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Looking ahead: NC State

Posted by ESPN.com's Heather Dinich

It’s hard to look ahead at a team that’s going backwards. The bye week is the best break Tom O’Brien has caught in his third season, but he picks right back up with a road trip to Florida State, whose only advantage Oct. 31 will be home field. Once again, the Wolfpack is in a situation where it’s desperately trying to get to a bowl game in the second half of the season. Like UNC, though, NC State scheduled two FCS schools and will need seven wins to get to a bowl game. That’s asking a lot from a team that already lost to Duke and has to win four of its five remaining games. Clmeson and a road trip to Virginia Tech are the toughest opponents left.

Best case scenario: The Pack finds its defense during the bye week and beats everyone left on the schedule but Virginia Tech in Blacksburg.

Worst case scenario: NC State beats Maryland at home for their only remaining win, and Russell Wilson decides to go play baseball for good.

Prediction: No bowl for the Pack this year.