No Carolina St. vs


at Jacksonville
Sat, Jan 2
9:00 AM Pacific
Rotation: 491
Odds: Kentucky -2.5, Total: 51.5

Game Analysis

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Strong Opinion – Under (51.5) – Kentucky (-2.5)  23   NC State  21

Kentucky’s games averaged just 46.8 points in regulation this season and a total higher than that doesn’t make sense given NC State plays at an average pace, has an offense that is slightly below average and a defense that is better than average. That Wolfpack defense is particularly good defending the run, which matches up well with Kentucky’s run-oriented attack.

Kentucky’s offense is led by dual-threat quarterback Terry Wilson, who ran for 497 yards at 5.6 yards per run but averaged just 5.5 yards per pass play for an offense that managed just 5.4 yppl and 21.1 points per game in regulation (against teams that would allow 5.5 yppl to an average FBS offense). The key for Kentucky is facing a team that can’t stop their rushing attack, as the Wildcats averaged 40 points on 503 yards per game at 7.6 yards per play against the 3 worse than average run defenses that they faced (Ole’ Miss, Vanderbilt, and South Carolina) while averaging only 13.9 points and 250 total yards at 4.3 yppl against teams that were average or better defending the run. Those 7 teams would allow 4.9 yppl to an average team so the Wildcats were 0.6 yppl worse than average offensively against teams that weren’t worse than average defending the run, which is 0.5 yppl worse than their overall rating that was skewed upwards by those 3 dominating games against bad defenses.

NC State has a good run defense that’s yielded just 4.9 yards per rushing play to teams that would combine to average 5.5 yprp against an average defensive team, and the Wolfpack are better than average overall defensively (5.5 yppl allowed to teams that would combine to average 5.7 yppl against an average defense – adjusted for facing backup quarterbacks against Virginia Tech, Virginia, and Florida State).

I don’t expect Kentucky’s offense to move the ball consistently, but the Wildcats’ defense should be good enough to keep NC State’s mediocre attack in check. The Wolfpack averaged 5.8 yppl against teams that would allow 5.8 yppl to an average FBS offense but they’re 0.2 yppl worse with Bailey Hockman at quarterback, as his numbers (6.5 yppp against teams that would allow 6.5 yppp to an average QB) weren’t nearly as good as those of Devin Leary (7.1 yppp against teams that would allow 6.2 yppp), who ignited the offense early in the season before getting injured.

Kentucky only allowed 25.7 points per game in regulation and their defense is 0.8 yppl better than average (5.6 yppl against teams that would average 6.4 yppl against an average defense). Only allowed 25.7 points per game is impressive given that they gave up 63 points in one game to Alabama and the Wildcats allowed just 17.9 points per game in 7 games excluding elite offenses Ole’ Miss, Alabama, and Florida, who all rank among the top 8 offenses in the nation. Those 7 non-elite offenses that Kentucky allowed just 17.9 points per game to have a slightly better compensated yards per play rating than NC State does so limiting the Wolfpack to under 20 points wouldn’t be out of the norm.

My math projects just 45.8 total points and scoring could be even lower given how bad Kentucky’s offense was against mediocre or better defensive teams and how good their defense was against non-elite offenses. Kentucky played 5 games against teams that were average or better defending the run and not elite offensively and the average total points in those games was just 31.2 points. This game isn’t likely to be that low scoring but it is likely to be below 50 total points. The Under is a Strong Opinion at 50 points or higher.

  • Team Stats
  • Game Log
  • No Carolina St.
  • Kentucky


  • Run Plays 32.9 36.7
  • Run Yards 141.2 164.0
  • YPRP 4.9 4.9


  • Pass Comp 20.3 21.1
  • Pass Att 32.6 36.2
  • Comp % 62.1% 58.3%
  • Pass Yards 254.9 250.6
  • Sacks 2.6 2.9
  • Sack Yards 21.3 16.6
  • Sack % 7.5% 7.4%
  • Pass Plays 35.3 39.1
  • Net Pass Yards 233.6 234.1
  • YPPP 6.6 6.0


  • Total Plays 68.2 75.8
  • Total Yards 396.1 414.6
  • YPPL 5.8 5.5


  • Int 1.1 0.9
  • Int % 3.3% 2.5%
  • Fumbles 0.4 0.3
  • Turnovers 1.5 1.2
  • Points 31.1 29.7
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