Dabo Swinney
ACC FOOTBALL

ACCF Week 3: Big Atlantic Showdown

Week 3 of the college football season is coming at you fast. Here’s what’s going on in the ACC this week, including another huge matchup involving the defending national champions. Outside of that, not a lot of interesting games.

#3 Clemson @ #14 Louisville

Papa John’s Stadium — Louisville, KY — 8:00pm (ABC)

Spread: Clemson -3

Big time Atlantic tilt under the lights Saturday night.

Last week’s comeback win on Auburn was a statement for Clemson. Everyone was talking about Florida State as the favorites before the season, but the Tigers haven’t missed much of a beat from last year. No, the offense isn’t as potent, but Kelly Bryant is proving he’s more than capable — his two rushing TDs were Clemson’s only scores. The Tiger D is absolutely sick. They tallied 11 — ELEVEN — sacks and absolutely harassed Gus Malzahn’s crew.

Louisville QB Lamar Jackson is putting up video game numbers again, but you can attribute a lot of that to the horrific UNC defense (now 126th in the country). I think that stops Saturday night. The Cardinal offensive line will have its collective hands full with Clemson’s front. I think giving the points and taking Clemson is easy money.

#9 Oklahoma State @ Pittsburgh

Heinz Field — Pittsburgh, PA — 12:00pm (ESPN)

Spread: Oklahoma State -12.5

Interesting game to start your Saturday here. For some reason, I like Pat Narduzzi and Pitt. Not necessarily to win this game, but I feel like he’s going to build a solid program there. Last year, the Panthers got into a shootout with Mike “The Mullet” Gundy’s Cowboys and it ultimately came up short, thanks to their secondary.

This year’s secondary doesn’t look much better. I thought Pitt would give Penn State a harder time, but that game wasn’t ever in question. I think they’ll struggle with the OK State pass attack again in this one.

Notre Dame @ Boston College

Alumni Stadium — Chestnut Hill, MA — 3:30pm (ESPN)

Spread: Notre Dame -13

College football’s Holy War used to be a pretty big damn deal, at least on the BC campus. According to the Boston Globe’s Dan Shaughnessy, there’s nary a buzz on The Heights this week. You can blame Steve Addazio for that. The Eagles were spanked by Wake last weekend thanks to another putrid offensive performance, which has become the hallmark of that meathead’s five-year tenure.

The diehards turned on “Daz” two years ago. A blowout loss to the Irish — which I fully expect — should mercifully mark the beginning of the end of this Dazaster. Should be a fun yelling contest between Addazio and confirmed psychopath Brian Kelly.

#16 Virginia Tech @ East Carolina

Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium — Greenville, NC — 3:30pm (CBS Sports Network)

Spread: Virginia Tech -23.5

You think East Carolina regrets running Ruffin McNeill out of town?

Usually ECU is good for an upset, whether it be against NC State or Virginia Tech. Ain’t gonna happen against the Hokies this year. The Pirates defense is spectacularly shitty, giving up more than 600 yards a game. That’s good for 128th out of 129 teams. When you combine that with a mediocre offense (66th), the result is pure garbage.

I think Josh Jackson and the Hokie offense have a field day. This one, along with next week against Old Dominion, will be good tune-ups for what should be a massive showdown with Clemson in Blacksburg in a couple of weeks.

Baylor @ Duke

Wallace Wade Stadium — Durham, NC — 12:30pm (ACC Network)

Spread: Duke -13.5

Duke may very well end up being the surprise team of the Coastal this year. Last week’s beatdown of Northwestern turned some heads for sure. QB Daniel Jones has the Devil offense humming right now. He’s got the makings to be a star.

Matt Rhule’s start at Baylor has literally been as bad as could be. Losses to Liberty and UT-San Antonio. I guess that’s what happens when you agree to take over a complete cesspool. Baylor shouldn’t be a problem for Duke. And with UNC looking as bad as they have, Cutcliffe’s boys should realistically be 4-0 hosting Miami.

Central Michigan @ Syracuse

Carrier Dome — Syracuse, NY — 3:30pm (ACC Network)

Spread: Syracuse -10.5

Losing to Middle Tennessee wasn’t a good look for an Orange team trying to make it back to a bowl for the first time since 2013. If I were a Syracuse fan, I wouldn’t be feeling all warm and fuzzy about playing Central Michigan. The Chippewas lit up Kansas last week, led by QB Shane Morris’ 467 yards and 5 TDs. Could be a high-scoring affair in the Dome.

Utah State @ Wake Forest

BB&T Field — Winston-Salem, NC — 3:00pm (ACC Network)

Spread: Wake Forest -13.5

If you’re trying to get to a bowl, you have to beat peer programs on the road. Wake did just that against BC last week. The Deacs should be feeling confident as they host Utah State. This one shouldn’t be much of a problem for Tie Dye Nation.

Connecticut @ Virginia

Scott Stadium — Charlottesville, VA — 12:00pm (ESPN2)

Spread: Virginia -10.5

LOL at this game and LOL that’s it’s on ESPN2! Would love to meet the ESPN bigwig who thought this pillow fight deserved to be on broadcast TV. This is easily UVA’s best chance at a win for the rest of the season. If you can’t beat UConn at home, you got problems, Bronco.

North Carolina @ Old Dominion

S.B. Ballard Stadium — Norfolk, VA — 3:30pm

Spread: North Carolina -10

I honestly forgot Old Dominion is an FBS team now. Conference USA, in fact. They won the Bahamas Bowl last year. Don’t know why you agree to schedule this road game if you’re Carolina, but the Heels need a win badly. Good news: ODU is struggling on offense (107th overall). Bad news: I don’t think this game is on TV anywhere.

Furman @ NC State

Carter-Finley Stadium — Raleigh, NC — 12:20pm (ACC Network)

NC State looked shaky in the first half against Marshall. Pounding Furman hopefully gives a little momentum before ACC play heats up.

Off This Week

#17 Miami @ #11 Florida State – POSTPONED

Georgia Tech @ Central Florida – CANCELED

RCS sends thoughts and prayers to everyone who has been affected by Hurricane Irma and Hurricane Harvey!

Featured photo: Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney is loving his defense so far in 2017. Photo credit Clemson Athletics.