This weekend sees UNC get a shot at a ranked team when Notre Dame comes to Chapel Hill. Based on how this season has gone so far, it’s hard to see how the Tar Heels win that, but it’s still an opportunity to pull an upset.
Elsewhere around the conference, there are some ranked matchups, chances for seasons to get back on track, and more opportunities for upsets. Let’s take a look at the non-UNC, ACC games of interest this week.
#17 Louisville (4-1, 1-1 ACC) at #24 NC State (4-1, 2-0 ACC)
Thursday, October 5th at 8:00 PM ET on ESPN
Lamar Jackson and the Cardinals are making their second swing through the state, and unfortunately for UNC, will probably face stiffer opposition. Since beating the Tar Heels, Louisville has lost to Clemson, but then bounced back with two easy non-conference wins. Lamar Jackson has continued to do Lamar Jackson things since the loss against the Tigers.
NC State moved into the top 25 after moving to 4-1 with a win over Syracuse last weekend. State’s most impressive win came a couple weeks ago against Florida State, but FSU’s performance thus far this season hasn’t been great. How they perform against Louisville will be a test of the thesis that NC State is legitimately good.
The game being Thursday night in prime time gives the game a nice stage for the teams and the conference. It’s a game between two ranked teams, and they’ll get the (college stage) mostly all to themselves.
Wake Forest (4-1, 1-1 ACC) at #2 Clemson (5-0, 3-0 ACC)
Saturday, October 7th at 12:00 PM ET on ESPN2
Clemson added a third top 25 win when they knocked off Virginia Tech in a rematch of last year’s ACC Championship Game last week. There’s obviously still a long way to go, but the Tigers look to be the prohibitive conference favorite yet again.
This week, they host Wake Forest who is 4-1 and is coming off a close loss against Florida State. Wake’s defense held FSU to just 267 total yards, but just came up short. However, it again must be asked how impressive that is considering how Florida State has looked this season. Clemson appears to be on a whole different level, at least so far.
The game is in Clemson, and not shockingly the Tigers are a big favorite. Clemson probably should continue their tour of pain, but Wake is at least better than people probably expected.
#13 Miami (3-0, 1-0 ACC) at Florida State (1-2, 1-1 ACC)
Saturday, October 7th at 3:30 PM ET on ESPN
Miami comes into this game undefeated, but now has to face their biggest thorn. The Hurricanes haven’t beaten Florida State since 2009, and in the last couple years, have gone into a swoon and lost games immediately following the FSU loss.
This year represents a decent chance to change that and pick up a win in Tallahassee. The Hurricanes come in undefeated and have scored at least 30 points in every game so far this season.
Florida State has obviously been in a bit of a rut following the injury to Deondre Francois. They do now have a win, but it was closer than people would have expected the Wake Forest game to be coming into the season.
This week represents an opportunity for both teams to make a turn around. For Miami, they can finally get over the Florida State hump, and set themselves up to have a really good season and make some noise in the Coastal. For FSU, it’s a chance to get back to .500 and build up some steam heading into games against Louisville and Clemson.