Inside the ACC: Tar Heels face off with ECU and Doeren gets a familiar MAC foe

jgiglio@newsobserver.comSeptember 27, 2013 

Observations

•  First-year N.C. State coach Dave Doeren lost only one Mid-American Conference game in two seasons with Northern Illinois. Central Michigan beat NIU in Doeren’s first MAC game 48-41 in 2011. Doeren and NIU proceeded to win their next 17 conference games.

Doeren gets another crack at the Chippewas Saturday (3:30 p.m., ESPN3) with the Wolfpack.

The Chippewas lost their last trip to Raleigh 38-24 in 2011, which came a week after their win over NIU.

The Chippewas (1-3) have been slow out of the gate in 2013, with losses to Michigan (59-9), UNLV (31-21) and Toledo (38-17).

•  If Duke is going back to a bowl game, it almost certainly needs to beat Troy (2-2) in Durham. The Trojans have given up 103 points in their past two games, losses to Arkansas State and Mississippi State, which bodes well for Duke’s offense, which exploded for 55 points last week vs. Pitt.

Duke’s defense has given up an average of 44.5 points per game in its past eight games against Football Bowl Subdivision. The Blue Devils are 1-7 in those games.

•  It didn’t get as much attention as the controversial call from the N.C. State-Clemson game, but it sure looked like the ACC missed a call in the UNC-Georgia Tech game, too.

Georgia Tech’s David Sims appeared to fumble before he crossed the goal line on fourth-and-goal from the 1-yard line on Tech’s first touchdown.

The way UNC’s offense played in the second half, maybe you can argue it didn’t matter, but the Heels did end up losing by eight points.

Three to watch

1) ECU at North Carolina, 12:30 p.m. (WRAL)

The Tar Heels (1-2) shut down ECU’s offense last year in Chapel Hill in a 27-6 win. UNC needs to get its own offense going after a sluggish second half last week at Georgia Tech.

2) Wake Forest at No. 3 Clemson, 3:30 p.m. (ESPNU)

The Tigers (3-0) could use a win, with style points, after a pedestrian showing in Raleigh last Thursday. The Demon Deacons (2-2) should brace for the worst.

3) No. 8 Florida State at Boston College, 3:30 p.m. (ABC)

The Seminoles (3-0) haven’t been tested yet and might not exactly be focused on BC (2-1) with Maryland and Clemson coming up next on the schedule.

Number to know

131 Number of points Florida State has outscored its first three opponents (157-26) this season. The Seminoles have beaten Pitt, Nevada and Bethune-Cookman by an average score of 52.3 to 8.6.

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