ACC FOOTBALL QUICK HITS
• The second week of the ACC football schedule is highlighted by four games against Power 5 competition, including two against the Big Ten and two against the SEC. Virginia hosts Illinois at 11 a.m. on ACCN; Pitt travels to Tennessee for a noon kickoff on ESPN; Syracuse hosts Rutgers at 2 p.m. on ACCN; and NC State visits Mississippi State at 7 p.m. on ESPN2.
• Five games this weekend will be televised by ACC Network, including Friday night’s game between Duke and North Carolina A&T at 8 p.m. Following the Virginia (11 a.m.) and Syracuse (2 p.m.) games, Clemson will host South Carolina State at 5 p.m. and Florida State welcomes Jacksonville State at 8 p.m.
• Virginia is slated to play four of its first five games under the lights this season, but the Cavaliers get an early start this Saturday when they welcome Illinois of the Big Ten for an 11 a.m. kickoff. It is the first regular-season meeting between the programs. The teams met previously in the 1990 Citrus Bowl and the 1999 MicronPC.com Bowl.
• Pitt faces Tennessee for the first time in 38 years in the “Johnny Majors Classic” in honor of the legendary coach and player. Majors played at Tennessee and later led Pitt to the 1976 national championship before returning to Knoxville to coach. This is Pitt’s third visit to Tennessee’s Neyland Stadium, but the first since winning a pair of games on the Vols’ home turf in 1980 and 1983. Both of the Panthers’ wins over the Vols came with Majors on the Tennessee sidelines. The Panthers are seeking their second straight 2-0 start.
• Syracuse faces Rutgers for the 43rd time in a series that began in 1914 and was last played in 2012, when both schools were members of the Big East Conference. This year’s game was originally slated to be the second-half of a home-and-home set, but the Orange’s scheduled trip to Rutgers last season was canceled due to the pandemic. Rutgers seeks its third consecutive win in the series and its seventh in the last nine meetings. The teams met every year from 1980 through 2012, with eight of Rutgers’ 12 wins in the series coming since 1999.
• NC State visits Mississippi State for only the second time and the first since posting a 6-0 win in Starkville in 1931. Like many home-and-home series that were scheduled nationally, this one was altered by the COVID-19 pandemic as the Bulldogs’ slated trip to Raleigh last season was canceled. The three most recent meetings between the teams have been in bowl games – 1963 Liberty Bowl (Philadelphia), 1995 Peach Bowl (Atlanta) and 2015 Belk Bowl (Charlotte).
• ACC teams play four other games this week against FBS competition. Virginia Tech hosts Middle Tennessee at 2 p.m. on ACC Network Extra; Boston College welcomes
UMass to Chestnut Hill at 3:30 p.m. on RSN; Miami hosts Appalachian State at 7 p.m. on ESPNU; and North Carolina hosts Georgia State at 7:30 p.m. on RSN.
TOP TV RATINGS
• Saturday night’s Clemson-Georgia game on ABC averaged nearly 8M viewers, which is on track to become the second-most viewed game on any network in the last 15
years. The Miami-Alabama game at 3:30 p.m. averaged more than 5M viewers.
• ESPN’s Florida State-Notre Dame game averaged 7.1M viewers and was the second-most viewed opening week Sunday game on record (since 1996).
AROUND THE ACC
• Boston College: In 11 games, QB Phil Jurkovec is already fifth in school history with five 300-yard passing games. BC legends Matt Ryan and Doug Flutie hold the school record with 12, 300-yard passing games.
• Clemson: Former Clemson running back C.J. Spiller will be honored for his College Football Hall of Fame selection in an in-stadium presentation at halftime of Clemson’s home opener against South Carolina State on Sept. 11.
• Duke: RB Mataeo Durant led the way for Duke during its season opener at Charlotte, compiling a game-high 255 yards on 29 carries with three rushing touchdowns to break the program record for rushing yards in a single game. His total eclipsed the previous school record of 245 yards set by Shaun Wilson in 2014 vs. Kansas.
• Florida State: FSU’s defense held Notre Dame to 65 total rushing yards Sunday, the 5th-lowest in head coach Mike Norvell’s career and a 288-yard improvement from last season’s game in South Bend when the Irish rushed for 353 yards.
• Georgia Tech: After entering NIU game in the second quarter, Georgia Tech QB Jordan Yates completed 12-of-18 passes for 135 yards and 1 touchdown, all career highs. He also ran 9 times for 27 yards (both career highs), including a 4-yard touchdown run with 6:32 to go in the game (first career touchdown run) to put the Jackets in the lead.
• Louisville: Against Ole Miss, QB Malik Cunningham was 22-of-37 for 191 yards and a touchdown with 18 carries for 79 yards and two scores on the ground. Cunningham moved into sixth place on Louisville’s all-time passing touchdown list with 44.
• Miami: Miami opens its 14th season at Hard Rock Stadium on Sept. 11 vs. Appalachian State; UM holds a 13-0 all-time mark in home openers at the stadium, having outscored opponents 594-83 for an average margin of victory of 39.3 points.
• North Carolina: Sam Howell became the Tar Heels’ career touchdown pass leader (69 total) when he connected with Josh Downs for a 37-yard touchdown in the third quarter last Saturday.
• NC State: In the 45-0 win over USF last Thursday, the Pack had a pair of 100 yard rushers for the first time since 2015. Zonovan Knight and Ricky Person accounted for 352 total yards.
• Pitt: With 272 yards vs. UMass, Kenny Pickett became just the fifth player in Pitt history to eclipse 8,000 yards passing. Pickett has thrown for 8,256 over his 40-game career.
• Syracuse: RB Sean Tucker ran for 181-yards against Ohio, the second-most by a player under sixth-year head coach Dino Babers and the fourth-most by a Syracuse player in the last-15 years. As a team, the Orange ran for 283 yards, the most since the 2019 season (286 in a win at Duke).
• Virginia: QB Brennan Armstrong’s 339 passing yards vs. W&M were the most ever by a Virginia quarterback in a season-opening game.
• Virginia Tech: DE Amare’ Barno, who made the switch from linebacker to defensive end in 2020, posted a team-high 3.5 TFL, 1.5 sacks, six tackles and a forced fumble in the win over UNC
• Wake Forest: DB Ja’Sir Taylor had a career night vs. ODU, making his fifth-career interception and returning his first ever kickoff 99 yards to the endzone. He became the first FBS player to return a kickoff for a touchdown this season.
ACC, BIG TEN & PAC-12 ANNOUNCE ALLIANCE
• On Aug. 24, the ACC, Big Ten and Pac-12 announced an historic alliance that will bring 41 world-class institutions together on a collaborative approach surrounding the future evolution of college athletics and scheduling. The alliance – which was unanimously supported by the presidents, chancellors and athletics directors at all 41 institutions – will be guided in all cases by a commitment to, and prioritization of, supporting student-athlete well-being, academic and athletic opportunities, experiences and diverse educational programming. The three conferences are grounded in their support of broad-based athletic programs, the collegiate model and opportunities for student-athletes as part of the educational missions of the institutions.
• The ACC will play four games this year against the Big Ten
Sept. 11 – Illinois at Virginia
Sept. 11 – Rutgers at Syracuse
Sept. 18 – Michigan State at Miami
Sept. 18 – Northwestern at Duke
• Bowl Games: The ACC will face the Pac-12 in the San Diego County Credit Union Holiday Bowl on Dec. 28 and the Big Ten in the New Era Pinstripe Bowl on Dec. 29.