3 to watch
1. Notre Dame at N.C. State (3-1), noon (WTVD): A matchup of offense-first teams that might be decided by which one handles the weather conditions the best. The Fighting Irish (2-3) are 7-4 against ACC foes since 2014.
2. No. 25 Virginia Tech at No. 17 UNC, 3:30 (WTVD): The Tar Heels (4-1) are coming off their biggest win under coach Larry Fedora and they have won 10 straight ACC regular-season games. Virginia Tech (3-1) is off to a 1-0 ACC start under first-year coach Justin Fuente.
3. No. 23 Florida State at No. 10 Miami, 8 (WTVD): The Hurricanes (4-0) have lost six straight to the Seminoles (3-2), who have only started 0-3 in ACC play once (in 2009). Both sides will have to contend with Hurricane Matthew.
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▪ Miami’s honeymoon with coach Mark Richt gets put to the test. Richt won 77.3 percent of his games (140-41) in 15 seasons at Georgia against everybody else but only 33.3 percent (5-10) against rival Florida.
On paper, Miami should knock out a wounded Florida State, with little left to play for this season, but these are the kind of games Richt routinely lost to Florida while the coach at Georgia.
Miami’s defense, which ranks tied for second in the country in yards per play (3.58), will be put to the test by FSU running back Dalvin Cook.
▪ What’s amazing about UNC’s offense, which ranks fifth in the country in yards per play (7.47), is how good it has been without all that much from running back Elijah Hood.
Hood, who is listed as questionable for Saturday’s game, had 25 yards in the win over Pitt and 47, in a half, at FSU last week. T.J. Logan has been able to offset Hood’s slow start but it’s scary for the rest of the ACC to think of where UNC’s offense will be with a healthy Hood.
Hood had 115 yards and a pair of touchdowns in UNC’s overtime win at Virginia Tech last year. They might need run Logan to keep the Hokies honest.
▪ N.C. State has played only 11 nonconference games at home against current “Power 5” teams since the start of the 1993 season. Three of those teams (Syracuse, Pittsburgh, Louisville) are now members of the ACC. The Wolfpack’s last Power 5 win over a team not currently in the ACC was 49-31 against Texas Tech in 2003.
Number to know
3 This marks just the third time, in the past eight years, Florida State and Miami meet each other as ranked opponents. Both schools were ranked every year they met from 1987 through 1994 and then again from 1999 through 2006.
No. 1 Alabama at No. 16 Arkansas, 7 p.m.
No. 2 Ohio State vs. Indiana, 3:30 p.m.
No. 3 Clemson at Boston College, 7:30 p.m. Friday
No. 4 Michigan at Rutgers, 7 p.m.
No. 5 Washington at Oregon, 7:30 p.m.
No. 6 Houston at Navy, 3 p.m.
No. 7 Louisville, off
No. 8 Texas A&M vs. No. 9 Tennessee 3:30 p.m.
No. 10 Miami vs. No. 23 Florida State, 8 p.m.
No. 11 Wisconsin, off
No. 12 Nebraska, off
No. 13 Baylor, off
No. 14 Ole Miss, off
No. 15 Stanford vs. Washington State, 10:30 p.m.
No. 17 UNC vs. No. 25 Va. Tech, 3:30 p.m.
No. 18 Florida vs. LSU, postponed
No. 19 Boise State at New Mexico, 9 p.m. Friday
No. 20 Oklahoma vs. Texas, noon
No. 21 Colorado at Southern Cal., 4 p.m.
No. 22 West Virginia, off
No. 24 Utah vs. Arizona, 10 p.m.