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ACC Week 2 picks: Does Auburn have a shot at upsetting Clemson?

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Will Auburn knock off defending champ Clemson? (0:40)

Auburn visits Clemson in a matchup of two teams with inexperienced starting quarterbacks. ESPN's Adam Rittenberg explains whether Clemson fans need to be on upset alert. (0:40)

It was a less than ideal start to the season for the ACC last week, with the conference going 2-4 in its Power 5 matchups, including 0-3 against the SEC. Will there be an opportunity for a little redemption in Week 2? Visit our college football PickCenter page for additional information on these games and more.

No. 17 Louisville (1-0) at North Carolina (0-1), noon, ESPN

David Hale: Louisville 35, North Carolina 20

There was probably more to like from both Louisville and North Carolina than the scores in their Week 1 games showed. Lamar Jackson looked great, but the Cards need to hold onto the football and finish drives. The Heels actually ran the ball well against Cal, and Chazz Surratt showed promise. In the end, though, Louisville is a much better team if it doesn’t cough up the football repeatedly.

Andrea Adelson: Louisville 40, North Carolina 21

Neither Brandon Harris nor Surratt seemed thrilled with the two-quarterback system North Carolina used in a loss to Cal, and a big reason for that is their rhythm on offense was disrupted (Harris threw two interceptions as well). But the bigger disappointment was the defense: giving up too many big plays, missing tackles and making mistakes. Jackson will have a big day, and the Cards will roll.

Northwestern (1-0) at Duke (1-0), noon, ESPNU

David Hale: Duke 38, Northwestern 35

The Big Ten is just 2-7 against the ACC since the start of last season, and both those wins belong to Northwestern. Duke’s defense remains a work in progress, which is a concern against a terrific QB-RB pair at Northwestern, but this is a better overall Blue Devils team than the one that fell to the Wildcats last year. Duke’s combo of Daniel Jones and Brittain Brown are off to an exceptional start in their own right.

Andrea Adelson: Duke 21, Northwestern 17

As David points out, Duke has come so far from where it was when these two teams met a year ago. Jones has established himself as a player to watch, and the skill positions at receiver and running back are improved. Stopping Justin Jackson is a huge task for the Duke defense, but Jones will make a few more plays to win the game.

Wake Forest (1-0) at Boston College (1-0), 1 p.m., ACC Network

David Hale: Wake Forest 20, Boston College 17

In an uncharacteristic performance in Week 1, BC threw the ball a whopping 42 times yet managed just 191 yards through the air. Against a very good Wake secondary led by Jessie Bates, the Eagles aren’t likely to throw their way to a win. Can the Eagles improve on a woeful 2.96 yards-per-rush performance? Wake won’t make it easy.

Andrea Adelson: Wake Forest 24, Boston College 23

These teams have come a long way from their 3-0 game a few years ago and finally have what appear to be some playmakers on offense. Anthony Brown will face a much tougher test than he did against the Wake Forest defense. John Wolford put together a solid performance last week. Give Wake the edge with a veteran quarterback.

Pittsburgh (1-0) at No. 4 Penn State (1-0), 3:30 p.m., ABC

David Hale: Penn State 42, Pitt 30

Expect to see a far more dynamic offense from Pitt this week after a particularly vanilla game plan in Week 1, but it’s not the offense that should worry Panthers fans. Pitt’s D has a lot to prove, and Saquon Barkley and the Nittany Lions should take advantage.

Andrea Adelson: Penn State 38, Pitt 24

Not only is Barkley a threat, but so is quarterback Trace McSorley, who put together a solid second-half that just fell short against Pitt a year ago. Pitt won’t be able to keep up if this game turns into a scoring marathon.

Indiana (0-1) at Virginia (1-0), 3:30 p.m., ESPNU

David Hale: Virginia 27, Indiana 24

Chalk this up to a hangover performance for Indiana, which is coming off a tough loss to Ohio State. Virginia might still be in for a long season, but this is a winnable game for the Cavaliers, and they need to take advantage.

Andrea Adelson: Indiana 35, Virginia 30

With Tim Harris out for the season, there’s going to be an extra strain on the UVa defense to slow an Indiana passing game that threw for 420 yards on Ohio State. Receiver Simmie Cobbs Jr. is tough to contain.

No. 13 Auburn (1-0) at No. 3 Clemson (1-0), 7 p.m., ESPN

David Hale: Clemson 27, Auburn 21

The attention has all gone to Jarrett Stidham since he arrived at Auburn, but this team also needs to find a way to run the ball against Clemson, and I’m not sure it can. Clemson’s defensive front is the best in the nation, and that talent will be showcased this week. Like last year, it’ll be a close game but one Clemson controls throughout.

Andrea Adelson: Clemson 20, Auburn 17

Kelly Bryant faces a tough Auburn defensive front, one that gave Clemson trouble a season ago. It's hard to expect the offense to run as smoothly as it did last week against overmatched Kent State. Ultimately, Bryant will make enough plays in the pass game to Deon Cain, and the defense will limit the big plays to win.

Unanimous picks:

  • Florida State over Louisiana Monroe

  • Georgia Tech over Jacksonville State

  • Virginia Tech over Delaware

  • Syracuse over Middle Tennessee

  • NC State over Marshall

  • Miami at Arkansas State was canceled

Overall records:

  • Andrea Adelson 11-3

  • David Hale 10-4