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ACC Rooting Guide: Week 3

It’s the ACC/Big Ten matchup of football this weekend.

Navy v Duke Photo by Lance King/Getty Images

There are some interesting matchups for most of the ACC in Week 3: A bunch of games against the Big Ten, a heated rivalry, and a team I have never heard of! Let’s get to the non-Miami Hurricanes games and break it down.

Virginia @ Maryland - 9/15 at 7:00 PM EST, TV - FS1

I love when former conference foes face off in college football. These two used to play all the time in the ACC. The games were mostly meaningless as far as competing for a conference championship, but hey. Virginia gave up a second half double-digit lead last week to James Madison and lost. With what that team has had to endure the last few months, it’s hard to blame them. This is Maryland’s first Power 5 opponent of the season and Tua Tagovailoa’s little brother is their quarterback. Those are two factual statements. Let’s go Virginia.

#3 Florida State @ Boston College - 9/16 at 12:00 PM EST, TV - ABC

FSU has looked as good as any team in the country so far this season. Much to many a Canes fan’s dismay, I think that continues this Saturday. BC has given the Noles a hard time in the past, but I don’t think this year’s squad has it. Unless FSU is looking past the Eagles to Clemson next week. Ooooh, that just gave me a sliver of hope. Let’s go Boston College.

Louisville @ Indiana - 9/16 at 12:00 PM EST, TV - Big Ten Network

I still don’t know anything about Louisville this season and I probably won’t until they play Notre Dame on 10/7. I know even less about the Hoosiers. I do know Canes basketball sent both Indiana teams home in March Madness. How good can Coach L’s team be this season? I think they will be competing for an ACC championship. I would be disappointed if they don’t. Oh, uh, let’s go Louisville.

Wake Forest @ Old Dominion - 9/16 at 12:00 PM EST, TV - ESPN2

Props to ODU for scheduling Virginia Tech and Wake Forest for their non-conference games this season. Playing Wake at home seems like a win already. I can imagine the Monarchs players thinking they were going to take down two ACC teams in September. Don’t think so. With the way the Demon Deacons are playing, they should be 4-0 heading to Clemson on 10/7. It would make that matchup a little more interesting at least. Let’s go Wake Forest.

Virginia Military Institute @ NC State - 9/16 at 2:00 PM EST, TV - CW Network

I have never heard of Virginia Military Institute until today. They joined the Big South Conference in 2003, then left in 2014 for the Southern Conference. News to me. NC State got worked by Notre Dame last week, so this Saturday should be a nice tune-up for their next two games against Virginia and Louisville. The Wolfpack’s football stadium is called Wayne Day Family Field at Carter-Finley Stadium. Is the ‘Wayne’ for Bruce Wayne? Did Bruce Wayne go to NC State? Let’s go VMI.

Northwestern @ #21 Duke - 9/16 at 3:30 PM EST, TV - ACC Network

Rutgers dominated Northwestern in Week 1. Not a great sign for the Wildcats’ 2023 season. I didn’t look into the Pat Fitzgerald situation besides listening to sports heads talk about it on TV. I guess he should’ve been fired? I really don’t know. I do think this year’s team is going to suffer. I’d bet against Northwestern as much as I could this season. Someone want to help me out? Online sports betting isn’t legal yet in Florida. Duke should be undefeated when they visit Notre Dame in three weeks. This would be a perfect spot for a classic Wildcats upset. Let’s go Northwestern.

Minnesota @ #20 UNC - 9/16 at 3:30 PM EST, TV - ESPN

App State almost pulled it off again last week in Chapel Hill, NC. The Tar Heels were lucky to escape with a win and they know it. I think it will help them play better and Minnesota will feel that on Saturday. The Gophers are 2-0, with a come-from-behind win against a perpetually choking Nebraska team. However, they have only scored 38 points in their two wins. That is not enough offense against Drake Maye and his offense at home. Let’s go UNC.

Virginia Tech @ Rutgers - 9/16 at 3:30 PM EST, TV - Big Ten Network

Speaking of Rutgers, they get the Hokies at home this Saturday before traveling to Michigan next week, where they will get absolutely annihilated. Virginia Tech lost at home to Purdue last week. To be fair, there was roughly nine hours of weather delays. Wait, Purdue lost at home to Fresno State in Week 1. Yikes. I think Rutgers is simply the better team in this matchup. Let’s go Rutgers.

Matchup of the Week

Pittsburgh @ West Virginia - 9/16 at 7:30 PM EST, TV - ABC

The Backyard Brawl is here again! The two bitter rivals formerly of the Big East meet for the 106th time on Saturday night. Pitt topped West Virginia last season and holds a 62-40-3 advantage in the series. The Panthers could use a win after falling to Cincinnati at home last week. Pitt and Virginia Tech might just be bad this season, and of course Miami doesn’t play either team. Lame. I will continue to root against Pitt; not hard for me to do. Let’s go West Virginia.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: SEP 01 West Virginia at Pitt
The Backyard Brawl is great for college football. Keep rivalries alive!
Photo by Mark Alberti/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Syracuse @ Purdue - 9/16 at 7:30 PM EST, TV - NBC

A second ACC team in a row for Purdue. How often has that happened? Anyway, Syracuse hasn’t played anyone yet. I could see them struggling on the road in a night game against their first Power 5 opponent of the season. College football’s Week 3 slate must be pretty bad if this is the NBC primetime matchup. Let’s go Syracuse.

Georgia Tech @ #17 Ole Miss - 9/16 at 7:30 PM EST, TV - SEC Network

Lane Kiffin’s Rebels played a great second half of football in their comeback win on the road against a ranked Tulane team. Ole Miss plays #10 Alabama and #14 LSU back-to-back the next two weeks. That said, I don’t see them having a letdown at home against a Georgia Tech squad that has looked pretty bad so far this season. I could see this getting ugly quickly. I just like Lane Kiffin too. He’s funny. Let’s go Ole Miss.

FAU @ Clemson - 9/16 at 8:00 PM EST, TV - ACC Network

Tom Herman is looking to get FAU competitive again. He’ll know a lot more about this year’s team after consecutive games at Clemson and at Illinois. The Tigers ended up blowing out Charleston Southern last week, but not before quarterback Cade Klubnik threw a bad pick-six in the first quarter. Clemson looks off this season. If they don’t handle FAU, their fans are going to be extra nervous for next week’s home ACC-opener against the Noles. Let’s go Clemson.