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Around the ACC: Week 3

We look around the conference with the ACC entering week 3.

As Florida State prepares to travel up to Wake Forest for its first conference game of the season, multiple other ACC conference games are also taking place.

Here is a peek at the schedule and a quick preview of each team entering the matchup.

Atlantic:

UCF (2-0) @ Louisville (1-1) - Friday, 7:30 p.m

The Cardinals will have their hands full with a UCF offense that's averaging 49.5 points per game. In their 43-24 loss against Ole Miss week one, the Cardinals allowed 381 passing yards. Their defensive backs will be challenged downfield by Knights quarterback Dillion Gabriel, who has 622 yards and six touchdowns through two weeks. The quarterback matchup between Gabriel and Malik Cunningham could determine which team walks away with a win.

Albany (0-2) @ Syracuse (1-1) - Saturday, Noon

The Orange managed only 7 points against Rugters last week, but should see an uptick in offensive production this weekend. Albany is on a five-game losing streak, dating back to March 13 of last season (played FCS spring season). Syracuse head coach Dino Barbers is firmly on the hot seat, and if he somehow drops this game (crazier things have happened), his future could be bleak.

Boston College (2-0) @ Temple (1-1) - Saturday, Noon

The Eagles will be without quarterback Phil Jurkovec, who suffered a right hand injury that will likely end his season. Redshirt junior Dennis Grosel is now tasked to lead a program who had hopes of challenging Clemson in the Atlantic division this season. Temple is allowing 195.5 yards on the ground this season, which should give Boston College running back Parick Garwo an advantage on the ground.

Furman (2-0) @ NC State (1-1) - Saturday, 7:30 p.m

Similar to Boston College, the Wolfpack fell victim to the injury bug last week.. Linebacker Payton Wilson and safety Cyrus Fagan suffered season-ending injuries in the 24-10 loss to Mississippi State. Furman is undefeated, but those wins have come against North Carolina A&T and Tennessee-Tech. Look for Wolfpack running back Zonovan Knight, who was held to 31 yards against the Bulldogs, to have a bounce back game.

Cross Divisional:

Georgia Tech (1-1) @ #6 Clemson (1-1) - Saturday, 3:30 p.m

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The Yellow Jackets defense will have their hands full with a talented duo in quarterback DJ Uiagaleli and wide receiver Justyn Ross. True freshman running back Will Shipley found the endzone twice for Clemson last week, and could become an X-factor for the offense. The Tigers won last year’s matchup 73-7.

Coastal:

#15 Virginia Tech (2-0) @ West Virginia (1-1) - Saturday, Noon

Justin Fuente and the Hokies are considered the front-runners in the Coastal division up to this point. The offense is coming along slowly, but the defense has already hauled in four interceptions and allowed just 24 points through two games. The Mountaineers are no push over, with an offense averaging 433.5 yards per contest. West Virginia does most of its damage through quarterback Jarret Doege.

#24 Miami (1-1) vs. Michigan State (2-0) - Saturday, Noon

This matchup is intriguing, because both offenses have the talent to put up gaudy numbers, but only one has thus far. D’Eriq King and the Hurricanes narrowly escaped Appalachian State (25-23) last week, as the offense looked stagnant at times. Michigan State (40.0 PPG) will rely heavily on running back Kenneth Walker II, who is up to 321 yards and five touchdowns on the year. With fans back in the stadium, the Spartans should benefit from a great atmosphere.

Pittsburgh (2-0) vs. Western Michigan (1-1) - Saturday, Noon

The Panthers are riding high after a 41-34 win on the road against Tenneesse. Quarterback Kenny Pickett threw for 285 yard and two touchdowns. The Broncos pass defense has allowed only 122.5 passing yards per game. Look for the Western Michigan to utilize a slow-tempo offense to hang around as long as they can.

Duke (1-1) vs. Northwestern (1-1) - Saturday, 4 p.m.

After a loss opening weekend to Charlotte, the Blue Devils found their groove in a 45-17 victory over North Carolina A&T. Hunter Johnson has played well for the Wildcats at quarterback (349 yards, four touchdowns) and could give the Blue Devils secondary issues in the short to intermediate passing game. In their all-time series, these two programs are tied 10-10. Duke won the last meeting 21-7 in 2018.

#21 North Carolina (1-1) vs. Virginia (2-0) - Saturday, 7:30 p.m

This matchup has a strong possibility to be the highest-scoring affair of the weekend. Cavaliers quarterback Brennan Armstrong has a 7/1 touchdown to interception ratio through two weeks, and Sam Howell is coming off a 352 yard and three touchdown performance against Georgia State last week. The Tar Heel secondary will need to have their best performance of the season, or UNC could start conference play 0-2. Although it's just week three, whoever loses this game will have a difficult path to winning the coastal.