ACC viewer's guide: GT-ND, five B1G games highlight Week 3

Here is a quick rundown of Saturday's games in the ACC. All times are Eastern.


Illinois (2-0) at North Carolina (1-1), ABC/ESPN/ESPN2. #ILLvsUNC: This isn't quite the 2005 men's hoops title game between the two schools, but it does offer a nice opportunity for one of the programs to notch a Power 5, nonconference win. The Illini have looked rejuvenated under Bill Cubit through two weeks, while the Tar Heels' defense has looked much improved through two games under new coordinator Gene Chizik.

Wake Forest (1-1, 0-1 ACC) at Army (0-2), CBSSN: The Demon Deacons may feel like they let one get away last week at Syracuse, but they have to be encouraged by the strides they have made offensively, with John Wolford actually ranking No. 8 nationally in passing yards (696). The challenge for their defense will be combating the option, something they struggled with early in last year's win over Army, when the Black Knights rolled up 232 first-half rushing yards.

12:30 p.m.

Central Michigan (1-1) at Syracuse (2-0, 1-0 ACC), ESPN3. #CMUvsCUSE: True freshman Eric Dungey had a successful debut under center last week, and a similar performance against the Chippewas will give the Orange their first 3-0 start since 1991. For a program that went just 3-9 last season, and that lost its starting quarterback (again) in Week 1 this season, that confidence boost could be huge going into its game against LSU next week.

No. 23 Northwestern (2-0) at Duke (2-0), ESPN3. #NUvsDUKE: The Wildcats are going for the academic trifecta after beating Notre Dame last November and Stanford two weeks ago. It will be a battle of first-year starting quarterbacks, and both Clayton Thorson and Thomas Sirk have looked good through the air and on the ground after two weeks. One thing to keep an eye on: Who is left eating crow in the battle of the Cats' defense and the Blue Devils' ground game, after the back-and-forth this week between both sides.

3:30 p.m.

No. 14 Georgia Tech (2-0) at No. 8 Notre Dame (2-0), NBC. #GTvsND: This tilt could have playoff implications down the road, if both teams go on to have strong seasons. For now, the Irish are hoping they can recover from the loss of quarterback Malik Zaire, who is out for the season after fracturing his right ankle at Virginia. Redshirt freshman DeShone Kizer saved the day at UVA and will have to do more in his first career start, but the game will likely turn on how Brian VanGorder's defense can contain Paul Johnson's option attack. Not that there's any history there or anything ...

Nebraska (1-1) at Miami (2-0), ABC/ESPN2. #NEBvsMIA: This might be the biggest of the five ACC-Big Ten games Saturday, given the history and the brand names of the two programs. While times have changed in both Lincoln and Coral Gables, this is still a chance for a signature nonconference win. The Cornhuskers got the best of the Hurricanes last year, and Miami has to play better than it did last week at FAU if it wants to get to 3-0 and prove that this year might be different from previous years.

William & Mary (1-0) at Virginia (0-2), ESPN3, #WMvsUVA: Virginia desperately needs to get into the win column after a tough pair of opening games, and with Boise State coming to town next week. The FCS Tribe probably won't stand in the way of that, but look to see how the Cavaliers respond early after having their hearts ripped out in the final minute against Notre Dame. Matt Johns looked terrific against the Irish and may give UVA reason for hope this year if he can build off that performance.

Virginia Tech (1-1) at Purdue (1-1), ESPNU. #VTvsPUR: Brendan Motley did a nice job with both his arms and legs last week in his first start, but it was against FCS Furman. And while the Boilermakers may be among the lower-end of the Power 5 spectrum, they will present a different kind of challenge for the Hokies' offense. Tech's defense, meanwhile, will feature walk-on Sean Huelskamp in the middle, filling in for the injured Andrew Motuapuaka, who is out with an MCL sprain.

7 p.m.

North Carolina State (2-0) at Old Dominion (2-0), AMSN: The Monarchs will be the toughest test yet for the Wolfpack during what has been a breeze of a nonconference slate. Jacoby Brissett leads the nation in completion percentage (84.4) and the defense has taken care of business, but ODU does have a win this season at EMU, which did just blow out Wyoming on the road, for what that may be worth.

8 p.m.

Pitt (2-0) at Iowa (2-0), BTN: Pat Narduzzi is familiar with Kinnick Stadium from his time at Michigan State. The real question, of course, is who Narduzzi will start at quarterback, and if he will stick with said signal-caller for the game. Whether it's Nate Peterman or Chad Voytik, the Panthers will be looking to avenge last year's home loss to the Hawkeyes, one week after getting a bit of payback at Akron for the same thing.