And just like that the college football season is in mid-stride, leaves and temperatures are falling and conference battles heat up. It’s week seven (or eight if you count week zero) and there are still plenty of questions surrounding teams. A quick peek at the ACC Nation Power Poll demonstrates the need for further clarity. Unfortunately, some of these match ups won’t provide a better picture. Let’s take a look.
There are seven games on the ACC Nation schedule this week with the first tonight (Thursday, October 10) between Syracuse and NC State. The prime time match up will be on ESPN at 8:00pm ET.
Both teams had a bye week and an opportunity to clean up some sloppy play on both sides of the ball. Syracuse needs to find an answer to their defensive woes while the Wolfpack are sputtering on offense. If NC State finds a rhythm on offense they’ll give the Orange a run for their money.
On Friday night Virginia heads to Miami for another ESPN prime time event. The Cavaliers are looking at an opportunity to put everyone else in the back seat as they take the wheel in the Coastal Division of the ACC. The Hurricanes are simply looking for win number one in the ACC after coughing up a hairball against Virginia Tech.
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College Football Saturday
Patience is a virtue, or so you must keep repeating if you are a Georgia Tech fan. Tough going for a re-build that is painful to watch. Last week the Yellow Jackets put some points on the board against North Carolina. However, the previous outing against Temple, 24-2, was just ugly.
This week Georgia Tech hosts Duke and it’s best that this is an early game. Get the pain out of the way early and then plan on a late-night excursion to Waffle House. Should the score be close, take it as a gentlemanly nod of, ‘I feel your pain brother’, from David Cutcliffe to Geoff Collins. Otherwise, this will be a blowout as the Blue Devils look to stretch out their muscles in all phases of the game.
We’ve all heard the term, ‘Trap Game’, right? This could be it for Clemson. Florida State is finally finding their wheels, though they aren’t back to championship style just yet. And then, there’s the, ‘Trevor Lawrence ain’t hurt, just human’ story. It’s an example of how to get on Dabo Swinney’s $h!t list, apparently. If that doesn’t do it, ask him about ‘Clemsoning’ and please, someone be sure to video his response.
Clemson and Florida State had a bye week and have done their homework. Look for the Tigers to come out swinging hard at home. The Seminoles will have to find a way to shut down any early offensive surge by Clemson to stay in this game. They’ll also have to move the ball quicker to stay out of the negative yardage category against a stout defense. Fun times in Death Valley.
Nothing Good Comes Easy
Virginia Tech pulled the rabbit out of the hat against Miami. Can the Hokies keep that bit of luck rolling again this week? After all, it’s a 1-4 FCS team in Rhode Island. What could go wrong?
Louisville has been a pleasant surprise this season as fans, after seeing the implosion with Bobby Petrino, expected at least one year of doom and gloom. Scott Satterfield has sprinkled magic dust on the Cardinals and shown them the promised land. Coming off a win against Boston College they’ll now face a far more challenging conference opponent in Wake Forest.
Dave Clawson has put together an effective five win team and will have the home field advantage. If we compare scores against Boston College (WF 27-24, Lou 41-39) what are we to make of these two teams? You’ll have to go deeper and dissect the stats to see where the difference comes into play. This should be a solid game and one well worth watching.
The final game of the evening belongs to Notre Dame as they entertain USC. Rivalry game? Yes, yes it is. There’s never any love lost between the Irish and Trojans. We earlier mentioned ‘trap game’ and this has a faint whiff of being just that. Notre Dame had a bye week (okay, they played Bowling Green and won 52-0) of sorts and are ready to go. Then again, so is USC as they get back their freshman QB Kedon Slovis.
The Trojans will challenge the Notre Dame defense should Slovis be up to speed after sitting out several weeks. USC’s passing game with Slovis is deadly and can pick apart secondaries. If the USC defense can shut down Ian Book’s game they may have a shot.