College football is in full swing as Week 4 kicked off last night with Tulane stunning Houston. While the Seminoles/Cardinals is the only ACC matchup this week, there’s still some under-the-radar games. Here’s what to watch for in the ACC in Week 4:
Boston College (-8.5) at Rutgers, Saturday, noon, BTN Network
The Eagles suffered one of the worst losses in recent memory last Friday evening. They fell to the Kansas Jayhawks at home as 21.5 point favorites. Rutgers, coming off a 30-0 shellacking at Iowa, will look to spoil Boston College’s plans of getting back in the win column. AJ Dillon ranks top 15 nationally in rushing yards a game, gaining 4.7 yards every carry. Rutgers ranks 19th statistically in total defense.
Western Michigan (+5.0) at Syracuse, Saturday, noon, ACC Network
Another team looking to bounce back from a disappointing loss is Syracuse. The Orange only mustered 187 yards of total offense and six points in a lopsided defeat to Clemson. They welcome an upset-minded Broncos team that averages 501 total yards of offense per game. That bodes trouble for a Syracuse team that’s given up 104 points in their last two games. In fact, Syracuse ranks 125th out of 130 teams in total defense.
Elon (+27.5) at Wake Forest, Saturday, noon, ACCNX
The Demon Deacons have been one of the more impressive teams in the ACC, so far. They edged North Carolina last weekend 24-18 to get to 3-0, one of three undefeated ACC squads. Wake Forest does it through the air, and rank 17th nationally with 309 passing yards per game. The Demon Deacons should have little trouble with the Phoenix of Elon.
Louisville (+6.5) at Florida State, Saturday, 3:30pm, ESPN
A solid upset pick this weekend might be this game. Florida State’s defense is really bad, giving up 485 yards a game, which ranks 122nd in the country. Louisville’s offense, which does most of their damage on the ground, may present significant problems to a struggling Seminole run defense. Cards’ freshman running back Javian Hawkins has exploded onto the scene in the first three games, sitting at 11th in the FBS in rushing yards.
Florida State’s Cam Akers has been impressive, too, sitting in the top five nationally in rushing yards. The Cardinals rank 12th in the nation in 260.3 rushing yards per game. Florida State’s priority number one is stopping the Cards run game. If they can do that, and limit their mistakes on offense, they have a chance of winning, and perhaps letting Willie Taggart live to see another week.
Central Florida (-12) at Pittsburgh, Saturday, 3:30pm, ABC/ESPN2
The Panthers surprisingly hung tough with Penn State in Happy Valley last week, eventually falling 17-10. Still, there’s some positive Pittsburgh can take away from that game, as they out-gained the Nittany Lions in yardage and held them to 17 points.
This week, Pitt faces another ranked opponent, this time Central Florida. The Knights have won their last 27 regular season games, a streak that looks to continue throughout 2019 and beyond. UCF ranks second in the country in total offense, while Pittsburgh ranks 58th in passing defense.
Appalachian State (+3) at North Carolina, Saturday, 3:300pm, ACCNX
The Tar Heels failed to make it a third come-from-behind victory in a row as they fell to Wake Forest last week, while Appalachian State has beaten two inferior opponents through three weeks. This game will feature two offenses that move the ball down the field, as both average over 400 yards of offense.
Both teams also like to give up a lot of yards, too, as the defenses are allowing 400 yards per game. UNC should have the edge playing at home and coming off of a loss, but the Mountaineers have enough talent and experience to make it interesting, at least.
Central Michigan (+29.5) at Miami, Saturday, 4:00 pm, ACCN
The Hurricanes took out their frustration after an 0-2 start by hammering Bethune-Cookman 63-0 last weekend. This week, they host Central Michigan, who was trounced at Wisconsin by 61 points in Week 2. QB Jarren Williams will look to build on last week’s sharp performance and Miami should cruise to victory and get to 2-2 overall.
Old Dominion (+29) at Virginia, Saturday, 7:00pm, ESPN2
The Cavaliers survived Florida State last week to get to 3-0, while the Monarchs had a bye week after a tough loss to Virginia Tech a few weeks prior. Virginia appears to be the best team in the Coastal as the Tar Heels may be their only challenger in the division.
A matchup against an FCS opponent can always be tough to get up for, but especially when you play a top-10 team on the road the following week. Virginia must take care of business versus Old Dominion before looking ahead to Notre Dame next week. We all remember what the Monarchs did to the Hokies a year ago.
Ball State (+19) at NC State, Saturday, 7:00pm, ESPNU
Let’s be honest, it was a bad week for the ACC last week. NC State contributed to that mess with a 17-point, 44-27 loss to a rebuilding West Virginia team. They’ll look to bounce back on Saturday against Ball State, who’s defense is allowing over 430 yards of offense to their opponents. The Wolfpack open up ACC play next weekend at Florida State.
Charlotte (+41.5) at Clemson, Saturday, 7:30pm, ACCN
Unlike in 2017 at the Carrier Dome, Clemson had no problem whatsoever with Syracuse on Saturday, winning 41-6. The Tigers’ defense is just as good as last year’s, limiting the Orange to 15 rushing yards and six points on offense. The Charlotte 49er’s rank sixth in the FBS in rushing, but 108th in rushing yards allowed. Look for Tiger’s RB Travis Etienne to have a big night on the ground.
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