Football is back. The N.C. State Wolfpack likely won’t creep up on anybody in the ACC this season, but after a very successful 2017, they’ll be looking to take the next step this fall. It all begins with the N.C. State spring football game in April.
Find game time, information and a preview for the game below:
N.C. State spring football game date, kickoff time
Time: 1 p.m. ET
Date: Saturday, April 7
Location: Carter-Finley Stadium, Raleigh, North Carolina
What TV channel is the N.C. State spring football game on?
The N.C. State spring football game can only be watched online.
How can I watch the N.C. State spring football game online?
The N.C. State spring football game will be streaming on ACCNExtra.
N.C. State spring football game preview
The Wolfpack lost several starters from last season’s squad that went 9-4, but coach Dave Doeren has enough pieces coming back that another top three finish in the Atlantic division is within sight.
The program’s first appearance in the ACC championship game isn’t out of the question either mostly because quarterback Ryan Finley will be back. While not many people nationally will recognize his name, Finley’s return gives N.C. State stability at the game’s most important position, which is something the other top programs in Atlantic division don’t have.
As a junior last season, Finley passed for 3,518 yards, 17 touchdowns and 6 interceptions. Finley averaged 7.9 yards per attempt in the first seven games, but he tailed off at the end of the year, recording 6.7 yards per attempt in the final six contests. The Wolfpack record corresponded with that dropoff, as N.C. State began the year 6-1 and then ended the season 3-3.
If Finley and the offense gets off to another hot start, the key will be maintaining that success over the course of the whole season.
But while Finley is back, his weapons have slightly changed. Running back Nyheim Hines and offensive skill player Jaylen Samuels, who combined to rush for more than 1,500 and 24 touchdowns last season, both departed.
However, junior wide receiver Kelvin Harmon is returning, and he led the Wolfpack with 1,017 receiving yards. Stephen Louis and Jakobi Meyers are back as well and expected to play bigger roles in 2018.
On defense, N.C. State has a giant hole to fill with the departure of defensive end Bradley Chubb, who is expected to be a top 10 pick in the 2018 NFL Draft. Sophomores James Smith-Williams and Tyrone Riley are expected to start and will see their first action with the starting lineup in the spring game.
The 9-4 mark N.C. State posted last season was the best record the team has registered during Doeren’s five years. It was also the first time during his tenure that the Wolfpack reached the AP Top 25 and finished the season ranked.
Florida State is undergoing a coaching change this offseason, and Louisville will be without all-world quarterback Lamar Jackson, so there’s an opening for N.C. State to again finish second in the Atlantic division, but if they are going to win the division, the Wolfpack are probably going to have to knock off Clemson.
Last season, N.C. State played the Tigers very tough, but lost 38-31. This year, the Wolfpack will visit Clemson on Oct. 20.
The Tigers have represented the Atlantic division in the last three ACC championship games, winning all three. In fact, the last time a team other than Clemson or Florida State won the Atlantic division was Boston College in 2008, and during the last decade of dominance, the Tigers and Seminoles have combined to win seven ACC titles.
Clemson is still the heavy favorite, but given the status of the rest of the Atlantic, the biggest threat to the Tigers in the division may very well be out on the field in Raleigh on Saturday.