No. 14 Georgia Tech meets No. 8 Notre Dame in ACC Week 3
A look at things to watch in the Atlantic Coast Conference for Week 3:
GAME OF THE WEEK: No. 14 Georgia Tech at No. 8 Notre Dame. The Yellow Jackets are churning out yards on the ground again, leading the country by averaging 457.5 yards. The Fighting Irish rank 25th nationally against the run, allowing 93.5 yards per game and 3.2 yards per attempt through two games. So far Georgia Tech has scored 134 points in two games against Alcorn State and Tulane, though things will get tougher this week. ”It is going to be a step up,” Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson said. ”We just have to go do our thing.”
BEST MATCHUP: Duke’s offense vs. Northwestern’s defense. The 23rd-ranked Wildcats have yet to allow a touchdown, giving up only two field goals in two games. The Blue Devils rank ninth nationally with an average of 592 total yards, and have put up 37 and 55 points in their first two games. A Northwestern player said he expects another shutout this week, while Duke TE Braxton Deaver said in response that the Blue Devils ”don’t listen to stuff like that.”
INSIDE THE NUMBERS: Boston College leads the nation in four key stat categories – total defense (51 ypg), rushing defense (7 ypg), pass efficiency defense (42.42 rating) and scoring defense (1.5 ppg). But those numbers are a bit misleading because they’ve come against a pair of FCS teams – Maine and Howard. The real test comes this week when No. 9 Florida State visits.
LONG SHOT: Maybe Pittsburgh can spring a surprise on Iowa. The Panthers are 5 1/2-point road underdogs to the Hawkeyes in one of five matchups this week between teams from the Big Ten and the ACC’s Coastal Division. Pitt coach Pat Narduzzi – who spent eight years in the Big Ten on Michigan State’s staff – plans to play two quarterbacks and hopes RB Qadree Ollison can bounce back from a rough first start as injured ACC player of the year James Conner’s replacement.
PLAYER TO WATCH: Florida State’s Dalvin Cook is driving the Seminoles’ offense. He ranks second nationally with 422 yards rushing to go with five touchdowns. The sophomore is coming off a 266-yard rushing performance in last week’s win against South Florida, the No. 2 single-game total in FSU history. He also had 30 carries. ”We don’t plan on doing it all the time, but we’ll do it if we definitely have to,” FSU coach Jimbo Fisher said. ”And he’s got to get his touches in the game.”
Compiled by AP Sports Writers Aaron Beard and Joedy McCreary in Raleigh, North Carolina.