Syracuse coach Dino Babers wasn’t the only outsider impressed by N.C. State on Saturday.
N.C. State’s 33-25 win over the Orange propelled the Wolfpack into the national rankings for the first time since 2010.
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“These guys aren’t your ‘Average Joes,’ ” Babers said after Saturday’s loss to the Wolfpack.
Babers compared N.C. State favorably to LSU, a team which opened the season ranked No. 13 and was ranked No. 25 last week. Syracuse lost 35-26 at LSU on Sept. 23.
“I told people I thought they were better than LSU and right now I know they’re better than LSU,” Babers said before LSU lost to Troy on Saturday and fell out of the top 25.
This is the first time the Wolfpack has been ranked under fifth-year coach Dave Doeren. N.C. State finished the 2010 season at No. 25 in both the USA Today and AP polls but had not been ranked since.
“We are happy to be recognized for the progress our program has made,” Doeren said in a statement released by the school. “That said, our focus will stay the same: improving each and every day and focusing only on the game ahead.”
The Wolfpack will host No. 17 Louisville on Thursday night. It’s the first time N.C. State will play a home game, as a top 25 team, against another top 25 team since the 2000 season.
N.C. State hasn’t won a home game between top-25 teams since the 1992 season.
N.C. State is one of five ACC teams in the top 25: Clemson (No. 2), Miami (13), Virginia Tech (16) and Louisville.
Joe Giglio: 919-829-8938, @jwgiglio