The N.C. State Wolfpack didn’t play in Week 8 but still moved up to No. 14 in the AP Top 25. The poll, which included four ACC teams, was released Sunday.
In the ACC, the Wolfpack is behind Clemson, Miami and Virginia Tech in the poll. Clemson also had a bye week and stayed in the top 10 at No. 7, but N.C. State is ahead of the Tigers in the Atlantic Division standings.
N.C. State improved to 6-1 last week after beating Pitt 35-17. The game was tied at halftime, but the Wolfpack pulled away in the third and fourth quarters to seal a solid victory.
Three weeks ago was the first time N.C. State was included in the AP Top 25 since 2010. The Wolfpack became ranked a week after beating then No. 12 Florida State, 27-21, and then knocked off then No. 17 Louisville, 39-25. Although both have since fallen out of the Top 25, those wins give N.C. State two top 20 victories this season.
Behind strong quarterback play from Ryan Finley, the Wolfpack have won six straight since dropping the season opener at a neutral site against South Carolina. Finley threw for 198 passing yards and a touchdown versus Pitt after passing for 367 yards and a score against Louisville last week. The junior is averaging more than 281 passing yards per game and has thrown 11 touchdowns with zero interceptions.
But Finley had plenty of help in Pittsburgh. Junior running back Nyheim Hines had a huge first quarter and ended up leading the team with 135 rushing yards, which includes a 83-yard score. He also returned a punt 92 yards for a touchdown. Tight end Jaylen Samuels also shined, haulilng in 6 catches for 62 yards and 2 touchdowns.
With the victory at Pitt, N.C. State is in first place in the Atlantic Division at 4-0, and they have already met two of the top three teams from the division a year ago.
This week, the Wolfpack will face their toughest test yet, as they will visit No. 9 Notre Dame. The Irish just demolished USC, 49-14, on Saturday.
Then after that, N.C. State will host the defending champion Clemson Tigers.
2017 college football AP Top 25 after Week 8
- Penn State
- Ohio State
- Notre Dame
- Oklahoma State
- Virginia Tech
- N.C. State
- Washington State
- Michigan State
- West Virginia
- Iowa State