North Carolina State at Cincinnati :
Depleted North Carolina State visits a Cincinnati team eager to avenge last year's 30-19 loss in Raleigh, N.C., which sent the Bearcats plunging to 4-8 after consecutive Big East titles. Led by senior quarterback Zach Collaros, Cincinnati is averaging 51.3 points (4th nationally) and 433 total yards. The Wolfpack will be without linebacker Terrell Manning, defensive tackle J.R. Sweezy and possibly defensive end Jeff Rieskamp. Earlier, corner Jarvis Byrd was lost for the season. Coach Tom O'Brien said his staff is like "the Dutch boy, putting fingers in the dike."
ABOUT NORTH CAROLINA STATE (2-1, 0-1 ACC): Redshirt junior Mike Glennon has done well taking over for Russell Wilson. In his last three halves, he's completed nearly 70 percent of his throws and tossed seven TDs. Sophomore CB David Amerson leads the ACC with three interceptions and is tied for second nationally. But the defense has struggled in the red zone, allowing opponents to score on all eight trips (four TDs, four FGs).
ABOUT CINCINNATI (2-1, 0-0 Big East): RB Isaiah Pead has run for 257 yards and four TDs on just 27 carries. Collaros needs 141 yards to become the fifth Bearcat to pass for 5,000 career yards. His favorite target is D.J. Woods, who has 15 grabs for 232 yards and a score. The defense forced six turnovers in last week's rout of Akron, returning two interceptions and a fumble for touchdowns.
1. Wolfpack senior WR/returner T.J. Graham averages 194 all-purpose yards, which ranks second in the ACC and sixth nationally.
2. Bearcats freshman K Tony Miliano has had two FG tries blocked this year, including a 43-yarder last week against Akron. He also nailed a 47-yarder.
3. The game will be O'Brien's first in his hometown since 1973, when he played at Xavier.
PREDICTION: Cincinnati 34, N.C. State 21 - The Wolfpack are missing several key defenders, and Collaros will capitalize.