Week 2 Football Preview: Atlantic Coast Conference


Friday, Sept. 10
NC A&T (0-1, 0-0 Big South) at Duke (0-1, 0-0 ACC)
8 p.m.; ACCN
Duke leads series, 1-0
Last meeting: Duke, 45-13 (2019)
Head Coaches:
Duke – David Cutcliffe (74-89 in 14th season at Duke; 118-118 in 20th season overall)
NC A&T – Sam Washington (19-6 in third season at North Carolina A&T and overall)

Notes: After facing Charlotte in last week’s season opener, the Blue Devils kick off their home schedule versus another in-state non-conference opponent as the Aggies make their second trip to Brooks Field at Wallace Wade Stadium • Duke posted a 45-13 win in the inaugural meeting between the programs in 2019 as QB Quentin Harris passed for a career-high 345 yards and four touchdowns • The Aggies are one of four in-state opponents on the Blue Devils’ 2021 schedule (along with Charlotte and ACC foes Wake Forest and North Carolina), but the only one the Blue Devils will play at home • The Aggies will face an ACC opponent for the fourth time • North Carolina A&T fell 42-3 at Wake Forest on Sept. 18, 2004, in the program’s first-ever game against an NCAA Division I-A opponent • The Aggies came out on the short end of the a 53-14 score when they traveled to North Carolina early in the 2015 season.

Saturday, Sept. 11
Pitt (1-0, 0-0 ACC) at Tennessee (1-0, 0-0 SEC)
Noon; ESPN
Pitt leads series, 2-0
Last meeting: Pitt, 13-3 (1983)
Head Coaches:
Pitt – Pat Narduzzi (42-34 in seventh season at Pitt and overall)
Tennessee – Josh Heupel (1-0 in first season at Tennessee; 29-8 in fourth season overall)

Notes: Pitt visits Tennessee’s Neyland Stadium for the third time, but for 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 former Pitt head coach Johnny Majors on the Tennessee sidelines • The first win in 1980 came by a 30-6 score in Majors’ first game with the Vols after leaving Pitt, where he coached his Tony Dorsett-led squad captured the 1976 national championship • Tennessee is slated to make return trip to Pitt’s Heinz Field next season • In honor of Majors’ contributions to both programs, the two-game of games has been designated as ‘The Johnny Majors Classic’ • Majors passed away in Knoxville, Tennessee on June 3, 2020, at the age of 85 • Saturday’s game is the only road contest for Pitt during September • The Panthers return home to face Western Michigan on Sept. 18.

Saturday, Sept. 11
Illinois (1-1, 1-0 Big Ten) at Virginia (1-0, 0-0 ACC)
11 a.m.; ACCN
Illinois leads series, 2-0
Last meeting: Illinois, 63-21 (1999)
Head Coaches:
Virginia – Bronco Mendenhall (31-32 in sixth season at UVA; 130-75 in 17th season overall)
Illinois – Bret Bielema (1-1 in first season at Illinois; 98-59 in 13th season overall)

Notes: 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 for an 11 a.m. kickoff • The game is one of four on Saturday that is scheduled to carried by ACC Network • The Fighting Illini, in their first season under veteran head coach Bret Bielema, will be making their first road trip of the season after a 1-1 start that included a Big Ten win over Nebraska in their season opener • Bielema’s resume includes seven straight bowl teams while head coach at Wisconsin (2006-12) • Illinois’ trip to Virginia is the first of a home-andhome set, with the Cavaliers set to visit Champaign on Sept. 10, 2022 • This year’s game will also mark the first regular-season meeting between the programs • The Illini lead the series 2-0 after winning 31-21 in the 1990 Florida Citrus Bowl and 63-21 in the 1999 MicronPC.com Bowl.

Saturday, Sept. 11
Norfolk State (0-1, 0-0 MEAC) at Wake Forest (1-0, 0-0 ACC)
First meeting
Head Coaches:
Wake Forest – Dave Clawson (41-45 in eighth season at Wake Forest; 131-125 in 22nd season overall)
Norfolk State – Dawson Odums (0-1 in first season at Norfolk State, 64-45 in 11th season overall)

Notes: After opening against Old Dominion, Wake Forest welcomes its second consecutive opponent from Norfolk, Virginia, to Truist Field • The Deacons will be Norfolk State’s first-ever ACC opponent and are one of seven road contests on the Spartans’ 2021 schedule • Norfolk State saw its 2020 season canceled due to the pandemic and is under the watch of first-year head coach Dawson Odums, who joins the Spartans after guiding Southern to four SWAC Championship Game appearances (and one league title) in nine seasons at the helm • Saturday’s game will be the second of three straight home contests for Wake Forest, which launches its ACC schedule versus Florida State on Sept. 18 • Wake’s remaining non-league games after Saturday will both be on the road – at Army on Oct. 23 and at North Carolina (designated as non-conference) on Nov. 6.

Saturday, Sept. 11
Kennesaw St. (1-0, 0-0 Big South) at Georgia Tech (0-1, 0-0 ACC)
Noon; RSN
First meeting
Head Coaches:
Georgia Tech – Geoff Collins (6-17 in third season at Georgia Tech; 21-27 in fifth season overall)
Kennesaw State – Brian Bohannon (53-16 in sixth season at Kennesaw State and overall)

Notes: Neighboring schools meet for the first time ever on the football field as Kennesaw State sixth-year head coach Brian Bohannon makes a return to Georgia Tech • Bohannon is the only head coach in the Owls’ football history, as he was hired to build the program from the ground up in 2013 after spending the previous five seasons as quarterbacks/B-backs coach with the Yellow Jackets, where he helped engineer one of the country’s most prolific spread option offenses • During Bohannon’s time at Georgia Tech, the Yellow Jackets finished in the top four nationally in rushing offense every season and led the nation in rushing in 2010 • Georgia Tech continues a stretch in which it will play four of its first five games in the city of Atlanta • After traveling to Clemson on Sept. 18, the Yellow Jackets will face North Carolina on Sept. 25 at Mercedes-Benz Stadium and return to Bobby Dodd Stadium versus Pitt on Oct. 2.

Saturday, Sept. 11
Rutgers (1-0, 0-0 Big Ten) at Syracuse (1-0, 0-0 ACC)
2 p.m.; ACCN
Syracuse leads series, 30-12-1
Last meeting: Rutgers, 23-15 (2012)
Head Coaches:
Syracuse – Dino Babers (25-36 in sixth season at Syracuse; 62-52 in 10th season overall)
Rutgers – Greg Schiano (72-73 in 13th season at Rutgers and overall)

Notes: 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 • Syracuse defeated Rutgers 12 consecutive seasons from 1987-98 • The Scarlet Knights won 19-16 in double overtime on their most recent trip to Carrier Dome in 2011 as San San Te kicked a 47-yard field goal for the go-ahead points and Rutgers recovered a fumble on Syracuse’s ensuing offensive possession.

Saturday, Sept. 11
Middle Tennessee (1-0, 0-0 C-USA) at #19 Virginia Tech (1-0, 1-0 ACC)
2 p.m.; ACCNX
First meeting
Head Coaches:
Virginia Tech – Justin Fuente (39-26 in sixth season at Virginia Tech; 65-49 in 10th season overall)
Middle Tennessee – Rick Stockstill (94-92 in 16th season at Middle Tennessee and overall)

Notes: The Hokies’ first-ever meeting versus Middle Tennessee on the gridiron kicks off a stretch of four consecutive non-conference games for Virginia Tech •
Following a trip to West Virginia on Sept. 18, the Hokies will return to Lane Stadium to face Richmond and Notre Dame (followed by two more ACC games versus Pitt and Syracuse) • This week’s game versus the Blue Raiders was originally scheduled as the second half of a home-and-home, but Virginia Tech’s road trip to Murfreesboro, Tennessee, last season was wiped out due to the pandemic • Middle Tennessee is 4-13 all-time versus current ACC schools, with the most recent meeting a 41-18 homefield loss to Duke early in the 2019 season • The Blue Raiders won road games at Syracuse in 2017 and Georgia Tech in 2012 • Middle Tennessee State is currently scheduled to visit Duke in September of 2024 and play host to the Blue Devils to open the 2025 season.

Saturday, Sept. 11
Eastern Kentucky (1-0, 0-0 AQ7) at Louisville (0-1, 0-0 ACC)
7 p.m.; ACCNX
Louisville leads series, 19-8-1
Last meeting: UL, 42-0 (2019)
Head Coaches:
Louisville – Scott Satterfield (12-13 in second season at Louisville; 63-37 in ninth season overall)
Eastern Kentucky – Walt Wells (4-6 in second season at Eastern Kentucky and overall)

Notes: Louisville renews its in-state rivalry with Eastern Kentucky in a series that was first played in 1927 and has seen the programs meet on 28 prior occasions • The Cardinals prevailed in the most recent matchup by a 42-0 score early in the 2019 season as QB Jawon Pass threw for a career-high four touchdowns and freshman RB Javian Hawkins for 123 yards on 11 carries to help Louisville present first-year head coach Scott Satterfield with his first win since taking the helm • The Cardinals are 12-4-1 all-time versus the Colonels at home, with Eastern Kentucky’s most recent win coming by a 45-21 score at Louisville late in the 1985 season • Eastern Kentucky is scheduled to visit Louisville again in 2025 • Louisville is 35-17-1 all-time versus current OVC teams • The Cardinals will face a second in-state rival to close the 2021 regular season when Kentucky visits Nov. 27.

Saturday, Sept. 11
Boston College (1-0, 0-0 ACC) at UMass (0-1)
3:30 p.m.; RSN
BC leads series, 22-5-1
Last meeting: BC, 55-21 (2018)
Head Coaches:
Boston College – Jeff Hafley (7-5 in second season at Boston College and overall)
UMass – Walt Bell (1-16 in third season at UMass and overall)

Notes: Boston College makes the short trip to face UMass, which will face an ACC opponent for the second consecutive weekend after opening the season at Pitt on Sept. 4 • The Eagles own a 10-game winning streak in their series, which was first played in 1899 • The Minutemen held a 3-1 lead in the series before it went on a 54-yard hiatus following the 1912 season • The Eagles are 21-2 in head to-head meetings since the neighboring schools resumed play in 1966 • QB Anthony Brown threw for 279 yards and four touchdowns while playing just the opening half in his return from a season-ending knee injury to lead the Eagles to a lopsided win in the most recent meeting between the teams at BC’s Alumni Stadium in 2018 • This year’s matchup will be the first game the teams have played on UMass’ Amherst campus since 1982 • UMass played “home” games versus BC at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Mass in 2014 and 2016.

Saturday, Sept. 11
Appalachian State (1-0, 0-0 SBC) at #22 Miami (0-1, 0-0 ACC)
7 p.m.; TBD
Miami leads series, 1-0
Last meeting: Miami, 45-10 (2016)
Head Coaches:
Miami – Manny Diaz (14-11 in third season at Miami and overall)
Appalachian State – Shawn Clark (11-3 in second season at ASU and overall)

Notes: Miami welcomes Appalachian State for the Hurricanes’ home opener, five years after the teams met in Boone, North Carolina, in the first-ever game between the schools • Miami posted a 45-10 win in that first meeting as QB Brad Kaaya threw for 368 yards and three scores and RB Mark Walton rushed for 130 yards and two touchdowns • Saturday night’s contest opens a four-game homestand for the Hurricanes, who also face Michigan State (Sept. 18) and Virginia in their ACC opener (Sept. 30) prior to the end of the month • Appalachian State is 8-27-1 all-time versus ACC teams • The Mountaineers came away with a 34-31 road win over North Carolina in their most recent outing versus an ACC team in 2019 • The 2016 contest versus Miami is one of only two home football games Appalachian State has played against an ACC program.

Saturday, Sept. 11
SC State (0-1, 0-0 MEAC) at #6 Clemson (0-1, 0-0 ACC)
5 p.m.; ACCN
Clemson leads series, 4-0
Last meeting: CU, 59-0 (2016)
Head Coaches:
Clemson – Dabo Swinney (140-34 in 14th season at Clemson and overall)
South Carolina State – Oliver “Buddy” Pough (136-76 in 20th season at SC State and overall)

Notes: Fifth meeting in series between in-state opponents that began in 2008 and was played most recently in 2016 (a 59-0 Clemson win) • It is one of two non-league games versus in-state opponents for the Tigers, who are slated to close the regular season with their traditional rivalry game at South Carolina on Nov. 27 • Due to last year’s pandemic restrictions, Saturday’s game will be the first before a full-capacity crowd at Death Valley since the fall of 2019 • Clemson has outscored South Carolina State 238-20 in four previous meetings, including a pair of shutout victories • The Tigers’ win in 2016 saw QB Deshaun Watson throw three first-half touchdown passes to stake Clemson to a 45-0 lead before the third and fourth quarters were shortened to 12 minutes each by mutual agreement among the teams’ head coaches • The Bulldogs have won seven MEAC titles under veteran head coach Oliver ‘Buddy’ Pough.

Saturday, Sept. 11
NC State (1-0, 0-0 ACC) at Mississippi State (1-0, 0-0 SEC)
7 p.m.; TBD
Series tied, 3-3
Last meeting: MSU, 55-28 (2015)
Head Coaches:
NC State – Dave Doeren (56-46 in ninth season at NC State; 79-50 in 11th season overall)
Mississippi State – Mike Leach (5-7 in second season at Mississippi State; 143-97 in 20th season overall

Notes: 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 • The Bulldogs posted a 16-12 win in the 1963 Liberty Bowl in Philadelphia, while NC State won by a 28-24 score when the teams met in Atlanta for the 1995 Peach Bowl • Mississippi State won 51-28 at Charlotte in the 2015 Belk Bowl as QB Dak Prescott threw for a game-record 380 yards and four touchdowns • The Wolfpack will be playing the second of three consecutive non-conference games to open this season after a 45-0 shutout of visiting USF in the Sept. 2 season opener.

Saturday, Sept. 11
Georgia State (0-1, 0-0 SBC) at #24 North Carolina (0-1, 0-1 ACC)
7:30 p.m.; RSN
First meeting
Head Coaches:
North Carolina – Mack Brown (84-57-1 in 13th season at North Carolina; 259-133-1 in 33rd season overall)
Georgia State -Shawn Elliott (22-26 in fifth season at Georgia State; 23-40 in sixth season overall)

Notes: North Carolina’s first-ever meeting against Georgia State begins a stretch in which the Tar Heels will play five of their next six games at home • UNC seeks to win its home opener for the fourth consecutive season and for the 10th time in the last 11 seasons • Saturday night’s game will mark Georgia State’s first against an ACC opponent since a 41-7 loss at NC State in 2018 • UNC is scheduled to face Georgia State in Atlanta in 2022 in a home-and-home series return game • The Panthers are the only non-conference opponent on the Tar Heels’ schedule prior to Oct. 30, when they are scheduled to play at Notre Dame • After opening the 2021 campaign with last week’s trip to Virginia Tech for the ACC season opener, UNC is scheduled to play host to Virginia (Sept. 18) and travel to Atlanta to face Georgia Tech (Sept. 25) before facing Duke, Florida State and Miami at Kenan Stadium the first three weekends in October.

Saturday, Sept. 11
Jacksonville State (0-1, 0-0 AQ7) at Florida State (0-1, 0-0 ACC)
8 p.m.; ACCN
FSU leads series, 2-1
Last meeting: FSU, 41-24 (2020)
Head Coaches:
Florida State – Mike Norvell (3-7 in second season at Florida State; 41-22 in fifth season overall)
Jacksonville State – John Grass (68-22 in eighth season at Jacksonville State and overall)

Notes: Jacksonville State visits Tallahassee for the second consecutive season and the fourth time overall • The Seminoles won last season 41-24 as QB Jordan Travis came off the bench to lead five straight touchdown drives • FSU won in 2009 by a 19-9 score thanks to a pair of touchdowns in the final 35 seconds • Ty Jones’ 1-yard touchdown run with 35 seconds left put the Seminoles ahead, and teammate Kevin McNeil returned a fumble for a score 21 seconds later to seal the win • Jacksonville State won the first meeting between the programs 7-0 in 1947 • After a highly successful run in the Ohio Valley Conference, JSU announced in January that it would return to the ASUN, its first Division I conference affiliation • The ASUN has announced plans to add FCS football to the league’s list of sponsored sports for the first time in the conference’s 43-year history.