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Wolfpack Hopes History Will Help Against Syracuse

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RALEIGH — TheN.C. State Wolfpackis back on prime time Thursday night to do battle with 11th rankedSyracuse.

The Pack enters the game with a perfect 5-0 series record against Syracuse and a memorable win last year. State went into the game as a 25-point underdog and won in overtime with a two-point conversion pass to Terry Holt, and a final of 32-31.

This season the Orangemen are bringing a powerful weapon down "Tobacco Road" - senior quarterback Donovan McNabb. He is a strong Heisman Trophy candidate and boasts strong statistics. This season he has completed 76 percent of his passes for 652 yards and 6 touchdowns without throwing an interception.

Syracuse is also coming off two big wins against 14th ranked Michigan and a 70-14 pounding over Rutgers.

The Pack's main offensive power is wide receiver Terry Holt. He has posted outstanding numbers in his first three games. Before State took Saturday off he was ranked third in the nation with 154 receiving yards per game and averaged 7.7 catches per game.

The Pack has not played since September 19 when they were stunned by Baylor 30-33. According to coachMike O'Cain, the Pack is ready for Thursday's challenge.

"I think they are ready to play," O'Cain said. "We are ready to get back in that routine of playing a game. As I said yesterday, our concentration at practice has been good. We just have to get that hunger and intensity back that we had when we played Florida State."

Syracuse is a 12 point favorite for the 8 p.m. start at Carter-Finley Stadium. The game will air onESPN.

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Jason Darwin, Web Editor

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