirates won seven games under Mike Houston last season and were poised to go bowling for the first time since 2014 until the Military Bowl was canceled due to a COVID-19 outbreak among Boston College players.

Among the key returners for ECU is quarterback Holton Ahlers. Now a fifth-year senior, Ahlers threw for 3,126 yards and 18 touchdowns last season. He also rushed for six touchdowns and caught one, too.

This is Doeren’s 10th season at NC State and many expect this Wolfpack team to be his best yet. NC State’s No. 13 preseason AP ranking is its highest since 1975.

Leading the Pack is their own talented quarterback, junior Devin Leary. He threw for 35 touchdowns last season and led NC State to a 9-3 finish. Leary was voted as the ACC Preseason Player of the Year and has been named to watchlists for the Manning, Maxwell, O’Brien and Camp awards.

NC State also has four returning starters on the offensive line and 10 returning starters on a defense that was second best in the nation against the pass, holding opponents to a 52.7 percent completion rate.

This will be the 32nd meeting between the Wolfpack and the Pirates. NC State has won the last two games — in 2019 and 2018 — but lost the last two meetings that were played in Greenville, in 2016 and 2010. The Wolfpack hold the all-time advantage in the series with an 18-13 record.

Former ECU head coach Ruffin McNeill — who took the Pirates bowling four times between 2010 and 2015, and went 2-0 against the Pack — is now on NC State’s staff as a special assistant to Doeren. For McNeil, an ECU graduate who was inducted into the East Carolina Athletics Hall of Fame last year, this will be his first trip to Greenville as an opponent.

StreakSmarter Pick
#13 North Carolina State Wolfpack