North Carolina

Saturday morning blitz: East Carolina seeks seventh straight win against ACC

East Carolina’s Scottie Montgomery talks about the Pirates’ victory over NC State

VIDEO: ECU head football coach Scottie Montgomery talks about the Pirates' 33-30 victory over the NC State Wolfpack at Dowdy–Ficklen Stadium in Greenville, N.C., Saturday, Sept. 10. 2016.
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VIDEO: ECU head football coach Scottie Montgomery talks about the Pirates' 33-30 victory over the NC State Wolfpack at Dowdy–Ficklen Stadium in Greenville, N.C., Saturday, Sept. 10. 2016.

3 to watch

1. No. 13 Florida State at South Florida, noon (WTVD): How do you bounce back after the program’s worst loss in almost 30 years? We’re about to find out with the Seminoles (2-1). USF (3-0) has vastly improved the past two years under coach Willie Taggart.

2. East Carolina at Virginia Tech, 12:30 p.m. (WRAL): The Pirates (2-1) have won six straight against the ACC, including two in a row over the Hokies (2-1).

3. Pittsburgh at UNC, 3:30 p.m. (WTVD): The Tar Heels (2-1) look to repeat as Coastal Division champions. They are unbeaten in three games with Pitt (2-1) since the Panthers joined the ACC.

Observations

▪  Not sure which unbeaten team we know less about: Indiana (2-0) or Wake Forest (3-0)? The Demon Deacons have wins over Tulane, Duke and Delaware while the Hoosiers have wins over Florida International and Ball State.

The Deacs will need to take care of the ball on the road against the Hoosiers, who have created six turnovers in two games and are a plus-5 thus far on the season.

▪ Did Virginia Tech throw back the clock defense last week or is Boston College just that bad? The Hokies (2-1) are about to find out with a visit from East Carolina (2-1).

ECU quarterback Philip Nelson ranks fifth nationally with 365 passing yards per game. The Hokies allowed 80 passing yards, on 29 attempts, in last week’s 49-0 home shutout. The Pirates had their predictable letdown at South Carolina last week after an emotional win over N.C. State but have played well recently in Blacksburg.

▪ With Florida State in the rearview mirror and Clemson coming up next, under normal circumstances, this would be a super duper trap game for Louisville. But then you realize that Marshall gave up 65 points and 379 passing yards in a home loss to Akron last week.

What’s Louisville’s Lamar “Mr. Ridiculous” Jackson going to do against the same defense? Jackson has accounted for an unbelievable 18 touchdowns in three games (two and a half, actually) and the Cardinals lead the country in yards per play (9.39) and scoring (65).

Number to know

114

Louisville quarterback Lamar Jackson has accounted for more touchdowns (18) than 114 FBS teams have scored thus far this season.

Top 25

Thursday

No. 5 Clemson 26, Georgia Tech 7

Friday

No. 24 Utah vs. Southern Cal, late

Saturday

No. 1 Alabama vs. Kent State, noon

No. 3 Louisville at Marshall, 8 p.m.

No. 4 Michigan vs. Penn State, 3:30 p.m.

No. 6 Houston at Texas State, 7 p.m.

No. 7 Stanford at UCLA, 8 p.m.

No. 8 Michigan State vs. No. 11 Wisconsin, noon

No. 9 Washington at Arizona, 10:30 p.m.

No. 10 Texas A&M vs. No. 17 Arkansas at Arlington, Texas, 8 p.m.

No. 12 Georgia at No. 23 Mississippi, noon

No. 13 Florida State at South Florida, noon

No. 14 Tennessee vs. No. 19 Florida, 3:30 p.m.

No. 16 Baylor vs. Oklahoma State, 7:30 p.m.

No. 18 LSU at Auburn, 6 p.m.

No. 20 Nebraska at Northwestern, 7:30 p.m.

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