This will be an interesting week in the Atlantic Coast Conference with some three conference matchups on the schedule while the other eight teams are stepping outside of ACC play.
The Clemson-Wake Forest game is the first one that jumps out as early control of the Atlantic Division could be on the line. Syracuse looks to improve to 4-0 when Virginia comes to town while the story is the same when undefeated Florida State plays host to Boston College.
After a season when Clemson failed to reach the ACC title game, things look to be back to normal with the Tigers the only team in the top 10 in the odds to win the national title per the college football lines.
In the ACC odds, Clemson (-155) is the overwhelming favorite followed by Miami (+475) and North Carolina State (+650) according to the sportsbook.
Game of the Week
Clemson Tigers vs Wake Forest Demon Deacons
- Date, time, TV: Saturday, noon ET (ABC)
- Line: Clemson -7½
This should be a fun one. Perennial Atlantic Division and ACC champion Clemson fell a game shy of another division title in 2021 as Wake Forest headied to the ACC title game.
Quarterbacks DJ Uiagalelei of Clemson and Sam Hartman of Wake Forest can put on a show while Clemson’s Beaux Collins and Wake Forest’s A.T. Perry are two of the top receivers in the ACC. A difference might be Clemson running back Will Shipley, who has already found the end zone six times.
In records dating back to 1950, no Clemson Tiger had ever rushed for multiple touchdowns in the first three games of the season…until now. 🐅 pic.twitter.com/maOPTJIzAP
— Clemson Football (@ClemsonFB) September 21, 2022
Clemson’s defense isn’t as dominant as the group that led the ACC in 2021 and there are some question marks about the availability of a couple of key defensive linemen for the Tigers.
Clemson has won 13 games in a row against Wake Forest but the Demon Deacons have covered against the college football picks in five of the last eight matchups.
Other Games to Watch
West Virginia Mountaineers vs Virginia Tech Hokies
- Date, time, TV: Thursday, 7:30 p.m. ET (ESPN)
- Line: West Virginia -1½
More is expected from Marshall transfer Grant Wells who has four TD passes and four interceptions) for Virginia Tech.
There are questions regarding the availability of Virginia Tech’s leading rusher Keshawn King. Hokies linebacker Dax Hollifield has 23 tackles, three tackles for loss, two pass breakups and a fumble recovery.
It’s not a good sign for the host Hokies that a 1-2 West Virginia team is favored in this game and that figures to catch the attention of those who bet online.
Virginia Cavaliers vs Syracuse Orange
- Date, time, TV: Friday, 7:00 p.m. ET (ESPN)
- Line: Syracuse -9
Teams have a chance to show they are as good as their records when 2-1 Virginia plays at 3-0 Syracuse.
Syracuse quarterback Garrett Shrader is starting to show that he is more than just a talented runner. He is one touchdown pass shy of last year’s total and has yet to throw an interception. He teams with Sean Tucker to give the Orange a pair of dynamic runners.
Virginia quarterback Brennan Armstrong is off to a slow start with two TD passes and three interceptions in three games.
Rhode Island Rams vs Pittsburgh Panthers
- Date, time, TV: Saturday, 12 noon ET (ACC Network)
An overtime loss to Tennessee prevented defending ACC champion Pittsburgh from a 3-0 start.
Keep an eye on the status of leading receiver Jared Wayne who left the last game. Facing an FCS Rhode Island team coming off a 21-point loss to Delaware, there will be little reason to risk playing Wayne if he ready.
Duke Blue Devils vs Kansas Jayhawks
- Date, time, TV: Saturday, 12 noon ET (FS1)
- Line: Kansas -7½
A quick show of hands of how many people predicted this game would be a showdown of 3-0 teams?
The schedule has helped Duke get off to a good start with games against Temple, Northwestern and North Carolina A&T. Still, Duke has show tremendous growth on both sides of the ball. The defense will be tested by a Kansas team averaging 53 points per game.
South Florida Bulls vs Louisville Cardinals
- Date, time, TV: Saturday, 12 noon (ESPN3)
- Line: Louisville -14½
Louisville (1-2) looked much better in last week’s three-point loss to Florida than in its previous game against an FBS opponent when BYU dropped 50 points on the Cardinals.
Both teams allow more than 200 yards rushing and passing so this probably will not be a 17-14 defensive struggle.
Malik Cunningham hasn’t disappointed running the ball as he is second nationally among quarterbacks with 282 rushing yards. However, he needs to show more when dropping back to pass.
Middle Tennessee State Blue Raiders vs Miami Hurricanes
- Date, time, TV: Saturday, 3:30 p.m. ET (ACC Network)
- Line: Miami -26½
Ole Miss transfer Henry Parrish is off to a strong start for the Hurricanes with 302 rushing yards and four touchdowns. More will be needed from Tyler Van Dyke, who according to the college football odds is tied for 15th in the Heisman Trophy odds as he has three TD passes in the first three games.
Miami’s solid defense will be facing a Middle Tennessee State team has is averaging just 311 yards per game.
Notre Dame Fighting Irish vs North Carolina Tar Heels
- Date, time, TV: Saturday, 3:30 p.m. (ABC)
- Line: North Carolina -1½
North Carolina does keep things entertaining as the Tar Heels average 51.3 points per game while allowing 37.7 points.
Notre Dame is the complete opposite as the defense is pretty solid allowing 21.3 points per contest but the offense is a work in progress.
Keep an eye on North Carolina freshman quarterback Drake Maye who is 72 for 97 with 930 yards and 11 touchdown passes in the first three games for undefeated North Carolina.
Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets vs UCF Knights
- Date, time, TV: Saturday, 4:00 p.m. ET (ESPNU)
- Line: UCF -20½
Will Georgia Tech find the end zone? In two games against Football Bowl Subdivision teams, the Yellow Jackets have scored one touchdown. The good news is that the opponent will be unranked UCF after matchups with nationally ranked Clemson and Ole Miss.
UCF isn’t quite the team it was when the Knights were winning American Athletic Conference teams but they are averaging more than 250 yards both running and passing the ball so it could be another long afternoon for Georgia Tech. Containing UCF quarterback John Rhys Plumlee, whose 304 rushing yards are the most of any FBS quarterback, could be a struggle.
UConn Huskies vs North Carolina State Wolfpack
- Date, time, TV: Saturday, 7:30 p.m. ET (ESPN3)
- Line: North Carolina State -39
After being held in the 20s in two of the last three games, a 3-0 North Carolina State should be able to get its offense going against a defensive-challenged UConn squad that is allowing 430 yards and 35 points per game.
It’s been a quiet start for NC State quarterback Devin Leary as he is completing just 59% of his passes and hasn’t passed for more than 250 yards this season.
Boston College Eagles vs Florida State Seminoles
- Date, time, TV: Saturday, 8:00 p.m. ET (ACC Network)
- Line: Florida State -17½
Just when everything was headed in the right direction for undefeated Florida State, quarterback Jordan Travis gets injured. The connection between Travis and Arizona State transfer Johnny Wilson (11 catches for 230 yards) was undeniable. Running back Treshan Ward is averaging 7.6 yards per carry and he is off to a better start than Boston College’s Pat Garwo.
BC quarterback Phil Jurkovec is on the radar of NFL scouts. He does need to cut down on the interceptions.