College Football
NC State vs Arizona State
When: 3:00 PM ET, Friday, December 29, 2017
Where: Sun Bowl, El Paso, Texas


1. North Carolina State surprised some by challenging Clemson for the ACC Atlantic Division crown and has a shot at its first nine-win season since 2010. The Wolfpack finished No. 24 in the final College Football Playoff rankings and will cap their campaign by facing Arizona State in the Hyundai Sun Bowl in El Paso, Texas, on Dec. 29. The Sun Devils averaged 40 points while winning three of their last four games to reach bowl eligibility and will wave goodbye to coach Todd Graham, who was fired at the end of the regular season but is staying on with his staff to coach the bowl game.

2. Herm Edwards is a big personality and a famous name in football coaching circles after his stints as head coach with the Kansas City Chiefs and New York Jets, and he accepted an offer to succeed Graham with the Arizona State. "Athletes from all over the country, or whether it's here locally, should be coming back here," Edwards told reporters. "Guys in California and Los Angeles should be coming here. Why is this not the destination? Why can't it be? That's my job. That's my job to go into those homes, tell those parents this is the place you want to send your son." Edwards, who spent the last nine years as an analyst at ESPN, will not be on the sideline during the Sun Bowl but certainly will be a presence.

3. North Carolina State avoided the coaching carousel at the end of the regular season, fending off an effort by Tennessee to hire head coach Dave Doeren and signing him to a five-year extension. "Dave has made significant strides in developing a complete program at NC State, and this new contract continues our commitment to his leadership," athletic director Debbie Yow said in a statement. Doeren is guiding the Wolfpack to their fourth consecutive bowl appearance after reaching eight wins by beating rival North Carolina in the regular-season finale.

TV: 3 p.m. ET, CBS. LINE: NC State -6.5

ABOUT NORTH CAROLINA STATE (8-4, 6-2 ACC): Wolfpack senior defensive end Bradley Chubb took home the Bronko Nagurski Award as the nation's top defensive player after recording 10 sacks in 2017 and 25 in his career. Chubb anchors the defense while the offense is led by junior quarterback Ryan Finley, who threw for 3200 yards and 16 touchdowns and was at his best in the biggest games - averaging 373.3 yards and totaling six TD passes against Louisville, Clemson and South Carolina this season. Finley's biggest target is tight end Jaylen Samuels, who was named third-team All-American after hauling in a team-best 69 receptions and four TDs.

ABOUT ARIZONA STATE (7-5, 6-3 Pac-12): Edwards is keeping most of the coaching staff, but defensive coordinator Phil Bennett elected to leave the program and will be coaching his last game after guiding a unit that allowed opposing offenses to score an average of 31.3 points in the regular season. The Sun Devils made up for some of the defensive struggles on the other side of the ball as dual-threat quarterback Manny Wilkins passed for 2,918 yards and 17 scores while rushing for 269 yards and six TDs. Arizona State averaged 180.3 yards on the ground and totaled 26 rushing TDs, led by senior Demario Richard (977 yards, 12 TDs).

PREDICTION: North Carolina State 38, Arizona State 35
Stats and Records
Team Comparison
  W‑L Strk PF PA Home Away Grass Turf Conf
NC State 8-4 W1 30.6 24.8 5-2 3-2 7-2 0-0 6-2
Arizona State 7-5 W2 31.9 31.2 5-2 2-3 5-4 0-0 6-3
Last Meeting
NC State Arizona State
Date Away Home Tot Rus Pas Tot Rus Pas
No previous meeting.
Player Stats
Previous Matchup
Passing Player COMP % YDS TD INT
NC State N/A
Arizona State N/A
Rushing Player CAR YDS AVG TD
NC State N/A
Arizona State N/A
Receiving Player REC YDS AVG TD
NC State N/A
Arizona State N/A
Touchdowns Player TD
NC State N/A
Arizona State N/A
Passing Player COMP % YDS TD INT
NC State R. Finley 63.9 3196 16 6
Arizona State M. Wilkins 63.5 2918 17 5
Rushing Player CAR YDS AVG TD
NC State N. Hines 181 1040 5.7 9
Arizona State D. Richard 185 977 5.3 12
Receiving Player REC YDS AVG TD
NC State K. Harmon 65 993 15.3 4
Arizona State N. Harry 73 1000 13.7 7
Touchdowns Player TD
NC State J. Samuels 15
Arizona State D. Richard 12
Quickchart Matchup
NC State NC State Off vs  Arizona State Arizona State Def
NC State 449.2 yards
Arizona State 447.2 yards
NC State 4.7 yards/rush
Arizona State 5.1 yards/rush
NC State 7.2 yards/attempt
Arizona State 7.5 yards/attempt
Arizona State Arizona State Off vs  NC State NC State Def
Arizona State 428.3 yards
NC State 377.2 yards
Arizona State 4.1 yards/rush
NC State 3.9 yards/rush
Arizona State 7.9 yards/attempt
NC State 6.9 yards/attempt