ek 3 in ACC Football is upon us and the conference features a number of out of conference games to go with one conference game. Here is what is on tap for the weekend:
Virginia Tech at East Carolina (Saturday, September 14, 12:00p.m.)
The Hokies rebounded from their week one loss to Alabama by taking it out on Western Carolina last week. Things could be a bit tougher in this one with the Pirates, who are always tough at home.
The 1-1 Hokies will look for a solid game from freshman running back Trey Edmunds who has rushed for 200 yards and 3 touchdowns on the season. Logan Thomas will need to steady the ship at quarterback against a hungry East Carolina defense who are looking for an upset.
The Pirates will rely on the arm of quarterback Shane Carden who has already thrown for 638 yards and 7 touchdowns with no interceptions. He will be targeting wide out Justin Hardy, who has 227 yards receiving with a touchdown.
East Carolina has racked up 83 points in two games but have yet to see a defense like Virginia Tech.
Prediction: Virginia Tech by 3
Louisiana-Monroe at Wake Forest (Saturday, September 14, 12:30 p.m.)
This game features two 1-1 teams with the Deacons defeating Presbyterian in Week one while La.-Monroe took care of Grambling State in Week two.
The Warhawks will face a pretty good defense in the Deacs who have only given up an average of just over 15 points a game in their first two.
Lousiana-Monroe are led by quarterback, Kolton Browning who has thrown for 299 yards and 3 touchdowns but has thrown a couple picks.
Meanwhile, Wake Forest is directed by Tanner Price at quarterback. The senior has thrown for 410 yards and 2 touchdowns.
With 15 starters returning for the Deacs and a bulk of those on defense, this should be a defense that improves weekly but the Warhawks put 48 points on the board last week As the old saying goes, something has to give in this one.
Prediction: Wake Forest by 3
New Mexico at Pittsburgh (Saturday, September 14, 12:30 p.m.)
The Panthers are still in search of their first win as a member of the ACC. And they will need an improved effort from their defense in this match up. The Panthers gave up 533 total yards against Florida State in week 1.
They will see a heavy dose of Kasey Carrier who has rushed the ball 61 times for 345 yards and 4 touchdowns for the 1-1 Lobos. New Mexico comes into the game as the 17th ranked rushing team in the Country and only throw sparingly as evidenced last week versus UTEP. In that game they tossed the ball just 7 times in their 42-35 win. Pitt gave up 41 points in their only game.
The Panthers will look for a solid effort from quarterback Tom Savage who threw for 201 yards in the loss to the Seminoles.
Prediction: Pittsburgh by 17
Boston College at Southern Cal (Saturday, September 14, 3:00 p.m.)
There are some very unhappy fans in Los Angeles after the Trojans loss to Washington State last week and USC will look to take it out on Boston College. The improved Eagles are 2-0, traveling cross country.
Southern Cal has only given up 23 points in their two ball games thus far and Lane Kiffen's defense hopes to be strong against a Boston College team who scored 24 points in each of their first two games.
The Eagles are led by Chase Rettig at quarterback who has thrown for over 400 yards and 4 touchdowns this season. They feature a work horse runner in Andre Williams who has 318 yards on 58 carries in the young season. He has two touchdowns under his belt.
Meanwhile, USC will turn to sophomore running back Tre Madden who has racked up 260 yards in two games but has yet to score. But the big question may be how much can quarterback Cody Kessler gets the ball to Marqise Lee, a tandem that should be productive.
The Trojans are 3-0 in the all time match up between the two schools.
Prediction: Southern Cal by 16
Nevada at 10)Florida State (Saturday, September 14, 3:30 p.m.)
Florida State comes into the game off of a bye week after defeating Pitt in Week 1. They racked up the yardage against the Panthers with 377 yards in the air and 156 on the ground. Jameis Winston was almost flawless in this game throwing 27 times, completing 25 of those for 356 yards and 4 touchdowns. Nevada gave up 58 points to UCLA in week one and even though they defeated U.C. Davis last week, will have their hands full keeping this game manageable.
The Wolf Pack will rely heavily on multi-purpose quarterback Cody Fajardo who has thrown for 403 yards and 2 touchdowns and has run for 142 yards and 3 touchdowns. The question will be his health after leaving his last game with a knee issue. He did return to the ball game, however. He will get help on the ground by running back, Kendall Brock who has rushed for 148 yards and two touchdowns this season.
Prediction: Florida State by 37
Georgia Tech at Duke (Saturday, September 14, 3:30 p.m.)
In the only conference game this week, 2-0 Duke hosts the spread attack of 1-0 Georgia Tech. In what used to be an after thought when it came to the Blue Devils, David Cutcliffe has made this team respectable and led them to a Bowl Game last season.
The Blue Devils have turned to Brandon Connette who has replaced injured starter Anthony Boone who is listed out indefinitely. Connette filled in admirably against Memphis last week throwing for 198 yards and 2 touchdowns. He has a big time receiver to throw to in Jamison Crowder who has racked up 202 yards receiving in two games.
The Yellow Jackets hung 70 points on Elon in their only game. They are led by Vad Lee at quarterback and have a variety of weapons at running back and receiver. Duke will be a much stiffer test for the sophomore and this high flying attack than was seen in Week 1.
Prediction: Georgia Tech by 7
Wagner at Syracuse (Saturday, September 14, 4:00 p.m.)
Another team looking for their first ever victory as a member of the ACC is Syracuse. The 0-2 Orange face an opponent they should be able to handle on Saturday.
Syracuse will look to quarterback Drew Allen to become more consistent this week. The senior has thrown for 468 yards in two games but has been intercepted 6 times while only throwing 1 touchdown pass.
They will look to kick start the 101st ranked rushing attack behind Jerome Smith on a team who has only averaged 102 yards per game on the ground.
The Seahawks come into the game 1-1 with a win over Georgetown in week 1.
Prediction: Syracuse by 30
Maryland at Connecticut (Saturday, September 14, 7:30 p.m.)
It is a return to Connecticut for Maryland Coach Randy Edsall. The head man in College Park will face the team he left to become the Head Coach of Maryland.
Maryland enters the game with a 2-0 record and a balanced attack, both offensively and defensively. The Terps have only given up 10 points in each of their two wins (Florida International, Old Dominion) while rolling up both passing and rushing stats in the process.
Quarterback C.J. Brown has been sensational accruing 556 yards passing with 5 touchdowns. Stefon Diggs has been his go-to-guy grabbing 11 passes for 277 yards and 2 touchdowns. Meanwhile, Maryland has used the running of Brandon Ross who has 170 yards rushing along with Brown who has rushed for 135 yards and 4 touchdowns at quarterback.
Connecticut enters the game off of a lopsided loss to Towson in week 1. They are led by quarterback Chandler Whitmer who threw for 2 touchdowns in the loss.
Prediction: Maryland by 8