Scouting the 2021 LA Tech football foes: North Carolina State

With the start of football season around the corner, here is the fifth of a 12-part series of season previews on the Louisiana Tech opponents for the upcoming season. Tech will travel to Raleigh to face the Wolfpack on Oct. 2 at Carter-Finley Stadium. Kickoff time is still TBA.

2020 Record: 8-4 (7-3 in ACC)

Bowl: Lost 23-21 to Kentucky in the Taxslayer Gator Bowl

Head Coach: Dave Doeren (9th Year)

All-time Series: NC State leads 1-0

Last Meeting: North Carolina State 40, LA Tech 14 (2013) – Kenneth Dixon and Tevin King each scored a rushing touchdown, but the Bulldogs couldn’t overcome four costly fumbles – including two inside the NC State 10-yard line – in falling 40-14 to the Wolf Pack in the opening game of the Skip Holtz era in Ruston. North Carolina State amassed 542 yards of offense, including 84 yards rushing and three scores by running back Matthew Dayes. Current Green Bay Packers receiver Marques Valdez-Scantling saw his first collegiate action, making four catches for 87 yards for the home team. Dixon rushed for 118 yards and the one score but the minus-3 turnover ratio was too much to overcome on the road in the first ever meeting between the two programs.

Tech Connection: Although there isn’t a connection on the staff or roster at NC State, Tech fans developed a new respect and admiration for the Wolfpack baseball team during the NCAA Regional hosted in Ruston. And based on post-tournament comments from NC State coaches, players and administrators, the Wolfpack developed a fondness for Ruston and Bulldog fans.

North Carolina State Outlook: North Carolina State is coming off an 8-4 season in 2020 and an appearance in the Taxslayer Gator Bowl. The Wolfpack must replace quarterback Bailey Hockman, who threw for over 2,000 yards and 13 TDs last season. Redshirt sophomore Devin Leary saw action in four games under center, passing for 890 yards and eight scores while leading NC State to three wins in his starts before fracturing his leg against Duke and missing the rest of the season. Running back Zonovan Knight returns after a freshman campaign that saw him rush for 788 yards and 10 scores, including seven TDs over the final six games of the year. Defensively, NC State gave up 40 or more points four times, but no more than 29 points over the final five games of the year. First team all-ACC linebacker Payton Wilson returns after leading NC State in tackles for the second straight year, recording 108 including 11.5 tackles for loss. Linebacker Isaiah Moore, an honorable mention all-ACC member, also returns after totaling 94 tackles in 2020.

NC State Game Tickets: Tech fans can purchase tickets for the NC State game through the Tech Ticket Office (318-257-3631)

Season Tickets: LA Tech fans can purchase season tickets for the 2021 year by calling 318-257-3631 or going to LATechSports.com/tickets. The Bulldogs host six home games this year, including a marquee non-conference match-up against SMU.

Up Next: UTEP


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