NC State vs. Louisville Point Spread & Betting Picks 2011 Belk Bowl Overview
The opponents in the 2011 Belk Bowl this year did not need to pile up heavy frequent-flyer miles. The game is being held in Charlotte, N.C. and will showcase an in-state team in NC State, representing the ACC, taking on Big East co-champ Louisville, from neighboring Kentucky.
This will be the first matchup between the two teams since 1994, when the Cardinals posted a 35-14 win at home.
Our Belk Bowl odds show NC State as a 2.5-point chalk, while the total has been set at 44.5 points.
The Cardinals won their final three contests and five of their last six to finish as a three-way conference co-champion (5-2) with Cincinnati and West Virginia. Recently, the Cardinals accomplished two straight road wins at UConn (34-20) and South Florida (34-24) to post a 4-2 mark away from home, including a current three-matchup win streak in such contests.
Louisville ranks a solid 14th in the country in points allowed (19 points per contest), allowing 328 yards per contest (224 through the air, 104 rushing) while generating 32 sacks and generating 18 turnovers with three taken back for scores (Andrew Johnson and M Mitchell, fumbles; Mike Evans, interception).
The defense is paced by three guys Dexter Heyman with 83 tackles (four sacks, team-best three interceptions, forced fumble), Hakeem Smith with 81 tackles (team-best three forced fumbles, one pick, one fumble recovery) and Preston Brown with 81 (1.5 sacks). William Savoy and Marcus Smith each have five sacks, adding a combined 34 stops, a forced fumble, fumble recovery and blocked kick.
On offense, Louisville lists just 100th nationally in points allowed (22 ppg) while racking up 328 yards per game (206 through the air, 122 on the ground). Teddy Bridgewater hits on 66 percent of his passes for 1,855 yards and 12 scores with nine interceptions. The offensive line has surrendered 36 sacks.
Michaelee Harris and Eli Rogers top the receiving threats with 71 combined catches for 855 yards and three touchdowns, while Dominique Brown and Victor Anderson pace the rushing attack with 960 combined yards and seven scores on 4.1 yards per attempt.
North Carolina State
North Carolina State recovered from a slow start, winning three of its final four contests and five of seven to finish fourth in the ACC Atlantic Division (4-4). Recently, the Wolfpack beat top-10 Clemson (37-13) and Maryland (56-41). NC State was 6-1 at home and 6-2 in its home state of North Carolina, where this bowl contest is being played.
NC State ranks 56th in points surrendered (25 ppg), allowing 352 yards per contest (220 via the pass, 132 on the ground) while compiling 33 sacks and forcing 36 turnovers four of which were taken back for scores (Brian Slay and Brandon Bishop, fumbles; David Amerson and C.J. Wilson, interceptions).
Earl Wolfe and Audie Cole lead the defense with 99 and 98 stops, respectively, chipping in a combined seven forced fumbles, 3.5 sacks, three interceptions and three fumble recoveries. Terrell Manning and Darryl Cato-Bishop have 11 combined sacks to go with 91 tackles, five forced fumbles, three recoveries and three interceptions, while Amerson has 11 interceptions and 54 tackles.
On offense, NC State ranks 58th in points surrendered (28 ppg) while racking up 346 yards per matchup (238 through the air, 108 rushing). Mike Glennon has completed 62 percent of his attempts for 2,790 yards and 28 TDs with 11 interceptions. The offensive line has allowed 32 sacks.
Five guys have caught at least 30 throws this year, led by T.J. Graham and James Washington with 39 receptions each for a combined 941 yards and five scores. Meanwhile, Washington anchors the ground attack with 852 rushing yards and seven scores on 4.0 yards per carry.