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ACC Rooting Guide: Week 2

All home games for the conference this week.

NCAA Football: North Carolina at Virginia Scott Taetsch-USA TODAY Sports

It was a solid start to the college football season for the ACC, except for Clemson. It was awful for Clemson.

Home is where the heart is for Week 2 as every ACC team is hosting their opponent. Let’s get to the non-Miami matchups!

Murray State @ Louisville - 9/7 at 7:30 PM EST, TV - ACC Network

Murray State beat Presbyterian College 41-10 last Saturday. Impressive win. What’s that? Presbyterian only has 991 TOTAL enrolled students? Nevermind. Louisville sports fans have to be extra excited for their football team considering how bad they were in basketball last season. I’m all for providing hope, even if it’s only temporary. Let’s go Louisville.

Vanderbilt @ Wake Forest - 9/9 at 11:00 AM EST, TV - ACC Network

Another early season ACC/SEC matchup! This one is only slightly less exciting than UNC vs SC or FSU vs LSU. Vanderbilt has won four of their last five games dating back to last season, including a win over the Gators. Haha. That will never get old. This will be Wake’s first Power 5 opponent of 2023. I think home field will be the difference in this game. Let’s go Wake Forest.

Matchup of the Week

#10 Notre Dame @ NC State - 9/9 at 12:00 PM EST, TV - ABC

NC State looked fairly mediocre against UConn last week. Not a great sign with the Golden Domers coming to town. Quarterback Sam Hartman has looked like the real deal for Notre Dame. The Wolfpack will be a step up in competition from Navy and Tennessee State, but Hartman won’t be intimidated in the least. Neither will Notre Dame’s defense. This Saturday would be the perfect time for new Wolfpack quarterback Brennan Armstrong to play the game of his life. Let’s go NC State.

NCAA Football: North Carolina State at Connecticut
Come on Brennan! Beat Notre Dame!
David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

Purdue @ Virginia Tech - 9/9 at 12:00 PM EST, TV - ESPN2

Purdue blew their home-opener against Fresno State. That’s a tough loss. Almost as tough as losing as a 1-seed to a 16-seed in March Madness. Hey-o! Virginia Tech got revenge on their in-state kryptonite Old Dominion last Saturday. With Miami not playing the Hokies this season because of the new ACC schedule, which I hate, I have even less interest in this game. Let’s go Purdue? Sure, why not?

Holy Cross @ Boston College - 9/9 at 12:00 PM EST, TV - ESPN+/ACC Network Extra

BC lost their home-opener to Northern Illinois in overtime. Yikes. Holy Cross is in the Patriot League conference. It’s a seven-team league that includes Georgetown and Bucknell. Fascinating. Boston College plays FSU next week. It would be pretty funny if they were 0-2 going into that game before giving the Seminoles all they can handle (not likely). Let’s go Holy Cross.

James Madison @ Virginia - 9/9 at 12:00 PM EST, TV - ESPNU

Virginia is still recovering from last November’s tragic shooting deaths of three football players: D’Sean Perry, Lavel Davis Jr., and Devin Chandler. It was awesome to see running back Mike Hollins take the field after recuperating from the wounds he suffered that fateful day. I can’t imagine how emotional the crowd will be this Saturday. I expect the Cavaliers to play inspired football. Let’s go Virginia.

South Carolina State @ Georgia Tech - 9/9 at 1:00 PM EST, TV - ESPN+/ACC Network Extra

South Carolina State has been outscored 61-10 this season. To be fair, they have played two absolute powerhouses in Jackson State (post Deion and most of the good players) and Charlotte University. That kind of offensive ineptitude is exactly what the doctor ordered for the Yellow Jackets. They need a win. Any kind of win. Let’s go Georgia Tech.

Charleston Southern @ #25 Clemson - 9/9 at 2:15 PM EST, TV - ACC Network

And just like that, Clemson’s College Football Playoff hopes went up in smoke. I know it’s possible they win out and sneak in. Possible, not likely. Their offense looked as bland as ever. For someone who has always enjoyed watching them play, it was frustrating to watch. Charleston Southern won a barnburner last week against North Greenville, 13-10. The Tigers will need all the work they can get before they face FSU on 9/23. Let’s go Clemson.

Western Michigan @ Syracuse - 9/9 at 3:30 PM EST, TV - ESPN+/ACC Network Extra

Apparently Colgate did not read my article last week to pump themselves up for their game at Syracuse. The Orange took care of business, 65-0. Western Michigan scheduled Iowa and Mississippi State as well for their out-of-conference slate this season. Respect. Sadly, I think they will go 0-3 in those games. Let’s go Syracuse.

Appalachian State @ #17 North Carolina - 9/9 at 5:15 PM EST, TV - ACC Network

The Power 5 giant killer is coming to Chapel Hill! I don’t think they will have the key to UNC’s skates though. Drake Maye is the real deal, plus he gets his stud wide receiver back, Tez Walker. More importantly, their defense looks much improved from last season. I don’t see a letdown for Mack Brown’s team this week. Let’s go UNC.

Lafayette @ #21 Duke - 9/9 at 6:00 PM EST, TV - ESPN+/ACC Network Extra

Riley Leonard is the next Daniel Jones. Wait, is that a compliment or an insult? For how short of a time he has been playing football, I think Riley Leonard is already better than Daniel Jones. Leonard is far more athletic; he killed Clemson on the ground Monday night. His throwing needs to improve, but he’s not bad for a Power 5 college quarterback by any means. The guy is legit. The Blue Devils’ defense showed up too. They have speed and are sound tacklers. Plus, former Hurricane Al Blades Jr. is there. Duke is a legit ACC contender. Was that big enough of a reverse jinx? Let’s go Lafayette.

Cincinnati @ Pittsburgh - 9/9 at 6:30 PM EST, TV - CW Network

I think this is the first ACC football game on the CW. Get excited! I read that the CW will take the place of Bally Sports for certain conference games. Actually, that is exciting! Bally Sports was the bane of my existence last season. Multiple football games were on random regional sports networks that only seemed to be available at DirecTV. Luckily, my local watering hole let me search the guide and watch the games. Gotta love a local bar. My only analysis for this game isn’t analysis at all: I want Pitt to lose. Let’s go Cincinnati.

Southern Miss @ #4 FSU - 9/9 at 8:30 PM EST, TV - ACC Network

(Sigh). FSU looked great on both sides of the ball in the second half against LSU. Whatever. Southern Miss has Frank Gore Jr. That evens it out, right? Gore didn’t do much against the Canes last year. Let’s hope he goes nuts against the Noles and makes it interesting for a couple of quarters. Let’s hope, not expect. I know last season was a success for FSU, but the crowd in Tallahassee is going to be completely insane for their home-opener, especially with Clemson’s loss. (Deep sigh). Let’s go Southern Miss.