Some of you are college football junkies, consuming the sport with every chance you get. The Hurricanes will always serve as your main event, as they should, but you have other fights on the bill. Suppose you want to watch Virginia Tech against Tennessee, North Carolina take on Illinois, or Louisville against Syracuse, along with your beloved 'Canes. Well, this post is the right place for you. Each week, the State of the U will bring you weekly watch info and game summaries for the biggest clashes around the ACC.
For those of you who can’t get enough college football, State of the U is here to help.
Bristol remains the headliner, but conference matchups may offer an early glimpse at the ACC’s race for Charlotte
Two conference clashes and three non-conference, Power 5 matchups present viewers with plenty of options.
Louisville Cardinals vs. Syracuse Orange, Friday, September 9, 8:00 PM ET, Carrier Dome, Syracuse, NY – ESPN2
Louisville quarterback Lamar Jackson set a school record for most touchdowns in a game (8) last weekend against the Charlotte 49ers. Now, on the road and facing a conference adversary, the challenge gets tougher. If Louisville can blow away Syracuse like it did Charlotte, it'll go a long way in proving the Cardinals aren't so far behind Atlantic Division powers Clemson and Florida State.
For Syracuse, this contest is head coach Dino Babers first bout in conference play. A strong showing against Louisville may be just the trick to rally support for the new coach. Babers’ up-tempo offense, which totaled 554 yards on 81 plays on opening weekend against Colgate, will be put to the test against a worthy Cardinals defense.
Penn State Nittany Lions vs. Pittsburgh Panthers, Saturday, September 10, 12:00 PM ET, Heinz Field, Pittsburgh, PA – ESPN
The Pittsburgh Panthers take on rival Penn State at Heinz Field on Saturday. This matchup marks the first meeting between the two schools since 2000. If Pittsburgh's rushing attack can find success against a Nittany Lions defense that finished ranked 43rd in rush defense last season, they’ll have a great shot at topping their rival.
Wake Forest Demon Deacons vs. Duke Blue Devils, Saturday, Sept. 10, 3:30 PM ET, Wallace Wade Stadium, Durham, NC – ESPNU
The Duke Blue Devils open conference play against Atlantic Division rival Wake Forest. Every conference game is crucial in the race for Charlotte, especially in the highly-contested Coastal Division. The Blue Devils continue to break in freshman quarterback Daniel Jones, who went 10 of 15 passing for 189 yards and two touchdowns against North Carolina Central.
North Carolina Tar Heels vs. Illinois Fighting Illini, Saturday, Sept. 10, 7:30 PM ET, Memorial Stadium, Champagne, IL – ESPN
North Carolina is on the road facing a Power 5 adversary yet again as they take on the Illinois Fighting Illini. Last season, the Tar Heels pummeled Illinois, winning 48-14 in Chapel Hill. Another showing like that for North Carolina could give quarterback Mitch Trubisky the confidence he needs to be a force in the ACC. In his starting debut against the Georgia Bulldogs, Trubisky struggled, throwing for 156 yards on 24 of 40 passing.
Tennessee Volunteers vs. Virginia Tech Hokies, Saturday, September 10, 8:00 PM ET, Bristol Motor Speedway, Bristol, TN – ABC
Virginia Tech challenges the Tennessee Volunteers at the Battle at Bristol on Saturday night. The event will set a college football record for attendance with an expected crowd of 150,000 fans. Both teams appeared shaky in their openers with Tennessee squeaking out an overtime victory over Appalachian State and Virginia Tech needing a flawless second-half to best Liberty. Expect a tight defensive battle as both offenses struggled on opening weekend.
Which game listed captivates your interest the most? Are you keeping an eye on this year’s favorite to win the Coastal Division, the North Carolina Tar Heels? Will you be watching the Duke game from afar, hoping for a conference loss while replaying the ‘Miracle in Durham’ and getting hyped all over again? Or will your attention be on Bristol following the ‘Canes game, watching the Hokies take on the Tennessee Volunteers?
If you have any thoughts and comments on these games, opponents, or want to list your own viewing schedule, please do so below in the comments section. The comments section will also serve as a game thread for viewers of these matchups to discuss them further.