ACC Nation Football Preview
The ACC football season gets underway on Thursday, August 30 with the first game in New Orleans. Time is ticking as teams ratchet up the intensity of camp in preparation for opening kick off. It’s a perfect time to preview conference teams.
What’s in store this fall? Start with wiping out everything from last year that you thought you knew about a team. Role players have moved on, new stars will emerge, coaches have changed and so have some schemes. It’s almost time to venture into the unknown of college football.
Let’s take a look at all of the conference teams, hear from coaches and absorb as much as possible. After all, you do want to be the best armchair quarterback in the neighborhood, don’t you?
Roll up your sleeves, pop a top, fill a bowl with snacks and let’s head to the film room for a look at ACC football.
ACC Nation Football Preview – The Teams
The honors of first game goes to Wake Forest. The Demon Deacons had better enjoy the cool weather of Winston-Salem because their opener in New Orleans is a whole different kind of hot. Tulane’s Yulman Stadium is tucked nicely in between the Mississippi River and Lake Pontchartrain, undoubtedly to maximize the humidity. Bring the fans (both kinds).
The honors for the second game of season goes to Dino Babers and the Orange Men of Syracuse. Expect to see improvement this year on many fronts and the talk of a bowl bid should not be considered premature.
The Friday night lights will also be focused on Duke as they entertain Army West Point in their season opener. The Black Knights should never be underestimated. David Cutcliffe appears to have more than a few surprises in store this season. The opener can afford to be trial, not so much error.
If those three games haven’t warmed you up then the opener for NC State should. The Wolfpack come out of the gate facing the #2 FCS team in the country, James Madison. This is a prove it game for both teams.
Across the river and through the woods rival Furman, ranked #23 in the FCS pays a visit to their country cousins in Clemson. Don’t forget that the Tigers are ranked #1/#2 in a number of preseason polls in the FBS. But, as some of have learned the hard way, always keep an eye on your cousins.
James Madison And Furman – FCS Rankings
Georgia Tech starts out the season with Alcorn State. It’s a good place to start as Paul Johnson’s Yellow Jackets settle into the rhythm of a challenging offense and a new, aggressive defense.
Massachusetts heads to Boston College where Steve Addazio is anxious to unleash his bag of offensive weaponry. If things hold up on that side of ball as well as the defense has over the years then it’ll be an exciting season for Eagles fans.
Will Albany regret their bus ride to Pitt? Pat Narduzzi has promise on offense and rising stars on defense. If the Panthers can put it all together, they’ll have to don their sunglasses.
Larry Fedora has a challenge or two on his hands this season. The opener at California will add another. The Tar Heels have some elements that may surprise opponents as they begin to gel.
Bronco Mendenhall is still in the midst of a major overhaul but there are signs of life in Charlottesville. The proof is always in the pudding but Cavalier fans should see their team turn the corner this fall.
A neutral site, though a bit more advantageous for Alabama fans, awaits Bobby Petrino, Jawon Pass and what seems like a different group of Cardinals in Orlando. If Louisville can get out of their opener intact the rest of the season will seem like a breeze.
Miami heads to Arlington, Texas to face off with LSU. The Canes want to have a strong out of the gate performance against the Tigers to show they’re bigger and better this year. Mark Richt is depending upon Malik Rosier to step up this season and deliver a punch on offense.
Virginia Tech heads to Tallahassee to take on new coach Willie Taggart who has implemented some interesting changes on both sides of the ball and in the heads of players. Justin Fuente faces the challenge of replenishing the Hokies. Can next man up work for Bud Foster on defense this year?
ACC Nation Football Preview
ACC Nation’s Power Poll and Weekly Picks along with special features from the staff return just in time for kick off. Plus, we’ll have the AP Top 25 and USA Today Coaches Poll each week.