The ACC went 4-2 against the Big Ten last week. That’s something I guess. This week, we have five in-conference games headlined by a monstrous matchup. Let’s break it down and do some rooting.
NC State @ Virginia - 9/22 at 7:30 PM EST, TV - ESPN
The Wolfpack bounced back from their loss against Notre Dame to crush the Keydets of VMI (Virginia Military Institute), a school I had no idea fielded a football team. That said, I still have no idea how good NC State is this season. I do know Virginia is really bad and could easily reach double-digit losses by year’s end. Coach Tony Elliot might not be able to survive the offseason. He’s an offensive mind and his team can’t move the ball. Let’s go NC State.
Matchup of the Week
#4 Florida State @ Clemson - 9/23 at 12:00 PM EST, TV - ABC
What a great way to begin a Saturday full of big-time matchups. Clemson has had two walk-over games after their season-opening loss to Duke. FSU squeezed by Boston College and can now focus solely on taking down the current king of the ACC. I am sure Noles coach Mike Norvell will play up the underdog aspect, but that’s not how Vegas sees this contest. FSU is currently a 2.5 point favorite on the road on DraftKings. Damn. I know the Tigers might be down, but I didn’t think they’d be an betting underdog at home. I’m most interested in watching Clemson’s offensive game plan. If it isn’t considerably better than the one they rolled out against Duke, they are going to start 0-2 in the ACC for the first time since 2010. Let’s go Clemson.
Army @ Syracuse - 9/23 at 12:00 PM EST, TV - ACC Network
The Orange have looked good so far this season. They beat Purdue last week and are poised to be 4-0 when they host Clemson on 9/30. Army has only attempted 45 passes in their three games. It’s fun to watch the military academy schools play. It’s all option and running plays, which is different. Plus, one of them inevitably pulls off or nearly pulls off a big upset almost every season. Syracuse coach Dino Babers is praying it’s not this Saturday, or his seat could get extremely hot. Let’s go Army.
Virginia Tech @ Marshall - 9/23 at 12:00 PM EST, TV - ESPN2
Marshall is coming off their bye week to host the Hokies. A bye week after only two games? That’s way too early, but not surprising in the least with how the NCAA operates. Virginia Tech is coming off back-to-back losses to Rutgers and Purdue, two Big Ten powerhouse programs. I kid. Hokies fans have got to be bummed. The team has fallen off big time and I’m not sure when or if they are going to come back. Let’s go Marshall.
Boston College @ Louisville - 9/23 at 3:30 PM EST, TV - ACC Network
What a game up in Chesnut Hill last Saturday. Thomas Castellanos, the UCF transfer quarterback, was awesome and kept BC in the game until the very end. Unfortunately, the Eagles had 18 penalties for 131 yards, including a flag for a face mask that negated a fourth-down stop with 1:35 left. (Groan). Oh well, at least it wasn’t a boring blowout. Louisville is still undefeated and I have don’t have a clue how good they are. With their next two games being against NC State and #9 Notre Dame, we will find out soon. Let’s go Louisville.
#18 Duke @ UConn - 9/23 at 3:30 PM EST, TV - CBS Sports Network
UConn is 0-3 with losses against NC State, Georgia State, and FIU. It appears the Huskies have come crashing back down to earth after a promising 2022 season. I think the Blue Devils are going to roll UConn; they won’t have a letdown before their home game against #9 Notre Dame next Saturday night. Coach Mike Elko has this Duke team humming right now. They are playing with a ton of confidence, especially QB Riley Leonard. Let’s go Duke.
Georgia Tech @ Wake Forest - 9/23 at 6:30 PM EST, TV - CW Network
The Demon Deacons pulled one out of their butts last week against Old Dominion. Wake was down 24-7 midway through the third quarter before scoring 20 points in a row to complete the comeback. Georgia Tech hung with Ole Miss for a while, then got smoked 38 to 20 in the second half. It’s going to be a long year for the Yellow Jackets, but at least they end the season by playing #1 Georgia at home. Yikes. Let’s go Wake Forest.
#17 UNC @ Pittsburgh - 9/23 at 8:00 PM EST, TV - ACC Network
Last Saturday’s Backyard Brawl was more of a play fight, with West Virginia topping Pitt, 17-6. The Panthers have looked anemic on offense so far this season in their non-Wofford games. UNC convincingly beat Minnesota after their scare against App State. The Tar Heels are poised to start 1-0 in conference play before their bye week, followed by home games against Syracuse and our Miami Hurricanes. Let’s go UNC.