College Football Picks, Predictions, and Previews: The Way It Oughtta Be

Kentucky vs. North Carolina State 1/2/2021 College Football Picks, Prediction, and Preview

The Kentucky visits North Carolina State on 1/2/2021 at 12:00PM.

Kentucky and North Carolina State face off in a Bowl Game. Yes, it is the truncated postseason of College Football leading up to the College Football Playoff Semifinals. Kentucky has a record of 4-6 this season. North Carolina State is 8-3 this season. Both have players to meet and know.

Kentucky Team Defense Preview

Kentucky has had 104 defensive drives in non-garbage time minutes and they yield 5.65 plays per drive. Kentucky lets opponents run a lot of plays per drive and in the Fourth Quarter, this team could be gassed. Kentucky has a generally average defense. Nothing too special about it, but they are capable of rising up when needed. Passing plays make up 49.15% of their opponents’ play calls.Opponents typically have some form of run/pass balance against them.

Kentucky is not doing anything particularly special as far as their ability to create negative yardage plays on the ground. Opponent rushing yards attributed to their offensive line this season comes out to 2.91 yards per carry. Generally speaking, this is an average defense when it comes to how offensive lines control or fail to control them on the ground. When it comes to getting to that second level, running backs are getting stopped. This defense does not allow themselves to be gashed. The breakout rushing plays are simply not happening, it is a massive reach to expect this team to give up big rushing plays.

This is not a disruptive Defense and they get pushed over way too easily. Perhaps they are too vanilla with playcalling. This front seven is simply unable to make an impact, something must change or else the problems will repeat. Kentucky is better at stopping the run than the pass this season.

Kentucky Team Offense Preview

Kentucky has had 101 drives in non-garbage time minutes and they average 5.35 plays per drive. There is not much to take away here when it comes to how many plays per drive they run, but they are a team that falls in the average window when it comes to plays per drive. Kentucky is an average offense when it comes to staying ahead of the chains, getting into 3rd and Short scenarios, and converting on 3rd and 4th Down. Kentucky passes the football 40.74% of the time.They favor running the ball as opposed airing it out.

Move the pile forward, falling forward, making progress, ensuring north-south running, smart Quarterback reads, well-adjusted alignments to ensure leverage, and an offensive line that is getting a great push forward are cornerstones of this offense. How effective is the offensive line given what we know about their ability to prevent negative yards on rushing plays? More than you think, thanks to the Adjusted Line Yards metric. Kentucky can take credit for 3.12 yards per carry. This offensive line may be underappreciated, even though the running backs get the attention. The Kentucky coaching staff really deserves credit for how they prepared this offensive line, but they could be a little bit better! This is also a team that is getting to the second-level in an average fashion. Offensive line and running backs are average in this regard. They are capable of busting out a long run, which is really good when the team has the ball in their own territory.

Defenses have had trouble making big, disruptive plays against Kentucky this season. There has been a relatively good job done by this Offensive Line to prevent opposing front sevens from causing problems consistently. Kentucky has shown themselves to be a better running team than passing team this season.

North Carolina State Team Defense Preview

North Carolina State has had 135 total defensive drives this season and they yield 5.91 plays per drive. The struggle is real. North Carolina State cannot find a way to get opposing offenses off the field. Three and outs are not common and if the team needs a three-and-out late in a game to get the ball back, it is just not happening.North Carolina State has a generally average defense. Nothing too special about it, but they are capable of rising up when needed. Passing plays make up 52.01% of their opponents’ play calls.North Carolina State tends to face teams that prefer to air it out or opponents want to air it out against them.

North Carolina State opponents have struggled with running the ball and this defense has crushed the spirits of their opponents with zero or negative yard plays. 4th and Short is not a cake walk against this defense, maybe passing on 4th and Short or having some sort of RPO is the way to go here because if an Offensive Coordinator thinks that they can just line and run a Quarterback Sneak or hand it off to a tailback, they are mistaken. Opponent rushing yards attributed to their offensive line this season comes out to 2.73 yards per carry. Generally speaking, this is an average defense when it comes to how offensive lines control or fail to control them on the ground. This is also a team that is allowing running backs and quarterbacks to get to the second-level in an average fashion. Opponents have shown a relatively average level of explosiveness in the running game, maybe there will be a breakout rushing play against them.

Disruptive plays are a part of the fabric of this team’s defensive effort. Game changing plays that drive Offensive Coordinators and Quarterbacks crazy, they find ways to deliver. Getting more specific, this front seven is a cause of a lot of headaches for offenses. They may be good enough to cause trouble in pass rush with just four rushers!North Carolina State has shown themselves to be better at stopping the pass than the run this season.

North Carolina State Team Offense Preview

North Carolina State has had 139 drives in non-garbage time minutes and they average 5.09 plays per drive. Relatively speaking, North Carolina State is not a team that runs many plays per drive. The offense is either prone to faltering and struggles to notch first downs or extremely explosive, we will need to find out a bit more to get answers. North Carolina State is an average offense when it comes to staying ahead of the chains, getting into 3rd and Short scenarios, and converting on 3rd and 4th Down. North Carolina State passes the football 48.73% of the time.Relatively speaking, this is a team that favors run/pass balance.

North Carolina State is not doing anything particularly special as far as their ability to avoid negative yardage plays on the ground. How effective is the offensive line given what we know about their ability to prevent negative yards on rushing plays? More than you think, thanks to the Adjusted Line Yards metric. North Carolina State can take credit for 2.59 yards per carry. So what does this mean? It means that the offensive line has been incredibly disappointing in their contribution to the ground game. This is also a team that is getting to the second-level in an average fashion. Offensive line and running backs are average in this regard. The breakout rushing plays are simply not happening, it is a massive reach to expect this team to bust out big rushing plays.

Defenses have had average success disrupting the flow of the North Carolina State Offense. Front sevens are causing an average amount of trouble for the Offense. North Carolina State has shown themselves to be a better running team than passing team this season.

The Kentucky Roster

The Players to Watch for Kentucky

Terry Wilson QB 6-3 202

This season, Terry Wilson has put up 1092 yards and 7 touchdowns. He has thrown 4 interceptions. He has a QB Rating of 123.1thus far this season. Terry Wilson has thrown 4 interceptions this season.As a rusher, Terry Wilson has 410.0 rushing yards, which puts him in the 94.64 percentile among Quarterbacks. He ran the ball as opposed to throwing the ball 98.0 times this season, which puts him in the 93.45 percentile. Has he hit paydirt as a runner? He has 5.0 rushing touchdowns this season.

Christopher Rodriguez Jr. RB 5-11 224

This season, Christopher Rodriguez Jr. has 701 rushing yards on 102 carries. Was he able to get to the end zone on the ground? He has 9 rushing touchdowns.As a receiver in the backfield, Christopher Rodriguez Jr. picked up 12 yards. He caught the ball as opposed to taking handoffs or catching laterals 1 times this season. Did he score often as a receiver? He had 0 receiving touchdowns this season.

Josh Ali WR 6-0 193

This season, Josh Ali picked up 459 yards. He caught the ball 48 times this season. Did he score often as a receiver? He had 1 receiving touchdowns this season.

Phil Hoskins DT 6-5 315

The leading tackler among Defensive Tackles for Kentucky, Phil Hoskins has 26 tackles this season. He was able to keep rushers back and penetrate the offensive line with 3 tackles for loss, which puts him in the 78.45 percentile among Defensive Tackles. When it came to rushing the Quarterback, he has been able to take them down 0 times this season, which put him in the 30.39 percentile among all Defensive Tackles in College Football. He has forced 0 fumbles this season.

Joshua Paschal DE 6-3 278.0

The leading tackler among Defensive Ends for Kentucky, Joshua Paschal has 28 tackles this season. He was able to keep rushers back and penetrate the offensive line with 6 tackles for loss, which puts him in the 88.71 percentile among Defensive Ends. When it came to rushing the Quarterback, he has been able to take them down 0 times this season, which put him in the 28.76 percentile among all Defensive Ends in College Football. He has forced 0 fumbles this season.

Yusuf Corker DB 6-0 197.0

He is the leading tackler among non-exclusive Defensive Backs (meaning he can play either Safety Position, Nickel Back, Star or even play as a Cornerback in coverage) for Kentucky, Yusuf Corker had 72 tackles which puts him in the 98.65 percentile among returning non-exclusive Defensive Backs. He was able to keep rushers and receivers back on screens with 2 tackles for loss this season, which puts him in the 84.54 percentile among Secondary position players. When it came to blitzing the Quarterback, this season he was able to take them down 1 times this season. Yusuf Corker as a ball hawker was able to pick off 1 passes this season, which puts him in the 81.62 percentile among returning secondary position players this season.

Marlin Devonshire CB 5-11 182

Considered the leading tackler among Cornerbacks for Kentucky, Marlin Devonshire had 1 tackles which puts him in the 7.4 percentile among Corners. He was able to keep rushers and receivers back on screens with 0 tackles for loss this season, which puts him in the 33.29 percentile among Corners. When it came to blitzing the Quarterback, this season he was able to take them down 0 times this season. Marlin Devonshire as a ball hawker was able to pick off 0 passes this season, which puts him in the 35.21 percentile among Corners this season.

The North Carolina State Roster

The Players to Watch for North Carolina State

Bailey Hockman QB 6-2 200

This season, Bailey Hockman has put up 1820 yards and 12 touchdowns. He has thrown 8 interceptions. He has a QB Rating of 141.8thus far this season. Bailey Hockman has thrown 8 interceptions this season.As a rusher, Bailey Hockman has 2.0 rushing yards, which puts him in the 28.27 percentile among Quarterbacks. He ran the ball as opposed to throwing the ball 55.0 times this season, which puts him in the 80.36 percentile. Has he hit paydirt as a runner? He has 3.0 rushing touchdowns this season.

Zonovan Knight RB 5-11 206

This season, Zonovan Knight has 736 rushing yards on 131 carries. Was he able to get to the end zone on the ground? He has 9 rushing touchdowns.As a receiver in the backfield, Zonovan Knight picked up 136 yards. He caught the ball as opposed to taking handoffs or catching laterals 20 times this season. Did he score often as a receiver? He had 0 receiving touchdowns this season.

Emeka Emezie WR 6-3 220

This season, Emeka Emezie picked up 694 yards. He caught the ball 42 times this season. Did he score often as a receiver? He had 5 receiving touchdowns this season.

Alim McNeill DT 6-2 320

The leading tackler among Defensive Tackles for North Carolina State, Alim McNeill has 25 tackles this season. He was able to keep rushers back and penetrate the offensive line with 4 tackles for loss, which puts him in the 87.07 percentile among Defensive Tackles. When it came to rushing the Quarterback, he has been able to take them down 1 times this season, which put him in the 70.69 percentile among all Defensive Tackles in College Football. He has forced 1 fumbles this season.

Terrell Dawkins DE 6-5 255.0

The leading tackler among Defensive Ends for North Carolina State, Terrell Dawkins has 35 tackles this season. He was able to keep rushers back and penetrate the offensive line with 10 tackles for loss, which puts him in the 97.38 percentile among Defensive Ends. When it came to rushing the Quarterback, he has been able to take them down 5 times this season, which put him in the 95.74 percentile among all Defensive Ends in College Football. He has forced 2 fumbles this season.

Jakeen Harris S 5-10 189.0

He is the leading tackler among non-exclusive Defensive Backs (meaning he can play either Safety Position, Nickel Back, Star or even play as a Cornerback in coverage) for North Carolina State, Jakeen Harris had 65 tackles which puts him in the 97.5 percentile among returning non-exclusive Defensive Backs. He was able to keep rushers and receivers back on screens with 2 tackles for loss this season, which puts him in the 84.54 percentile among Secondary position players. When it came to blitzing the Quarterback, this season he was able to take them down 0 times this season. Jakeen Harris as a ball hawker was able to pick off 1 passes this season, which puts him in the 81.62 percentile among returning secondary position players this season.

Cecil Powell CB 6-0 210

Considered the leading tackler among Cornerbacks for North Carolina State, Cecil Powell had 44 tackles which puts him in the 96.99 percentile among Corners. He was able to keep rushers and receivers back on screens with 2 tackles for loss this season, which puts him in the 89.73 percentile among Corners. When it came to blitzing the Quarterback, this season he was able to take them down 0 times this season. Cecil Powell as a ball hawker was able to pick off 0 passes this season, which puts him in the 35.21 percentile among Corners this season.

Kentucky vs. North Carolina State Prediction, Picks, and Odds


Prediction: Kentucky 28 North Carolina State 26

Spread Pick: North Carolina State +2.5 -106 Pinnacle Sports
Moneyline Pick: Kentucky -126 matchbook
Total Pick: Over 48.5 -106 Pinnacle Sports