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N.C. State will conclude its season Friday in El Paso, Texas, at the Hyundai Sun Bowl, where the Wolfpack will take on Arizona State.
Here is a look at N.C. State by the numbers, both currently and historically, in the Wolfpack’s quest to pick up a ninth win this campaign.
5 — Number of seasons Dave Doeren has coached at N.C. State.
4 — Number of times Doeren has led the Wolfpack to a bowl appearance.
4 — Number of consecutive bowl appearances N.C. State has made (including the upcoming Sun Bowl).
4 — The Sun Bowl on Friday will mark the fourth time N.C. State has played in four straight bowl games in program history (first time was 1972-75, last time was 2000-2003).
7 — The most consecutive bowls appearances N.C. State has made in school history (1988-1994).
30 — Amount of bowls N.C. State has appeared in in its history.
16 — The Wolfpack has won 16 bowl games in program history.
0 — Number of appearances in the Sun Bowl.
7 — The Wolfpack has played in the Peach Bowl seven times in its history, most of any bowl.
8 — Number of bowl games N.C. State has appeared in over the last nine seasons.
70 — Years since N.C. State’s first bowl appearance (1947 Gator Bowl).
50 — Years since N.C. State’s first bowl win (1967 Liberty Bowl versus Georgia).
1 — Number of PAC-12 schools the Wolfpack has played in bowl competition (Arizona in 1989).
2 — Number of times in program history the Wolfpack has faced Arizona State (one win, one loss).
1974 — Last year N.C. State played Arizona State (A 35-14 road win for the Wolfpack).
1974 — The last year N.C. State played a bowl game in the state of Texas.
1 — N.C. State has appeared in one bowl game in the state of Texas (a 31-31 tie against Houston at the Astro-Bluebonnet Bowl in the Houston Astrodome).
1 — Number of players N.C. State has from the state of Arizona (Ryan Finley).
5 — Number of players in N.C. State history that have thrown for at least 3,000 yards in a season (Jamie Barnette, Philip Rivers, Russell Wilson, Mike Glennon and Finley).
4 — Number of players who have thrown for at least 3,000 yards in a season twice at N.C. State (Rivers, Wilson, Glennon and Finley).
3,200 — Yards for which Finley has passed for this season (fifth-most in program history).
6,255 — Passing yards that Finley has at N.C. State (fifth all-time in program history).
56 — The most points N.C. State has ever scored in a bowl game (2003 Tangerine versus Kansas).
473 — Most passing yards in a bowl game by a N.C. State player (Rivers, 2003 Tangerine Bowl).
176 — Most rushing yards in a bowl game by a N.C. State player (Rahshon Spikes, 1998 Micron PC Bowl versus Miami).
3 — Rushing touchdowns scored by Stan Fritts for N.C. State against West Virginia in the 1972 Peach Bowl (school record).
3 — Receiving touchdowns scored by Jaylen Samuels ha for N.C. State in last season’s Independence Bowl versus Vanderbilt (school record).
4 — The most passing touchdowns an opponent has thrown for in a bowl game against N.C. State (tie — Jeff Blake of ECU in the 1992 Peach Bowl, Dak Prescott of Mississippi State in the 2015 Belk Bowl).
5 — Philip Rivers threw for five touchdown pass in N.C. State’s 2003 Tangerine Bowl rout over Kansas (school record).
8 — Number of wins N.C. State has in the current campaign.
2010 — The last season N.C. State won nine games.
125 — Number of seasons N.C. State has fielded a football team.
11 — Number of teams in N.C. State history that has won at least nine games.
It almost seemed like magic.
N.C. State, which had struggled from behind the arc throughout the men’s basketball nonconference slate, drilled 19-of-38 three-points in Friday’s trouncing of Jacksonville at PNC Arena.
The Wolfpack improved to 10-3 and will next travel to Clemson for a Saturday afternoon contest that will begin ACC play for both schools.
Braxton Beverly, Allerik Freeman and Sam Hunt entered the Jacksonville contest a combined 45-of-156 (28.8 percent) from 3-point range. Against the Dolphins the trio connected on 18-of-29 (62.1 percent) shots from behind the arc.
Despite the struggles, N.C. State head coach Kevin Keatts never wavered in his belief that the Wolfpack could shoot well from the outside.
“We made 19 3-pointers,” Keatts said. “I’ve been telling everybody that this team shoots the ball very well in practice, and at some point, we’re going to make them in the game. Those guys did a tremendous job.”
Freeman, who has played the most minutes for the Wolfpack, has drawn blanks often. His shooting woes have been a source of consternation for those who follow the team but Keatts has always been in his corner.
“I left him alone,” Keatts said. “I didn’t talk about it. In the press conference after the Robert Morris game, I talked about possibly watching some film with him. After I thought about it, I thought the best thing to do was just to leave him alone.
“I’ll give him credit. He came in. He was locked in. He made some shots. I’m excited about the kid. He needed to see the basketball go in the hole and it did.”
Freeman kept taking the shot when it was available. He also feels it is the success of the frontcourt that will tell the tale when it comes to the Wolfpack scoring from the outside.
“That’s just the game of basketball,” Freeman said of his early season performance. “It happens. I was watching the Knicks game and (Kristaps) Porzingis went 0-11. He’s one of the top bigs in the league.
“That (3-point shooting) is a big part of my game. In order to do that, like I keep harping on, (we have to) secure the defensive rebound. That’s been one of our struggles early this season.”
The Wolfpack has no more nonconference games to lean on in preparation for league play. It begins Saturday. N.C. State has to keep plugging away as it seeks to navigate the turbulent ACC waters.
“I feel like the whole season we’ve been preparing well in practice,” Hunt said. “Several games we’ve come up short, but as long as we stay the course and the process, learn from each mistake and each loss, we’ll be fine going on.”