Three to watch
1. No. 14 Clemson vs. Auburn, 7 p.m. (ESPN)
Atlanta has not been kind to Clemson, which has dropped its past four games in the city, including the ’08 kickoff to Alabama. The ACC champs try to end that streak and erase the memories of their last game, a 70-33 loss to West Virginia.
2. Miami at Boston College, 3:30 p.m. (WTVD)
The Eagles will try to begin the 2012 season the same way they ended the 2011 season: with a win over Miami. The Eagles have won two straight over the Hurricanes, who have undergone major personnel changes in the offseason.
3. Elon at UNC, 12:30 p.m. (WRAZ)
"Fastbreak" football should get off to a fast start in coach Larry Fedora’s debut. The Tar Heels are 8-0 vs. FBS opponents since 2004.
Number to know
155 Total points, in three games, by Jimbo Fisher’s FSU teams against FBS opponents. The Seminoles open the season with a pair of lower Division I teams in Murray State and Savannah State.
Around the ACC
• It’s difficult to predict Duke’s bowl math adding up to six without a win over Florida International. Which means Duke opens the season with another must-win game under David Cutcliffe, whose first four teams have fallen short of bowl eligibility.
The Blue Devils beat FIU 31-27 on the road last year. The Golden Panthers, coming off an 8-5 finish, will miss receiver T.Y. Hilton, who caught 72 passes for 1,038 yards last season.
• Would anyone be surprised if William & Mary beat Maryland today? The Tribe beat Virginia in the 2009 season opener and nearly beat UNC in 2010. In coach Jimmye Laycock’s 33rd season, the Tribe certainly has more stability than the Terrapins, who sputtered to a 2-10 finish in Randy Edsall’s first season in ’11.
It’s not difficult to imagine an 0-12 season if Maryland doesn’t win today.
• It will be interesting to see how Wake Forest coach Jim Grobe handles his running backs today, against Liberty, and going forward. Junior Josh Harris obviously has a lot of talent but something was amiss last season beyond injuries, to the point that Grobe had to burn Orville Reynolds’ redshirt.
After this week, sledding might be tough for either Reynolds or Harris behind a reworked offensive line. Still, given Grobe’s track record, he’ll probably figure it out.