September 10, 2015

A look at things to watch in the Atlantic Coast Conference for the second week of the season:

GAME OF THE WEEK: No. 9 Notre Dame at Virginia. This game is just one two matchups around the league involving two power-conference schools - Wake Forest-Syracuse is the other - and for the Cavaliers, the Fighting Irish are just the latest Top 25 team they have to face before they even get into ACC play. Virginia opened at No. 13 UCLA and faces No. 20 Boise State in two weeks. ''We embrace the challenges,'' coach Mike London said. ''There's nowhere else to go - can't go around it, can't go under it.''

BEST MATCHUP: Wake Forest's defense against Syracuse's offense. The first league game of the season matches the Demon Deacons - who seem vastly improved over the group that went 3-9 last year - against an Orange team that lost injured quarterback Terrel Hunt for the season. The Demon Deacons allowed FCS member Elon to cross midfield just once in a season-opening 42-3 rout. They don't expect Syracuse to change its offense too much with freshman Eric Dungey making his first start. ''I feel like Eric is fully capable of running the whole offense,'' coach Scott Shafer said.

INSIDE THE NUMBERS: ACC teams beat up on several FCS schools in Week 1 and, in the process, seriously skewed some national stats. Four FBS teams held their opening opponents to fewer than 100 yards and three of those were ACC, with Syracuse allowing 64 yards to Rhode Island, Miami limiting Bethune-Cookman to 79 and Boston College giving up 91 against Maine.

LONG SHOT: Maybe Tulane can catch Georgia Tech napping. The Green Wave want to atone for a 37-7 loss to Duke while the Yellow Jackets had no trouble with Alcorn State. Tulane was competitive in last year's game in New Orleans while Georgia Tech will have to keep from looking ahead to next week's visit to Notre Dame.

PLAYER TO WATCH: Keep an eye on Pittsburgh running back Qadree Ollison. He has the tough job of replacing reigning ACC player of the year James Conner, who's out for the year with a torn knee ligament. Ollison took over for Conner against Youngstown State - before the severity of the injury was known - and rushed for 207 yards and a touchdown as the Panthers held on for a 45-37 win. ''We feel good with where we can go'' with Conner's replacements, coach Pat Narduzzi said.


Compiled by AP Sports Writer Joedy McCreary in Raleigh, North Carolina.

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