This week’s game against Texas A&M is scheduled for Saturday, September 17th at 9:00 p.m. ET on ESPN.
When you’re not watching the Hurricanes, college football’s Week 3 has some good matchups leading up to our big showdown with the Aggies. Here’s a run down of this week’s games of interest to Canes fans:
Friday Night Game of the Week
Florida State Seminoles (2-0) v. Louisville Cardinals (1-1)
Location: Louisville, KY
Date/Time: Friday, September 16, 2022 at 7:30 p.m. ET
Draft Kings Line: FSU (-2.5)
Story Lines: After getting shellacked in their opener against Syracuse, the Louisville Cardinals bounced and earned a tough victory on the road against UCF last week. The passing game wasn’t pretty - Malik Cunningham was 14/29 with no TDs and no interceptions - but the Cardinals still ground out a victory. Cunningham’s 43 yd designed run towards the end of the 3rd quarter put the Cardinals up 17-14, and their defense was able to pitch a shutout the rest of the way. Though this is still an immensely flawed team, it was a nice bounce back for Louisville on a national stage.
FSU is certainly battle tested on big stages after stealing a victory from LSU in New Orleans. The Seminoles were off last week so they have an extra week to prepare for one of the most fleet-foot quarterbacks in the ACC. Even though its early, FSU is already getting hit by the injury bug - starting right tackle Bless Harris, a transfer from Lamar, is out of the season. One of the things dogging the Seminoles the past few years has been their OL depth, so it’s worth keeping on how well Louisville’s D-Line can get penetration.
Why Canes Fans Should Care: It’s an ACC conference matchup featuring our biggest rival with nothing else on the tube (aside from Air Force at Wyoming on CBSN). I wouldn’t cancel your Friday night plans for this game, but it’ll do fine filling the background of your favorite bar.
Canes Interest Factor (0-10): 5
Saturday Early Game of the Week
No. 6 Oklahoma Sooners (2-0) v. Nebraska Cornhuskers (1-2)
Location: Lincoln, NE
Date/Time: Saturday, September 17, 2022 at 12:00 p.m. ET
Draft Kings Line: Oklahoma (-11)
Story Lines: Ok, look...followers of State of the U know that I grew up a Nebraska fan and find the Huskers’ trajectory the past two decades eerily similar to Miami’s. So while it seems biased for me to put this as the Saturday Early Game of the Week, well, this old Big Eight rivalry has the best storylines at this time slot.
Nebraska was the first program this year to can their coach, relieving Scott Frost of his duties on Sunday. WR coach Mickey Joseph, a former Nebraska QB and LSU’s WR coach for Justin Jefferson and Ja’Marr Chase during their 2019 championship season, has been tasked with leading the Huskers through the remainder of the year. Although Nebraska is 4-11 dating back to the start of last year, every single one of their losses was by just one possession. That included Nebraska’s 16-23 loss last year in Norman.
These are different teams this year. Different head coaches, as long time Clemson coordinator Brent Venables steps in for the departed Lincoln Riley. Both team’s starting quarterbacks from last year transferred out - Oklahoma’s Spencer Rattler to South Carolina, and Nebraska Adrian Martinez to Kansas St. Both team’s current starting quarterbacks transferred in - Dillion Gabriel from UCF to Oklahoma, and Casey Thompson from Texas to Nebraska.
Why Canes Fans Should Care: Nostalgia for a time when this rivalry was significant, which is also when the Canes themselves were atop the national spotlight.
Canes Interest Factor (0-10): 4
Other Early Saturday Games
No. 1 Georgia Bulldogs at South Carolina Gamecocks (12pm ET, ESPN)
UConn Huskies at No. 4 Michigan Wolverines (12pm ET, ABC)
Purdue Boilermakers at Syracuse Orangemen (12pm ET, ESPN2)
Story Lines: See, I told you Oklahoma v. Nebraska was the best option. That is unless you’re a big Georgia or South Carolina fan. But let’s be honest, it’s highly unlikely the Gamecocks will give the Bulldogs any issues. Meanwhile, UConn is 1-2 with a 48-14 loss to Syracuse, so the world would be shocked to see them prevail in the Big House. Speaking of Syracuse, they’re 2-0 and hosting Purdue, which might be the next best viewing in what’s otherwise a relatively weak slate to start the day.
Saturday Afternoon Game of the Week
No. 22 Penn State Nittany Lions (2-0) v. Auburn Tigers (2-0)
Location: Auburn, AL
Date/Time: Saturday, September 17, 2022 at 3:30 p.m. ET
Draft Kings Line: Penn St. (-3)
Story Lines: Penn State is ranked and 2-0 to start their season, which is familiar territory for Head Coach James Franklin. The Nittany Lions opened the season 5-0 last year, including victories against ranked Wisconsin and Auburn teams, before collapsing to a 2-5 record the rest of the season finishing with a loss to Arkansas in the Outback Bowl. This program isn’t all that long removed from a B1G Ten Championship (2016), Fiesta Bowl win (2017), and Cotton Bowl win (2019). Penn State’s opening road victory against Purdue is a great sign for their fans. 5th year senior QB Sean Clifford was a sturdy 20/37 for 282 yds and 4 tds against just 1 interception. Franklin’s teams used to be known for their grind ‘em down running attacks (Saquon Barkley anyone?), but this season looks to be a bit more of a gunslinging offense.
As for Auburn, they’re a mess. An absolute mess. Their athletic director essentially resigned at the start of the season, and Tennessee’s athletic director brazenly congratulated him for exit:
Congratulations @AGreeneIV for getting the heck out of a crazy situation for greener pastures! I admire how you managed that chaos with class & integrity. Look forward to seeing your next chapter!— Danny White (@AD_DannyWhite) August 26, 2022
Nobody at Auburn has confidence in the direction of the football program. Coach Bryan Harsin was hired last year from Boise State to replace Gus Malzahn. Harsin’s team was an uninspiring 6-7 last season, and squeaking out a 24-16 home victory over San Jose State last week isn’t exactly reassuring. Even though he’s only in his second season, Harsin is thought to have one of the hottest seats in the country. Winning this game could prove pivotal for his tenure at Auburn.
Why Canes Fans Should Care: If you’re like me and love to see SEC failures, then this is the game for you. Auburn is just talented enough to knock off some of the better SEC teams this season. But dropping this home contest to Penn State, who is trying to build back in its own right, would be a delight. Additionally, Miami has found itself as a finalist for several recruits with Auburn, so a Tigers loss could be marginally helpful with some recruiting battles.
Canes Interest Factor (0-10): 5
Other Saturday Afternoon Games
Old Dominion Monarchs at Virginia Cavaliers (2pm ET, ACCN)
No. 12 BYU Cougars at No. 25 Oregon Ducks (3:30pm ET, Fox)
No. 20 Ole Miss Rebels at Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (3:30pm ET, ABC)
Mississippi St. Bulldogs at LSU Tigers (6pm ET, ESPN)
Story Lines: At 2pm we get to see if Virginia pulls a Virginia Tech in letting Old Dominion snatch a victory to go with their paycheck. Opposite the Auburn and Penn St game is the only other Top 25 matchup this week, which could hold some interest to gauge the strength of Oregon and, by comparison, Georgia’s victory over them. It also looks like BYU has the best chance to crash the CFP since the other Group of 5 teams aren’t prevailing in their big non-conference games. Also of potential interest is Georgia Tech getting a chance to demonstrate some life against Lane Kiffin and his Rebels. Finally, since the Canes don’t kickoff until 9pm, we’ll throw in the 6pm SEC matchup here between Mississippi St. and LSU as potentially of some interest.
Canes’ Commercial Break Game of the Week
Location: Doesn’t Matter
Date/Time: Saturday, September 17, 2022 at night
Coverage: Doesn’t Matter
Draft Kings Line: Doesn’t Matter
Story Lines: The Canes have center stage Saturday night, and while there were some potentially interesting matchups to watch opposite our Southern Miss and Bethune Cookman games, there’s nothing remotely interesting on Saturday Night meriting “Game of the Week” status, even for commercial breaks. All eyes should be on ESPN.
Canes Interest Factor (0-10): 0...it’s always zero opposite the Canes’ game, ESPECIALLY this week.
Other Commercial Break Games
No. 12 Michigan St. Spartans at Washington Huskies (7:30pm ET, ABC)
No. 23 Pittsburgh Panthers at Western Michigan Broncos (7:30pm ET, ESPNU)
Louisiana Tech Bulldogs at No. 5 Clemson Tigers (8:00pm ET, ACCN)
San Diego St. Aztecs at No. 14 Utah Utes (10:00pm ET, ESPN2)
Fresno St. Bulldogs at No. 7 USC Trojans (10:30pm ET, Fox)
Story Lines: There’s proof nothing is remotely interesting opposite the Canes.
Games of the Week - Cheat Sheet
For those who scrolled to the end, here’s a tl;dr cheat sheet of our games of the week:
- Friday Night: Florida State at Louisville (7:30pm ET, ESPN)
- Saturday Early: No. 6 Oklahoma at Nebraska (12pm ET, Fox)
- Saturday Afternoon: No. 22 Penn State at Auburn (3:30pm ET, CBS)
- Canes Game: No. 13 Miami at No. 24 Texas A&M (9pm ET, ESPN)