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    ACC News

    [2022] ACC Weekday Preview Guide: Week 3

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    Week 2 Recap

     

    Winners: :clemson: 52-13 Hou, :duke: 41-0 NMSU, :fsu: 42-16 Char, :unc: 23-20 Wyo, :pitt: 30-10 Cincy, :vt: 34-17 Tul, :wake: 30-27 MiaO

    Losers: :miami:, 13-28 at Zips, :cuse: 24-26 at Purdue

    On Bye: :bc:, :gt:, :louisville:, :ncsu:, :uva:

     

    Players of the Week

    Offense: :clemson: QB Akiem Williams III - 17/26 for 235 yards, 2 TD; 10 carries for 126 yards, 2 TD

    Defense: :fsu: DE Anthony Walton - 3 tackles, 2 TFL, 2.0 sacks

    Special Teams: :unc: K Jeremy Bouchard - 3/3 FG, 2/2 XP, two 40+-yard FG, GW 26-yard FG

     

    Week 3 Previews: TNF

     

    Thursday Night Football

    Raleigh, NC - :ecu: East Carolina Pirates (0-1) at :ncsu: North Carolina State Wolfpack (1-0)

    • Headliner: Defenses Under Siege. East Carolina and NC State enter this game on different sides of the W/L column but with very interesting similarities. Both teams put up 31 points in their respective openers. Both quarterbacks threw roughly 40 times for just under 300 yards and 3 touchdowns. Both running backs ran the ball under 20 times and found the end zone once apiece while being held under 100 yards. These numbers aren't quite interesting in the grand scheme of college football, but relatively speaking, those are higher numbers for these two offensively-challenged schools against up-and-coming Power 5 schools. The defenses each struggled in their own separate ways however, making for what appears to be a tense and flashy rivalry game under the lights 
    • Injuries: None.
    • Player to Watch: DE Jamari Lloyd. Let's make no mistake: Kyler Wilson has an arm. The freshman quarterback looked dangerous with every dropback against Northwestern, being quite unfortunate not to exceed the 300-yard mark by a mile. But let's also make no mistake here: this offensive line protecting him looks poor. The Wildcats picked up four sacks in their 2-TD win over the Pirates; this also means that Wilson looked rather effective even under pressure. Lloyd and the defensive front, a group that got a pair of sacks against Iowa State, are going to have to replicate the performance of Northwestern and make the freshman quarterback as uncomfortable as possible, if only to limit the damage he's able to cause.
    • Prediction: It's hard to imagine either team being held under 30. ECU has torn apart by E.J. McGuire, which bodes well for Jacob Eubanks after a strong opening performance against Iowa State. NC State was gashed by Kofi McCullough in that same game though, which could be a sign of things to come against the underrated Amir Turner Jr., who sneaked in a respectable performance against the 'Cats. A stronger secondary, despite weaker corners, and a more proven pass rush could make the difference, so expect the Wolfpack defense to make the necessary plays to slow Wilson and the swashbuckling Pirates. :ecu: ECU 31-38 NCSU :ncsu:

     

    Atlanta, GA - :fsu: Florida State Seminoles (2-0) at :gsu: Georgia State Panthers (0-1)

    • Headliner: The Final Tune-Up. The Seminoles have secured a 2-0 start and look to make it three in a row as they travel to Sun Belt competitors Georgia State. With wins over lowly Arkansas and Charlotte, not much has been surprising out of Tallahassee so far, even up to the familiar inconsistencies of the Seminole offense. This matters not against what should be another free win for the Seminoles; take note that this Georgia State team got smacked by Wake Forest in their opener. Look for the 'Noles to iron out the final details in the passing game while the defense manhandles a Panthers' offense in disarray.
    • Injuries: None.
    • Player to Watch: TE Wyatt Cornett. Anyone else notice that the standout tight end from a year ago has been awfully quiet so far? Six catches for 63 yards and a drop is all to Cornett's name so far, showing both a focus on the wideout duo of A.K. Schwab and Mateo Gates and a bit of a slump from the young receiver. With Clemson looming large a week from now, Cornett needs to put together a solid or even just a slightly better than average performance to show that he's still reliable and isn't on pace for a rough season after he came alive in a rough season a year ago.
    • Prediction: The only real question is whether or not the Florida State offense can look as effective as they did against the 49ers, or if they can even surpass that. Brett England was efficient but not explosive against a poor Charlotte defense, though he and Noah Wooten ran amok. The running game will look as composed as ever, though don't expect England's arm to do the 'Noles any favors. As for the defense? You shouldn't worry about that if that's the reason you came here. :fsu: FSU 35-3 GSU :gsu:

     

    West Point, NY - :cuse: Syracuse Orange (0-1) at :army: Army Black Knights (1-0)

    • Headliner: An Army of Questions. What happened in West Lafayette? Syracuse was supposed to go up to Purdue, take the quick loss, give handshakes, then come back to New York to prepare for Army. What happened instead was that 'Cuse took care of Purdue's running game and made enough plays on offense to take a touchdown lead into the fourth before losing to a trio of field goals. Army's coming off of their own shock performance after upending the Bears of Baylor in Waco behind a consistent rushing attack and a stingy defense. There's a ton of questions surrounding this game due to the nature of last week's performances, and we're bound to find out whether or not Syracuse's near-upset of the Top 10 Boilermakers was a fluke or if they're for real.
    • Injuries: None.
    • Player to Watch: RB Gabe Ramsey. The Orange running back didn't put up flashy numbers against the Boilermakers, running for 62 yards on 17 carries. The number of interest here though is 2, being the number of touchdowns Ramsey had in the last-minute loss last weekend. Similar rushing numbers won't cut it against a defense that gave up 34 yards on the ground against Baylor, but Ramsey being able to find the endzone is absolutely critical. The Orange were merely average in the air, so Ramsey has to be more efficient on the ground to give Connor McLean to learn on the fly. At the very least, Ramsey needs to keep finding the end zone.
    • Prediction: I'm not a believer in Syracuse. Purdue was bound to take a step back from their title-winning season, but Syracuse accelerated the confirmation of that idea happening. I'm not sold on Army either, however, and 'Cuse seems more fit to handle the Black Knights than the Bears appeared to be when they met in Waco. A trip within the state will see Ramsey and the offense do just enough to topple the resilient Black Knights, and the defense replicates their Purdue performance and then some, giving the Orange their first win of the season. :cuse: SYR 24-20 ARMY :army:

     

    Charlotte, NC - :wake: Wake Forest Demon Deacons (2-0) at :charlotte: Charlotte 49ers (0-2)

    • Headliner: Pudding Fest. Wake comes in off the back of a thrilling 30-27 win over Miami of Ohio, doing just enough to stymie the Redhawks' offense while putting in a hearty showing on the ground. The biggest takeaway going into their trip to Charlotte, however, is no longer on the field. Storied coach and former national title-winner ChicagoTed1 makes a historic return to the gridiron, taking on the historically difficult Wake Forest job. That being said, the Demon Deacons are 2-0 and are almost assured of a third successive victory with a trip to the hapless 49ers.
    • Injuries: None.
    • Player to Watch: RB Zion Hayward. After a timid opening performance against Georgia State, Hayward burst onto the scene with 132 yards and a score against the Redhawks, being the driving force behind the Wake offense and being a consistent threat to break off large chunks of yardage throughout the game. Charlotte have been quite dismal against the run, giving up 207 yards to Wooten and England of FSU and 119 yards to Victor Colbert of Tulsa. Now I'm no rocket scientist, but I'm fairly certain that a bad rush defense plus a capable running back equals a really good day for fans of old school football everywhere. It'll certainly be a good day for Mr. Hayward.
    • Prediction: Wake's defense hasn't looked particularly good so far, and while Chris Billings can do some damage to the core of this defense, he'll have to work a miracle to keep Charlotte in this game. Says here that James Betts and the Demon Deacon offense are going to roll to another 30-point performance, picking up Ted's first win back in the game and rocketing Wake Forest to a very rare 3-0 start. :wake: WAKE 42-20 CU :charlotte:

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