NC State

Saturday morning blitz: NC State, UNC, ECU playing notable games

N.C. State running back Matt Dayes, left, gets past East Carolina linebacker Pat Green as N.C. State’s Cole Cook blocks during the Pirates’ 33-30 win over the Wolfpack on Sept. 10.
N.C. State running back Matt Dayes, left, gets past East Carolina linebacker Pat Green as N.C. State’s Cole Cook blocks during the Pirates’ 33-30 win over the Wolfpack on Sept. 10. ehyman@newsobserver.com

3 to watch

1. N.C. State at No. 7 Louisville, noon (WTVD): The Wolfpack (4-2) last played back-to-back games against top 10 teams in 2001. The Cardinals (5-1) were held in check by Duke’s defense last Friday.

2. No. 22 UNC at Virginia, 3 p.m. (Fox Sports Carolinas): The Cavaliers (2-4) never used to lose to Carolina (5-2) at home. Times have changed. UNC has won the past three in Charlottesville and six straight in the series.

3. East Carolina at Cincinnati, 7 p.m. (CBS Sports Network): Can’t, in good conscience, recommend watching Syracuse-Boston College, the only other ACC game scheduled. Turn on the Pirates (2-4) at Bearcats (3-3) instead.

Observations

▪ So far, ACC teams have made the most of their time off. Four teams (Virginia Tech, N.C. State, Louisville and Miami) have won coming off their open dates. If you are looking for a reason why Boston College (3-3) is favored over Syracuse, there it is. The Eagles, who have lost 11 straight ACC games, were off last week.

Clemson, Duke, Florida State, Georgia Tech, Pitt and Wake Forest hope that trend holds true next week. With those six teams off and the Miami-Virginia Tech Thursday night game already in the books, this is as light as the schedule can get.

▪ Syracuse’s 31-17 home win over Virginia Tech last week easily qualifies as the surprise result of the ACC season thus far. The Orange had given up 62 points to Louisville, 45 to South Florida and 50 to Notre Dame but was able to hold the Hokies in check.

Syracuse’s upset gives the Atlantic Division a 5-3 edge in cross-divisional games. While UNC’s win at Florida State was impressive, the other two wins by the Coastal are over Boston College.

▪ Pray for the statisticians and the spotters working ABC’s broadcast of N.C. State-Louisville. Both schools wear adidas uniforms and for some reason the sneaker company can’t find numerals that are legible. N.C. State’s road white uniforms, with red lettering, are particularly difficult to decipher. Threes looks like eights, ones like sevens, eights like nines, fives likes sixes ... actually pretty much any combination you can imagine can be confused.

Luckily, Louisville will be wearing black. It really should be a conference rule when these two meet, in either football or basketball, that the home team has to wear black.

Number to know

6-0 Louisville’s record against teams from North Carolina since joining the ACC in 2014.

Top 25

Thursday

No. 14 Boise State 28, BYU 27

Saturday

No. 1 Alabama vs. No. 6 Texas A&M, 3:30 p.m.

No. 2 Ohio State at Penn State, 8 p.m.

No. 3 Michigan vs. Illinois, 3:30 p.m.

No. 5 Washington vs. Oregon State, 6:30 p.m.

No. 7 Louisville vs. N.C. State, noon

No. 8 Nebraska vs. Purdue, 3:30 p.m.

No. 10 Wisconsin at Iowa, noon

No. 11 Houston at SMU, 7 p.m.

No. 12 West Virginia vs. TCU, 3:30 p.m.

No. 16 Oklahoma at Texas Tech, 8 p.m.

No. 17 Arkansas at No. 21 Auburn, 6 p.m.

No. 19 Utah at UCLA, 4 p.m.

No. 20 Western Michigan vs. Eastern Michigan, 3:30 p.m.

No. 22 North Carolina at Virginia, 3 p.m.

No. 23 Mississippi at No. 25 LSU, 9 p.m.

No. 24 Navy vs. Memphis, 3:30 p.m.

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