• If anyone in the Atlantic Division is going to beat Clemson or Florida State, the schedule favors Maryland (4-0). The Terrapins travel to FSU (4-0) Saturday but are coming off an open date.
The early start time (noon) also helps Maryland because the FSU crowd won’t be as energetic as it would be for a night game.
Later this month, the Terps catch Clemson a week after the Tigers’ showdown with FSU. That game will be in College Park, Md.
• How effective would Georgia Tech be if it had a specific 2-minute package and personnel? Coordinators wrack their brains to stop coach Paul Johnson’s triple option as it is. What if Johnson had a hurry-up scheme in his back pocket for the end of the half or game?
If anyone’s smart enough to figure out how to do it, it’s Johnson.
• Welcome to the ACC, Syracuse. Here, play our best offense – on a turf and inside, no less – for your first conference game. You figure Clemson (4-0) will be eager to prove it’s as good as its last game (a rout of Wake Forest), not its last road game (a struggle against N.C. State).
Syracuse (2-2) has found new life on offense with quarterback Terrel Hunt (seven TD passes, no INTs), but Wagner and Tulane aren’t exactly in Clemson’s league.
Three to watch
1) UNC at Virginia Tech, 12:30 p.m. (WRAL)
It’s dangerous to apply the transitive property to college football but UNC (1-3) lost to ECU at home 55-31 and the Hokies (4-1) beat the Pirates 15-10 on the road.
2) N.C. State at Wake Forest, 3:30 p.m. (Fox Sports Carolinas)
This is the first road game for the Wolfpack (3-1), which has lost five straight at Wake Forest (2-3) and seven of eight since 1997.
3) Georgia Tech at No. 14 Miami, 3:30 p.m. (ESPNU)
It will nearly be impossible for the Yellow Jackets (3-1) to get back to the ACC title game with a loss at Miami (4-0). Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson is winless (0-4) against the Hurricanes.
Number to know
262 Gio Bernard’s rushing yards for UNC in a 48-34 win against Virginia Tech last season. As a team, the Tar Heels have rushed for a combined 168 yards the past two games, losses to Georgia Tech and ECU.