NC State Wolfpack vs Kentucky Wildcats 01/02/2021 – The North Carolina State Wolfpack and the University of Kentucky Wildcats will slug it out for the 2021 Gator Bowl. The 23rd seed Wolfpack hopes to end their season with a flourish while the Wildcats attempt to halt their two-game slide and take home the bowl. The regular season has been good for NC State as they have won eight of their 11 matches en route to a spot at the Gator Bowl. On the other hand, things have not been great for Kentucky this season. They entered the showdown winning just four of 10 matches. However, a surprise win against the Wolfpack would help salvage the year for the Wildcats. NCAA football odds favor NC State to emerge victorious in this all-important clash and capture the Gator Bowl.
NC State Wolfpack vs Kentucky Wildcats 01/02/2021
|When:||Saturday, January 2, 12:00 PM ET|
|Where:||TIAA Bank Field, Jacksonville, Florida|
NC State Wolfpack
The NC State Wolfpack have played solid football in the 2020 NCAA football season, winning eight of their 11 outings and 7-3 in conference play. Part of this is due to the excellent play of their quarterback Bailey Hockman, who has taken over the spot since NC State’s sixth game against the North Carolina Tar Heels. Hockman had a completion rate of 63.7% and registered 12 touchdowns in nine games. He also has an excellent passer rating of 141.8. Another source of their successful season is the running back combo of Zonovan Knight and Ricky Person Jr., who have combined for 13 rushing TDs and 1,371 rushing yards. The Wolfpack receiving corps is excellent as well with the trio of Emeka Ekezie Jr., Thayer Thomas, and Cary Angeline combining for 16 TDs and 1,589 yards. In their last game against Georgia Tech, the trio of Hockman, Knight, and Person were on point, giving their usual contributions but it was their defense that provided the heroics in this crucial win. The Wolfpack defense, which has been inconsistent all season, held the Yellow Jackets’ offense to a touchdown, two field goals, and two turnovers on downs.
Players to Watch: B. Hockman QB (CMP 144 ATT 226 YDS 1820 CMP% 63.7 AVG 8.1 LNG 55 TD 12 INT 8 SACK 21 SYL -168 RTG 141.8); D. Leary QB (CMP 66 ATT 110 YDS 890 CMP% 60 AVG 8.1 LNG 37 TD 8 INT 2 SACK 7 SYL -56 RTG 148.3); Z. Knight RB (ATT 131 YDS 736 AVG 5.6 LNG 36 TD 9); R. Person Jr. RB (ATT 141 YDS 635 AVG 4.5 LNG 40 TD 4); E. Emezie WR (REC 42 YDS 694 AVG 16.5 LNG 55 TD 5).
The Wildcats were a picture of inconsistency in the 2020 College Football season winning just four of 10 games. However, their record was good enough for fourth in the Southeastern Conference East. Notably, four of Kentucky’s six losses came from consensus Top 25 teams, including a 60-point setback against number one Alabama. The Wildcat offense relies on Terry Wilson’s ability to call plays and Chris Rodriguez Jr.’s consistency on the running game. Wilson threw 1,095 yards and registered seven touchdowns in his stints as a quarterback while Rodriguez rushed for 701 yards and notched nine TDs. Wilson also rushed for five scores during the season. Josh Ali has been the most reliable wideout for Kentucky as he caught 49 receptions for 462 yards. In their last game against South Carolina, the Wildcats relied on five rushing touchdowns (three from Rodriguez and one each from Wilson and AJ Rose) to overwhelm the Gamecocks, 41-18. Kentucky’s defense was also on-point, forcing four fumbles and one interception.
Players to Watch: T. Wilson QB (CMP 112 ATT 179 YDS 1095 CMP% 62.6 AVG 6.1 LNG 40 TD 7 INT 4 SACK 10 SYL -69 RTG 122.4); J. Gatewood QB (CMP 17 ATT 35 YDS 109 CMP% 48.6 AVG 3.1 LNG 12 TD 0 INT 1 SACK 5 SYL -24 RTG 69); C. Rodriguez Jr. RB (ATT 102 YDS 701 AVG 6.9 LNG 79 TD 9); A. Rose Jr. RB (ATT 94 YDS 518 AVG 5.5 LNG 72 TD 2); J. Ali WR (REC 49 YDS 462 AVG 9.4 LNG 33 TD 1).
NC State Wolfpack vs Kentucky Wildcats Betting Numbers
NC State Wolfpack
Wolfpack is 6-3 ATS in their last 9 games.
The total has gone OVER in 10 of North Carolina State’s last 15 games.
North Carolina State is 4-1 SU in their last 5 games.
Wolfpack is 7-2 SU in their last 9 games this season.
The total has gone OVER in 6 of North Carolina State’s last 6 games against an opponent in the Southeastern conference.
Wildcats are 2-4 SU in their last 6 games.
The total has gone OVER in 6 of Kentucky’s last 8 games against an opponent in the Atlantic Coast conference.
Kentucky is 2-4 SU in their last 6 games played on a Saturday.
Wildcats are 15-4 SU in their last 19 games when playing as the favourite.
Kentucky is 10-2 ATS in their last 12 games played on a Saturday when playing at home.
NC State Wolfpack vs Kentucky Wildcats Betting Picks
Football betting trends online favor the Wolfpack by a slight margin over the Wildcats. North Carolina State has a more superior lineup that is capable of lighting up the scoreboards. However, the Wildcats are excellent on defense and the run. Expect a potential ground battle in the Gator Bowl with North Carolina State winning, 28-24.