This is such a big week in ACC country, there is the real potential that #goacc happens. That’s why six teams are on upset watch -- double the usual number. Needless to say, the ACC needs to avoid the potential minefields that await.
No. 11 Clemson (2-0) at Louisville (0-2), 7:30 p.m. Thursday. Line: Clemson by 7. The Tigers have played two cupcakes and won easily; the Cards have played two tough opponents and lost. Does being more “battle-tested” help Louisville? Perhaps. Louisville is a mess on offense right now, and will once again be without receivers James Quick and Jamari Staples. But the Cards did show flashes at times in their first two games. If they stop turning the ball over and get a consistent performance out of whomever starts at quarterback, an upset is not out of the question.
No. 9 Florida State (2-0) at Boston College (2-0), 8 p.m., Friday. Line: Florida State by 7.5. The Eagles have been a tough out for Florida State under Steve Addazio. In 2013, they led for a majority of the first half before the Noles pulled away. Last year, they were tied going into the fourth quarter before Robert Aguayo kicked a game-winning field goal late. Florida State didn’t look completely put together last week, and Dalvin Cook might not find the running to be so easy against a solid defensive front. According to ESPN Stats & Information, Boston College has held its opponents to 70 or fewer rushing yards in an FBS-high nine games since the start of last season. The Eagles are 9-0 in those games and 0-6 in all others.
No. 14 Georgia Tech (2-0) at No. 8 Notre Dame (2-0), 3:30 p.m. Saturday. Line: Georgia Tech by 2.5. Had Malik Zaire been healthy going into this game, the Irish surely would be favored. But now that redshirt freshman De’Shone Kizer takes over, the expectation is for the Jackets to go up to South Bend and win. Especially given the way they have played in the first two games. Alcorn State and Tulane aren’t exactly Notre Dame, but we have seen very few mistakes out of Georgia Tech. If that starts against an active defense, then the Jackets will be in trouble. Playoff hopes for both teams hang in the balance. Georgia Tech simply cannot afford to lose.
No. 23 Northwestern (2-0) at Duke (2-0), 12:30 p.m., Saturday. Line: Duke by 3.5. Northwestern defensive lineman Ifeadi Odenigbo said his team expects another shutout against the Blue Devils, catching the attention of Duke running back Shaun Wilson. Wilson and Odenigbo might be getting well acquainted. The Wildcats are giving up an average of 77 yards per game on the ground; Duke is averaging 247 yards rushing per game.
Nebraska (1-1) at Miami (2-0), 3:30 p.m., Saturday. Line: Miami by 3.5. Nebraska would be 2-0 if not for a ridiculous Hail Mary from Tanner "Hail Mary" Mangum. And these Huskers blew the doors off Miami on the ground a year ago, rushing for 343 yards i
n a win. Miami’s run D looked shaky last week against FAU, and so did everyone else outside Joe Yearby. Another incomplete performance won’t cut it now that the competition level is rising.
Virginia Tech (1-1) at Purdue (1-1), 3:30 p.m., Saturday. Line: Virginia Tech by 6. The Hokies can’t be penciled in for anything with Michael Brewer out, not even a win at Purdue. Brenden Motely and Dwayne Lawson both played last week against Furman, but this will be a far different test. Plus, the defense will be without starting linebacker Andrew Motuapuaka, who could be out up to four weeks with a knee sprain. The Hokies are thin at linebacker, and his loss cannot be overlooked.