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N.C. State flying high heading into game vs. Virginia Tech

The ACC announced this weekend that Virginia Tech will play its first 3:30 game of the year at N.C. State on Saturday. The game will be televised nationally on ABC, the Hokies first time on national television since opening the season against Boise State.

I imagine that's because Saturday's game in Raleigh now has major conference implications after N.C. State made a huge statement defeating Georgia Tech, 45-28, in Atlanta this past weekend. Quarterback Russell Wilson passed for a career-high 368 yards and three touchdowns and redshirt senior linebacker Nate Irving had 16 tackles, two sacks, and 4.5 tackles for loss in the win.

As a result both garnered ACC Player of the Week honors. Wilson, a dual-threat quarterback from Richmond who holds the NCAA record of 379 consecutive throws without an interception, was named the offensive back of the week for the second-straight weekend. Each of Wilson's touchdowns passes were on a drive immediately following a Georgia Tech touchdown.

Irving was named defensive player of the week and was also recognized as the Walter Camp Foundation National Player of the Week. Irving missed all of last season after getting in a horrific car accident in which he fractured his left leg, punctured his lung, separated his shoulder, and cracked a rib.

"N.C. State, they're just fast," said Virginia Tech Coach Frank Beamer. "They're fast on defense, they're fast on offense. Russell Wilson makes them go and they're really an exceptional football team that's playing with a lot of confidence."

Not to be forgotten, though, is Virginia Tech kicker Chris Hazley, who was named the conference's specialist of the week after going 4-for-4 in the Hokies 19-0 shutout of Boston College. You can read the full press release here.

It would seem, though, that Wolfpack football is alive and thriving. After that win over the Yellow Jackets, N.C. State is now 4-0 for the first time in eight years and was ranked in the AP top 25 for the first time since 2003, ascending to No. 23. And if that weren't proof enough, the N.C. State athletic department announced Sunday that a sellout crowd will greet the Hokies when they make the trip down to Raleigh.

"I just noticed it today walking around campus," N.C. state senior defensive end Natanu Mageo said Monday. "Everybody is hyped up. ... I know the atmosphere is gonna be pretty wild out there."

*Also, in some unrelated news, the ACC has announced that Virginia Tech's Oct. 9 game against Central Michigan will kick off at noon and be broadcast on ESPNU.

By Mark Giannotto  | September 27, 2010; 2:04 PM ET
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