While it was not a perfect week for the ACC, it was a very good start to the season. A 10-2 record in non-conference matchups is nothing to sneeze at. It matches their previous high for non-conference wins in the first week, which was accomplished three other times. The two non-league losses before last week began may have been counted as wins, but that’s why we played the games. Let’s see what this week has in store for the Atlantic Coast Conference.
There are 11 non-conference games on the docket, with one league game schedule. That one league game pits the two teams that lost in non-league games last week in Boston College vs Virginia Tech. Four contests will feature Power-5 matchups, there will be four games vs group 5/independent schools, and three against FCS schools. An interesting array of games to be sure. The marquee game of the weekend features #24 Tennessee on the road at #17 Pittsburgh. The Panthers lead the all-time series 3-0. The Vols will be making their first trip to Steel City and it’s the first time that Pittsburgh has hosted an SEC school. This will be Tennessee’s first road game against an ACC school since they lost to Georgia Tech back in 1986. This game is called “The Johnny Majors Classic” because Majors coached at both schools.
The lone conference game has two teams that are coming off what may seem like bad losses. Boston College was defeated in its home opener by a Rutgers team that decided to play smash mouth football in the second half and it worked. A 90+ yard drive that chewed up over five minutes of the fourth quarter was the difference in a 22-21 loss. Virginia Tech went on the road and came up empty vs Old Dominion on Friday night by the score of 20-17. While Lane Stadium is not one of BC’s favorite places to play, the Eagles have won three of the last four games, including last year’s 17-3 victory at Chestnut Hill. This will be the 30th all-time game between the two teams.
The Virginia Cavaliers will be looking to make it two in a row this weekend against Illinois. Last season’s game took place in Charlottesville with Virginia coming out on top 42-14. Virginia QB, Brennan Armstrong had a big day throwing the football vs Illinois. He went for 405 yards passing and five touchdowns on 27-of-36 through the air. This begins a tough stretch for the Cavaliers as they will have three of their next four on the road.
Duke heads to the midwestern part of the country to play Northwestern on Saturday. The Blue Devils won last year’s meeting at home and now lead the all-time series at 11-10. This series started back in 1985 and this will be the 22nd time the two schools have met. This is also head coach Mike Elko’s first road game as Duke’s head coach. On Friday night, Louisville heads to UCF for their second straight prime-time meeting. This will be the fourth time the two schools have played each other. Both programs did spend one year together in the America Athletic Conference in 2013 with UCF winning 38-35 in Louisville. This is the first of three Friday night games for the Cardinals, with two more coming up this month.
Syracuse heads to Connecticut to meet the Huskies for the 12th time in a series that dates back to 2002. UConn has the edge winning six of the nine previous nine games. However, the Orange have won the last three. These two have not played since 2018 when Syracuse won by 30 points. These two programs were part of the Big East Conference back in the day. Clemson is fresh off their opening night win over Georgia Tech on Labor Day night. They will be looking for their 32nd straight win over Furman on Saturday. North Carolina takes on a Sun Belt team on the road for the second straight week as they head to Georgia State. Last year was the first-ever meeting between the two with the Tar Heels winning 59-17. If all goes well for UNC, we could be in store for another Mac Brown dance with his team following the game in the locker room.
Wake Forest heads to Nashville to take on Vanderbilt. This is the first meeting between the teams since 2013 and the sixth time in the last 17 years. The Commodores have won the last three head-to-head meetings. Wake is Vanderbilt’s most common non-league opponent. This series dates back to 1964 when Vandy won 9-6. North Carolina State opens up its home schedule on Saturday vs Charleston Southern. Last season, the Wolfpack were undefeated at home for the first time since 1986 and became one of six in school history. NC State has won its last 10 home openers and begins a three-game homestand against non-league foes. Georgia Tech head coach Geoff Collins takes on his alma mater Western Carolina this weekend. This is the first of three consecutive non-conference games for the Yellow Jackets this month. Tech leads this series 5-0 with the last meetings back in 2011. Miami and Southern Miss will meet for the very first time on Saturday afternoon. The Golden Eagles have a famous name of note on their roster. Frank Gore Jr., son of the former Miami and NFL standout is on the Southern Miss roster. This is the second of four non-conference games in a row for the Hurricanes.
Last week’s Rookie of the Week and Quarterback of the Week was UNC Drake Maye who went 24-of-36 for 352 yards, 4TDs, and a quarterback rating of 94.3. He was also on the Manning Award list and the Davey O’Brien Award list. In his first two career starts, Maye has thrown nine touchdowns and zero INTs. Only four other QB’s in the past 15 years can make that claim.
That’s all for this week. We will be back next week with more from the ACC.
- America East ConferenceFebruary 25, 2024Four in Double Figures Help UMass Lowell Defeat UAlbany, 104-95
- America East ConferenceFebruary 23, 2024Brooks’ Double-Double and UMass Lowell Beat Binghamton, 87-80
- PWHLFebruary 22, 2024PWHL Boston Snaps Four-Game Skid With 3-1 Win Over Ottawa
- America East ConferenceFebruary 22, 2024America East Baseball News & Notes: Great Start for River Hawks