No. 17 Louisville (4-1, 1-1 ACC) at No. 24 North Carolina State (4-1, 2-0), Thursday, 8 p.m. ET (ESPN)
Line: Louisville by 3.
Series record: Louisville 6-1.
WHAT’S AT STAKE
After two non-conference routs in which it outscored opponents 97-13, Louisville and Heisman Trophy winner Lamar Jackson aim to get back into the ACC race. The Cardinals face a big test at N.C. State, which has won four in a row and is back in the Top 25 for the first time in seven years. One of the Wolfpack’s ACC wins was a wire-to-wire victory at Florida State, and they’re looking to take another step toward conference contention.
Louisville QB Lamar Jackson vs. N.C. State defense. Jackson has 682 yards total offense and seven combined touchdowns in just five quarters the past two weeks. While the Wolfpack feature the nation’s No. 8 run defense (85.6 yards per game), they’ve got to contain him rushing and throwing the ball. That’s been hard for many opponents, but N.C. State appears better prepared for Jackson this year.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Louisville: OLB Jonathan Greenard. The sophomore leads the Cardinals with five sacks, and has a tackle for loss in five straight contests. He’ll be counted on to disrupt Wolfpack QB Ryan Finley and force him into throwing his first interception since last season.
N.C. State: DE Bradley Chubb. With Lamar Jackson’s ability to make big plays outside the pocket, the Wolfpack could use a big game from the senior and the team’s top lineman on a stout defensive front.
FACTS & FIGURES
Jackson is responsible for a school-record 554 points, breaking Chris Redman’s mark of 536 from 1996-99. He also holds Louisville’s mark for career 100-yard rushing games with 16. … The Cardinals are 66-108-3 all time in October road games. … N.C. State’s lone series win over Louisville came in the 2011 Belk Bowl. … This will be the first game between two ranked teams at Carter-Finley Stadium since 2000 — when longtime Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers was a Wolfpack freshman. . N.C. State lost 54-13 last year at Louisville, by far its worst loss in a season that included close losses against eventual national Clemson and Florida State.
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