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ACC Primer: Week 2

By Christian Goeckel
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Christian Goeckel previews Week 2 in the ACC

Louisville (0-1) at UCF (1-0), 7:30 PM ET (Fri), ESPN2
Announcers: Roy Philpott, Andre Ware, Paul Carcaterra
Series history: Louisville leads 2-1
Last meeting: 2021 - Louisville 42, UCF 35
Line: -6.0
O/U: 61.5

There were plenty of disappointing results in Week 1, but maybe none more surprising than Louisville’s 31-7 splat at Syracuse. The Cardinals came in with one of the more exciting quarterbacks in college football in Malik Cunningham but couldn’t muster a single score after the 1st quarter. Louisville was out rushed 208-137. Now they head down to Orlando to face a UCF team led by transfer QB John Rys Plumlee, who totaled over 400 yards in the Knights 56-10 win over SC State. Louisville may have to wait a few weeks before they put a mark in the win column.

Prediction: UCF 38 - Louisville 17


Southern Miss (0-1) at 15 Miami (1-0), Noon ET, ACCN
Announcers: Chris Cotter, Mark Herzlich, Lericia Harris
Series history: First Meeting
Last meeting: N/A
Line: Miami -25.0
O/U: 51

This should be another easy day in Hard Rock for the Hurricanes. One cool note: Southern Miss is led by running back Frank Gore Jr, son of ‘Canes legend Frank Gore. The younger Gore rushed for 178 yards and 2 touchdowns on 32 carries in the Golden Eagles’ 2OT loss to Liberty.

Prediction: Miami 55 - Southern Miss 14


23 Wake Forest (1-0) at Vanderbilt (2-0), Noon ET, SECN
Announcers: Dave Neal, Deuce McAllister, Andraya Carter
Series history: Vanderbilt leads 10-6
Last meeting: 2013 - Vanderbilt 23, Wake 21
Line: Wake -13.0
O/U: 65.0

This game became more and less interesting with the return of Sam Hartman for Wake. More because we get our first look at Hartman, one of the country’s most prolific passers in 2021. Less so, because Hartman should make this a relatively simple exercise for the Deacs. Sure, Vanderbilt has shown some explosiveness on offense in their first two games, but those came against Hawaii (79th in yards per play against in 2021) and FCS’ Elon. Vandy is undoubtedly improved, but Wake Forest should handle them.

Prediction: Wake Forest 42 - Vanderbilt 17


Duke (1-0) at Northwestern (1-0), Noon ET, FS1
Announcers: Eric Collins, Devin Gardner
Series history: Duke leads 11-10
Last meeting: 2021 - Duke 30, Northwestern 23
Line: NU -10.5
O/U: 57.0

It’s easy to forget Duke started 2021 3-1, before losing their remaining 8 games. One of those wins, a nailbiter against Northwestern in Week 3. This year, both teams enter the matchup coming off of relatively impressive opening week wins. Duke trounced Temple 30-0, while Northwestern came from behind to beat Nebraska in Ireland. Riley Leonard was excellent for the Blue Devils, totaling 392 yards and 2 touchdowns in the win. More importantly for Duke, their defense held Temple to just 2.2 yards per carry. That will be important against a Northwestern team that wore down Nebraska on the ground late in that game.

Prediction: Duke 31 - Northwestern 28


North Carolina (2-0) at Georgia State (0-1), Noon ET, ESPNU
Announcers: Clay Matvick, Rocky Boiman, Dawn Davenport
Series history: North Carolina leads 1-0
Last meeting: 2021 - North Carolina 59, Georgia State 17
Line: UNC -7.0
O/U: 64.5

After surviving at App State, in what may end up being the game of the year, North Carolina continues their tour though the Sun Belt with a trip to Center Parc Stadium (formerly Turner Field). Both teams enter with confidence in one side and serious questions about the other. For the Tar Heels, the offense has been spectacular behind Drake Maye, but the defense has been atrocious under new DC Gene Chizik. For the Panthers, their defense has been the calling card under Shawn Elliot, and they played well at South Carolina, allowing just 20 points (the final scores for South Carolina came off of blocked punts). The offense was disappointing, especially considering the expectations for senior quarterback Darren Grainger. The Panthers don’t have the same types of weapons as App State.

Prediction: UNC 52 - Georgia State 24


Charleston Southern (0-1) at 18 NC State (1-0), 12:30 ET, ESPN3
Announcers: Tom Werme, James Bates, Lyndsay Rowley
Series history: First meeting
Last meeting: N/A
Line: N/A
O/U: N/A

Say what you will about NC State’s win over East Carolina in Week 1, but they did win. Pretty sure Dave Doeren will take an ugly win over a pretty loss any day. Speaking of Doeren, the Wolfpack is 9-0 in his tenure against FCS opponents. Expect that to continue.

Prediction: NC State 56 - Charleston Southern 14


Furman (1-0) at 5 Clemson (1-0), 3:30 ET, ACCN
Announcers: Wes Durham, Roddy Jones, Taylor Davis
Series history: Clemson leads 43-10-4
Last meeting: 2018 - Clemson 48, Furman 7
Line: N/A
O/U: N/A

Clemson hasn’t lost at home since their shocking 43-42 loss to Pitt in 2016. This game won’t be close. That said, Clemson can still get some feedback on some major questions on offense. Is Uiagalelei the guy? Can the offensive line create a push? Who are the playmakers? A few years ago, this game would’ve been a headache due to Furman’s flexbone sets, but like most others, the Paladins have moved to a more spread approach, removing any spice from this game.

Prediction: Clemson 63 - Furman 3


24 Tennessee (1-0) at 17 Pitt (1-0), 3:30 ET, ABC
Announcers: Sean McDonough, Todd Blackledge, Molly McGrath
Series history: Pitt leads 3-0
Last meeting: 2021 - Pitt 41, Tennessee 34
Line: Tennessee -6.0
O/U: 64.5

Pitt survived a slobberknocker last week against West Virginia in their first Backyard Brawl since 2011. Now they must find a way to emotionally rebound against the fast-paced attack of Tennessee. This matchup last year turned into a pleasant surprise, with Kenny Pickett leading the Panthers to a big time win in Knoxville. Though it was a tough loss for the Vols, it also began the Hendon Hooker era, when the Virginia Tech transfer stepped in for starter Joe Milton during the 2nd quarter and proceeded to throw for 188 yards and 2 scores. It’s hard to tell what to expect out of each team based off of Week 1. Tennessee demolished Ball State, but much of their hype still seems to be coming from last season, even though the Vols finished 7-6. As for Pitt, what can you really garner from a heated rivalry? Especially one played the first week of the season. We should be in for another fun one.

Prediction: Tennessee 42, Pitt 28


Virginia (1-0) at Illinois (1-1), 4:00 ET, ESPNU
Announcers: Kevin Brown, Hutson Mason
Series history: Illinois leads 2-1
Last meeting: 2021 - Virginia 42 - Illinois 14
Line: Illinois -4.0
O/U: 57.5

A win is a win, but Virginia’s 34-17 win over Richmond didn’t exactly invigorate the Cavalier fanbase in Tony Elliot’s debut. The offense struggled to find identity, and the defense got pushed around at times. Now Virginia takes their show on the road to take on an Illinois team coming off of a tough loss at Indiana. Brennan Armstrong will need another strong performance (copy & paste that for every preview for Virginia this year) and the Cavalier defense will have to slow down running back Chase Brown.

Prediction: Virginia 27, Illinois 24


Syracuse (1-0) at UConn (1-1), 7:00 ET, CBSSN
Announcers: Meghan McPeak, Christian Fauria, Justin Walters
Series history: UConn leads 6-3
Last meeting: 2018 - Syracuse 51 - UConn 21
Line: Syracuse -22.5
O/U: 49.5

Syracuse was excellent in their 31-7 win over Louisville. Garrett Shrader looked sharp following his first offseason as the unquestioned starter for the Orange. Sean Tucker, last year’s freshman star at running back, picked up right where he left off, rushing for 100 yards. Now, Syracuse has a strong chance to improve to 2-0. UConn is making strides under Jim Mora, but the Huskies still have ways to go.

Prediction: Syracuse 42, UConn 14


Western Carolina (1-0) at Georgia Tech (0-1), 7:00 ET, ACCNX/ESPN+
Announcers: John Schriffen, Rene Ingoglia, Jalyn Johnson
Series history: Georgia Tech leads 5-0
Last meeting: 2011 - Georgia Tech 63 - Western Carolina 21
Line: N/A
O/U: N/A

Tech had better win this one. If not, barring something wild happening, Georgia Tech will finish the season winless. Things are bad on the Flats. Jeff Sims is the lone bright spot on an otherwise bad, bad team. With that said, Western Carolina is not a bad team. Quarterback, Carlos Davis threw for 433 yards and 6 touchdowns in the Catamounts' Week 1 win over Charleston Southern.

Prediction: Georgia Tech 35, Western Carolina 27


Boston College (0-1) at Virginia Tech (0-1), 8:00 ET, ACCN
Announcers: Dave O’Brien, Tim Hasselbeck, Kelsey Riggs
Series history: Virginia Tech 19-11
Last meeting: 2021 - Boston College 17 - Virginia Tech 3
Line: Virginia Tech -2.5
O/U: 46.0

Two teams, two one-score losses to start the year, Virginia Tech is coming off of a rough performance against Old Dominion that saw quarterback Grant Wells throw 4 interceptions in the loss. Boston College was only able to tally 28 yards on the ground in their loss to Rutgers. A startling number for a team that prides itself on its ground attack. The Jurkovec to Zay Flowers connection should be the seperating factor in this one. All the good will Brent Pry started with in Blacksburg would be out the door if the Hokies start 0-2.

Prediction: Boston College 28, Virginia Tech 24

Christian Goeckel - Christian is the Content Director for