- Heather Dinich, ESPN Staff Writer
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Here’s a look at the top three games for Week 3, and what’s on tap in the rest of the conference:
1. Wake Forest at No. 5 Florida State (Noon ET, ESPNU): The Deacs have already earned their first conference win, while the Seminoles have done exactly what’s been expected of them – hammer overmatched FCS schools. It’s time for the Noles to start proving they’re a top-10 team, and they’ve got to do it against a program that has found a way to beat them in four of the past six meetings, including last year. The Atlantic Division race begins with this game in Tallahassee.
2. Virginia at Georgia Tech (3:30 p.m. ET, ESPNU): This will be an important game for the Coastal Division standings, but even more important for Georgia Tech because the Jackets already have a conference loss. The Cavaliers are looking to build upon their 2-0 start, but this is the first of back-to-back road games.
3. North Carolina at No. 19 Louisville (3:30 p.m. ET, ABC/ESPN2): This is more intriguing than any of the other matchups against Big East teams because of Louisville’s success. UNC won this game 14-7 last year. Can they do it again, this time on the road and with a new head coach and staff? The defense will have to be in lockdown mode against quarterback Teddy Bridgewater in order to answer yes.
The best of the rest (in no particular order):
Boston College at Northwestern (3:30 p.m. ET; Big Ten Network): Northwestern won this game 24-17 last year in Chestnut Hill, Mass., and did it with its backup quarterback. This year, the Wildcats are led by running back Venric Mark, who rushed for 123 yards and a touchdown on 23 carries in last weekend’s win over Vanderbilt. Boston College receiver Spiffy Evans had a touchdown catch and an 82-yard punt return for a touchdown in the Eagles’ win over Maine.
Furman at Clemson (3 p.m. ET, RSN): Clemson receiver Sammy Watkins will make his debut after being suspended for the first two games of the season. The task for the Tigers will be to stay focused and not look ahead to the Week 4 trip to Florida State.
Connecticut at Maryland (12:30 p.m. ET, ACC Network): The Edsall Bowl’s biggest story line will be Randy Edsall facing his former team and players while trying to improve to 3-0. Edsall was the head coach at UConn from 1999-2010, but the two programs haven’t faced each other since 1942.
South Alabama at NC State (6 p.m. ET, ESPN3): There shouldn’t be much drama in this game for the Pack, which is coming off an unimpressive 10-7 win against Connecticut. NC State won 35-13 last year and quarterback Mike Glennon threw four touchdown passes. In order to do that again, he’ll have to stay on his feet. He was sacked six times last weekend.
NC Central at Duke (7 p.m. ET, ESPN3): Duke’s offense was shut down against Stanford, but one bright spot was Desmond Scott, who caught a career-high 11 passes for 83 yards vs. Stanford. NC Central receiver Geovonie Irvine has scored three touchdowns in two games.
Bethune-Cookman at Miami (12 p.m. ET, ESPN3): The Canes’ defense has been abysmal in the first two games, and it won’t help that linebacker Ramon Buchanan will miss the rest of the season with a right knee injury and safety Vaughn Telemaque is out for this week's game. Miami will still win, but it has to improve quickly to be a factor in the ACC race.
No. 13 Virginia Tech at Pittsburgh (12 p.m. ET, ESPNU): The Panthers have looked dreadful -- there’s no polite way to say it. Virginia Tech’s offense, though, is still experiencing some growing pains, and this will be the Hokies’ first road trip of the season. Pitt has won the past three games in the series, but the teams haven’t played since 2003. This will be a sneak peak of the ACC’s future member.
1dMatt Fortuna and Andrea Adelson