UNC vs. NC State: Game info, preview, prediction and more

CHAPEL HILL, NC - NOVEMBER 18: Nathan Elliott
CHAPEL HILL, NC - NOVEMBER 18: Nathan Elliott /

The North Carolina Tar Heels will try to upset NC State on Saturday in Raleigh

Saturday will mark the final game of the 2017 season for the North Carolina Tar Heels football program.

A disappointing year that has included just three wins, two big decommitments from recruits and a quarterback battle that was never really solved is coming to an end.

But the Tar Heels have the chance to close the year out with a bang on Saturday as they can upset their rival in Raleigh.

The Wolfpack enter the game at 7-4 overall and 5-2 in the ACC as they are headed to a bowl game. They are looking for their second-straight win over the Tar Heels and keep bragging rights.

Meanwhile, the Tar Heels are looking to close the season on a three-game win streak and pull off an upset against their rival. A win over NC State wouldn’t make this season successful but it would make it a little more tolerable.

NC State brings in a balanced offense into the game led by quarterback Ryan Finley who has thrown 16 touchdowns and 5 interceptions on the year.

Finley doesn’t make mistakes and makes smart plays when needed. He’s joined in the backfield by running back Nyheim Hynes who is the Wolfpack’s biggest playmaker.

Hynes has rushed for 844 yards and 7 touchdowns on the season, but his health is a big concern going into Saturday’s game.

The running back left the game last week in the loss to Wake Forest but is expected to play according to Dave Doeren earlier in the week.

When Hynes is on the field, he has the ability to take it all the way. He will certainly be a focus point of UNC’s defense.

On the defensive side, NC State is led by defensive end Bradley Chubb.

Chubb is NC State’s best player overall and can really make a big difference in this game as he will go against a UNC offensive line that has struggled. The senior has 10 sacks on the season and is looking to add to that total against the Wolfpack’s arch rival.

UNC must be able to protect quarterback Nathan Elliott and the focus starts on the offensive line.

Elliott has played well in his two starts this season and is hoping to keep that momentum going into next year.

Look for the Tar Heels to try and establish the line of scrimmage early and often, running the ball with Jordon Brown and Michael Carter.

If they can control the clock and eat up long scoring drives, they have a shot. This will also be the final game for seniors on the Tar Heels.

It would be nice to send out players like Austin Proehl and M.J. Stewart with a big win over the Wolfpack.

What you need to know

WHAT? North Carolina 3-8 (1-6 ACC) at NC State 7-4 (5-2)
WHEN? Saturday, Nov. 25 at 3:30 p.m. ET
WHERE? Carter–Finley Stadium in Raleigh, North Carolina.
RADIO? Tar Heel Sports Network
WEATHER?  Mostly Sunny high of 65 degrees.
LINE? NC State – 15.5
ALL-TIME SERIES? UNC leads all-time series 66-34-6