Countdown to kickoff: No. 10

There are 10 more weekdays until NC State kicks off against Tennessee in Atlanta on Friday, Aug. 31. We’re counting down with 25 reasons to be excited about ACC football this year. This list features coaches, players, games, themes, position groups – 25 things for you to look forward to.

The countdown to kickoff continues with …

No. 10: NC State’s secondary. This group has gone from a weak link on the team to arguably the best in the ACC. Three years ago, NC State’s secondary allowed opponents to complete 62.6 percent of their passes and the unit combined for only eight interceptions. Last year, Brandan Bishop, Earl Wolff, C.J. Wilson and David Amerson grabbed a school-record 27 interceptions and held opponents to a 57.5 completion percentage. All four starters return this year, a combined 124 career starts. Amerson is an All-American who led the nation in picks last year with 13. Players who accounted for 23 of the team’s 27 interceptions last year are returning.

No. 11: SEC rivalry games

No. 12: Virginia Tech's 10-game winning streak

No. 13: Florida State vs. Clemson

No. 14: North Carolina vs. NC State

No. 15: Unofficial state championships

No. 16: Talented true freshmen

No. 17: Unpredictability

No. 18: ACC vs. Notre Dame

No. 19: Clemson's offensive playmakers

No. 20: The ACC's record chasers

No. 21: Larry Fedora

No. 22: One of the nation's top rushing offenses

No. 23: The last season before expansion

No. 24: Brent Venables

No. 25: A fresh start at Maryland