Here’s a look at the top three games for Week 6 and what’s on tap in the rest of the conference:
Georgia Tech (2-3, 1-2 ACC) at No. 15 Clemson (4-1, 1-1). Tigers coach Dabo Swinney said Sunday his team is not about to overlook anybody, not when his own players sometime look like the Keystone Cops during games. You can bet there will be plenty to keep Clemson motivated going into this game even though the Jackets have looked terrible in two straight games. It was Georgia Tech that handed Clemson its first loss of the season last year. In fact, the Jackets have won four of the last five meetings. Neither team has played particularly well on defense, and that is probably putting it nicely. These teams could very well end up in a West Virginia-Baylor-type shootout!
No. 3 Florida State (5-0, 1-0) at NC State (3-2, 0-1). The last time these two teams played in Raleigh, NC State beat No. 16 Florida State 28-24. The Wolfpack have made it a habit of upsetting either Florida State or Clemson in recent years, but this team enters the game at a crossroads after a mistake-filled loss to Miami. NC State had six turnovers and 10 penalties, and the secondary -- which was supposed to be the strength of this team -- gave up an ACC-record 566 yards passing to Stephen Morris. That does not bode well with Florida State quarterback EJ Manuel coming to town.
Miami (4-1) vs. No. 9 Notre Dame (4-0). Morris has thrown for more than 1,000 yards in the past two games, but he is going to be facing a much tougher test this weekend, as the Irish defense is one of the best in the nation. Miami has to be on high alert for Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te'o, who has been incredible to start the season. This used to be one of the most heated rivalries in all of college football back in the 1980s, when both programs were at the top of the college football world. They played in the Sun Bowl a few years ago but this one has much bigger stakes.
The rest of the schedule
Virginia Tech (3-2, 1-0) at North Carolina (3-2, 0-1). Virginia Tech has won seven of the last eight meetings between the two schools, but the Hokies come into this one off a last-second loss to Cincinnati that has many questioning just where this team is heading. North Carolina dispatched of Idaho, but the Vandals are one of the worst teams in college football and this is a much bigger test.
Virginia (2-3, 0-1) at Duke (4-1, 1-0). Yes, indeed, this is a crucial Coastal Division showdown. The Hoos have lost three straight and have major questions to answer at quarterback, where Michael Rocco continues to underperform. Meanwhile, the Blue Devils are 4-1 for the first time since 1994. Duke has suffered a plethora of injuries this season -- quarterback Sean Renfree is the latest. He is day t0 day with an elbow injury.
Wake Forest (3-2, 1-2) at Maryland (2-2, 0-0). The Terps come into this game off a bye, while the Deacs suffered two losses last week. Not only did they fall to Duke, they lost leading receiver Michael Campanaro to a hand injury. The teams have split the last four meetings.
Boston College (1-3) at Army (0-4). The Eagles have won five straight in the series, but this is their first meeting at West Point since 2000. Army comes into the game after losing to FCS Stony Brook and has one of the worst defenses in the nation. That should translate into a big day for Chase Rettig and Alex Amidon.
Pitt (2-2) at Syracuse (1-3). For those interested in checking out future conference members Pitt and Syracuse, the two teams meet for the final time as Big East teams on Friday night in Syracuse at 7 p.m. on ESPN.