Most important game: NC State

Our “most important game” series continues today with NC State. If you’re just joining us, get a clue.

NC State

Most important game: Nov. 2 vs. North Carolina

Why it’s important: Because with an entirely new staff and new quarterback, the state championship is a more realistic goal for the Wolfpack this year than an ACC championship. First-year coach Dave Doeren will get his first taste of the in-state rivalry, which NC State has dominated in recent years. Last fall, UNC beat the Wolfpack to end a five-game losing streak in the series. The Pack will have home field advantage this year, but UNC will have the more proven quarterback in Bryn Renner -- and the Tar Heels could also have more to lose than just pride and in-state bragging rights, as UNC is expected to be the ACC’s top team on Tobacco Road this fall. For Doeren, though, the stakes are also high, as beating UNC can also win over fans and recruits. Both Fedora and Doeren have been tasked with rebuilding their respective programs, and Fedora is already a year ahead. Doeren could close the gap a bit with a win on Nov. 2.

For more in this series, click here.