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ACC football games to watch - Week 1

The preseason conference favorite headlines Week 1 in the ACC

NCAA Football: ACC Football Kickoff Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

The game that is top of mind for most visitors to this site will be the North Carolina Tar Heels versus the California Golden Bears at noon on Saturday. However, there are other games in the league that may have College Football Playoffs or bowl implications in the first week of the 2017 season.

No. 3 Florida State vs. No. 1 Alabama

Capitol One Orange Bowl - Florida State v Michigan
Deondre Francois
Photo by Marc Serota/Getty Images

Saturday, September 2, 2017 at 8:00 PM ET on ABC

These teams ranked in the top five of the AP preseason poll, and will face off in the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Classic in the first college football game at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta.

Florida State is led by reigning ACC Rookie of the Year quarterback Deondre Francois. Alabama’s quarterback Jalen Hurts is the defending SEC Offensive Player of the Year, and also won last season’s SEC Freshman of the Year honor.

Alabama returns just six starters from their no. 2 ranked defense from last season, but has plenty of talent to fill the gaps. On offense, look for the Crimson Tide to rely on the running game. They return three 800+ yard rushers from last season, including Hurts.

Florida State must replace a lot of offense with the departure of FSU’s all-time leading rusher Dalvin Cook. Combine that loss with the top three receivers gone from last season, and there are some question marks on offense. However, the Seminole defense that boasted a top ten adjusted defense from last season is nearly intact.

The line is currently at a touchdown in favor of the Tide. Here’s hoping Alabama’s losing streak to ACC opponents continues.


No. 22 West Virginia vs. No. 21 Virginia Tech

East Carolina v Virginia Tech
Tremaine Edmunds
Photo by Michael Shroyer/Getty Images

Sunday, September 3, 2017 at 7:30 PM ET on ABC

The matchup to watch in this game will be Virginia Tech’s secondary against West Virginia’s new quarterback Will Grier. After a suspension over banned substances and sitting out a year for transferring to WVU, Grier will be back under center in the FBS. He will go up against one of the top projected secondaries in the country. VT linebacker Tremaine Edmunds leads their defensive corps and is poised to have an All-ACC season.

For the Hokies on offense, there will be some question marks with the departure of quarterback Jerod Evans. If running back Travon McMillian does not have a big year, the defense will have to carry the load for Virginia Tech.


No. 25 Tennessee vs. Georgia Tech

Georgia Tech v Virginia Tech
Matthew Jordan
Photo by Michael Shroyer/Getty Images

Monday, September 4, 2017 at 8:00 PM ET on ESPN

Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson has not named a starter at quarterback. The leading candidate coming into the season, redshirt junior Matthew Johnson, is competing with three others for the starting job.

The biggest issue for the Yellow Jackets was the dismissal of Dedrick Mills from the team. Mills, the leading rusher from GT last season, was voted in July to the 2017 All-ACC Preseason Football Team. KirVonte Benson was named the starting B-back this week and will seek to fill the void left by Mills.

However, there is experience on the offensive line and plenty of “options” returning from last season. Additionally, the defense returns all starters from the secondary and has a veteran group in the front seven.


Poll

Besides the Carolina game, which ACC game are you looking forward to watching this weekend?

This poll is closed

  • 76%
    No. 3 Florida State vs. No. 1 Alabama
    (42 votes)
  • 12%
    No. 22 West Virginia vs. No. 21 Virginia Tech
    (7 votes)
  • 5%
    No. 25 Tennessee vs. Georgia Tech
    (3 votes)
  • 5%
    Other
    (3 votes)
55 votes total Vote Now