The ACC had built some great in-conference matchups into Week 3 in order to get momentum going for the season. One of them, Miami at FSU, was all set to take the Primetime spot. Hurricane Irma has changed all that.
Thanks to some tinkering, the conference still puts out a great lineup on display—and truth be told, the right game is probably taking the 8:00 PM spot.
#3 Clemson(2-0) @ #14 Louisville (2-0)
Saturday, September 16th, 8 PM ET on ABC
Last year’s matchup was arguably the game of the year in the conference, and both solidified Clemson’s run to the National Title, as well as announced to the country that Lamar Jackson was the real deal. Can the sequel live up to the original?
There’s no doubt the Cardinals circled this one as soon as the schedule came out, and now the move from 3:30 to 8 PM, plus the arrival of College Gameday will create an electric atmosphere in Papa John’s stadium. Just ask Florida State what happens when you have a Louisville crowd keyed up by the crew of ESPN’s signature show
Clemson’s defense was as good as advertised last weekend against Auburn, holding War Eagle to 6 points, and after an easy win over Kent State, new Clemson quarterback Kelly Bryant showed he could stand up to pressure. He should have an easier time against a Louisville D that surrendered 35 points last week.
The real star-studded matchup is Lamar Jackson versus the Clemson D. Last year was a shootout, and the defense isn’t looking to be used as a launching pad for Jackson’s campaign for a Heisman repeat. If he gets anywhere close to replicating his offense of the last two weekends, look for the Heisman hype to start again in earnest.
#9 Oklahoma State (2-0) @ Pittsburgh (1-1)
Saturday, September 16th, Noon ET on ESPN
Pitt faces their second Top Ten matchup in a row, this game being a rematch of the game last year that was surprisingly close. This time, the Cowboys fly up to the Steel City in a game they hope isn’t quite as close. Oklahoma State has aspirations for the CFP this year, and they want to get to Bedlam clean.
Pittsburgh’s attack hasn’t been as potent as last year, and their one win over Youngstown State was only by 7 points. Last week’s game against Penn State wasn’t as close as the 33-14 score.
Pittsburgh will likely try to slow down the potent OSU attack by a ground control game, with backs Qadree Ollison and Chawntez Moss. Meanwhile, QB Max Browne will try to recover from the two picks thrown against their in-state rivals.
OSU, meanwhile, looks to stand tall in their first Power 5 test of the year. Last year was likely the best chance Pitt had to spring the upset, but the Panthers may catch OSU looking ahead to their Big XII opener next weekend.
Notre Dame (1-1) @ Boston College (1-1)
Saturday, September 16th, 3:30 PM on ESPN
The image you see above was from Fenway Park two seasons ago, in what was considered a home game for The Fighting Irish. Actually, it was a home game for Notre Dame.
Saturday’s game will be on two radio stations in Boston—the more powerful of the two will be carrying the Notre Dame Feed. It’s fair to say that BC hasn’t exactly captured the imagination of the Hub, but hey, great to have them in the ACC, right?
Snark aside, it’ll be Notre Dame’s first visit to Chestnut Hill since 2012. The Irish are currently on a five-game winning streak over their Holy War Rival, but that’s coming off a six game streak by the Eagles. Both teams are coming off losses, Notre Dame to Georgia and BC to Wake Forrest. On paper, this game looks to have blowout potential as Notre Dame has looked impressive in their first two games and BC has...not.
That said, Notre Dame’s season started going downhill quickly last year after losing games that everyone thought would be a cakewalk. This game is perched perilously between UGA and their annual game against Michigan State, making all of the trap game alarms go off. How the Irish respond Saturday will likely be a key for the rest of the season.
As for BC, they’ll be searching for five more wins this season, and their performance against Wake doesn’t portend well to getting to that number. On the plus side, they should get plenty of practice in playing in a hostile road environment prior to going down to Clemson next weekend. You think I’m kidding? Check the prices on Stubhub for this game. You think BC fans are paying for those tickets?
Most of them will likely be a couple of miles down Comm Ave in Fenway watching the Sox.
Which Game Are you Looking Forward to seeing the Most
This poll is closed
Clemson @ Louisville
Oklahoma St @ Pittsburgh
Notre Dame @ Boston College