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BATTLE FOR N.C.: Top duo still unbeaten

NC State Marshall Football-4
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North Carolina State wide receiver Kelvin Harmon (3) makes a catch past Marshall defensive back Chris Jackson during an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Sept. 22, 2018, at Joan C. Edwards Stadium in Huntington, W.Va. (Sholten Singer/The Herald-Dispatch via AP)


The Daily Reflector

Sunday, September 23, 2018

N.C. State and Duke keep winning, which gives them the edge over an impressive Appalachian State resume. Also notable from this college football weekend was a 16-13 upset loss by North Carolina A&T to Morgan State.

Here are The Daily Reflector’s updated “Battle for N.C.” college football rankings.

1. N.C. State

Record: 3-0.

Why No. 1? It hasn’t been flashy or dominant, but State’s latest victory was a quality one with a 37-20 win at Marshall on Saturday night. Up next for the Wolfpack is consecutive Atlantic Coast Conference games in Raleigh  against Virginia and Boston College.

2. Duke

Record: 4-0.

Why No. 2? Road wins over Northwestern and Boston College were followed by a rout of N.C. Central. Duke won 55-13 behind 372 rushing yards.

3. Appalachian State

Record: 2-1.

Why No. 3? Because it should take at least one loss from the ACC teams for the Mountaineers to move up. ASU had no problem in a 72-7 rout versus lowly Gardner-Webb.

4. Wake Forest

Record: 2-2.

Why No. 4? There is a big divide between the top three in the state and the rest of the contenders. Wake is 0-2 in the ACC, allowing 41 points to Boston College and then 56 to Notre Dame in home defeats.

5. East Carolina

Record: 1-2.

Why No. 5? The Pirates nearly pulled an upset at South Florida, falling 20-13 on a long fourth-quarter touchdown run by 4-0 USF. ECU’s 41-19 win over North Carolina looks better after UNC showed some fight and outlasted Pittsburgh, 38-35.


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